1. Don t Give Up, Don t Ever Give Up. Even before he frantically ran around the court looking for someone to hug when he won his national championship at NC State, Jim Valvano was a hug-seeker as the Iona head coach (1975-80). Valvano's biggest recruit (literally and figuratively) was Jeff Ruland, now the Gaels' coach himself. Ruland chose tiny Iona over monster schools and legendary coaches. "There was a game I had in high school, and Bobby Knight was there, another coach and V. Bobby Knight came over and said what a great game I had. The other guy came over and said 'Great game.' V just walked over and told me, 'Boy, you really stunk tonight.' And I really appreciated that because it was the truth."
2. Like Father, Like Son. Iona's top two all-time leading scorers share the same name: Steve Burtt. With the 2006 MAAC title, both father and son have also won it all for their schools. Now the Burtts also share a legacy as they are the NCAA s all-time father/son scoring tandem with more than 4,500 points between them. Take that Doug and Chris Collins, Bill and Luke Walton and especially you, Mike and Mike Dunleavy! The elder Burtt has even managed to resonate with Little Stevie's generation: He s the coach of Team AND 1 on the "Mixed Tape Tour" show that runs at all hours on ESPN2.
3. He s HOW Old? Guaranteed to get some CBS camera time during the Gaels' first round game will be trainer emeritus, JB Buono. At 94 (with 50-plus years in New Rochelle, where Iona is located), Buono has likely taped more ankles than all the 64 other trainers in the tourney combined. Buono claims to have had sexual relations with Hitler s mistress, Eva Braun, and is also said to have fished with Lou Gehrig. Or maybe he had sexual relations with Gehrig and fished with Braun - either way, it's pretty amazing. — David Scott