Many Oregon Duck fans believe their team’s first round opponent in the NCAA Tournament, the Iona Gaels, are a fake basketball team.

Oregon, who earned a 3rd seed, were drawn against 14th seeded and MAAC Conference Tournament Champions Iona. However, many fans believe such a university does not exist and is merely a ruse to get the better of the Ducks in the first round. 

“What kind of a name is Iona?” asked one perplexed Oregon fan earlier this week. “Furthermore, what kind of a nickname is Gaels? What the hell is a gael? Granted, I root for a team whose nicknamed after a nonthreatening bird. At least people know what a duck is. This has the markings of a fake basketball team written all over it.”

“I wouldn’t be surprised if the MAAC just made up a college named Iona and are trojan-horsing us all of the conference’s best players,” said another Duck fan. “How else do you think these small colleges beat major teams in the tournament. They’re all just trojan horses. Does anyone even attempt to verify if these schools exist? Where is George Mason? Where is Lehigh? Where is Florida Gulf Coast? No one knows.”

When asked about preparing for tomorrow’s game, Oregon head coach Dana Altman hinted at the validity of these fans’ claims. “We don’t game much Iona game tape to work off of in the lead-up to the game. All we have are tapes from their conference tournament. Somehow, we’ve been unable to locate a single piece of regular season game footage for Iona. It kind of makes you wonder if they are even a real team.”

Efforts to locate Iona’s regular season game footage by the Spor Repor staff have gone nowhere. We’ve reached out to the Metro Atlantic Coast Conference, if that’s even a real college basketball conference, for further information regarding the Iona Gaels but have yet to receive a response.