Alabama football OL Emil Ekiyor accepts Senior Bowl invitation

ESPN's Michael Wilbon predicts Iona upsets Alabama basketball in March Madness tournament

Erik Hall
The Tuscaloosa News

Every year on his podcast, ESPN broadcaster Tony Kornheiser invites an eclectic cast of people to pick brackets for the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament

Some of the people are experts on basketball and college basketball, and sometimes they've barely watched the sport all season. 

One of the people almost every year to pick brackets is Kornheiser's co-host on "Pardon the Interruption," Michael Wilbon

Wilbon went out on a limb with his prediction of No. 15 seed Iona vs. No. 2 seed Alabama

Iona is coached by Rick Pitino. Alabama is coached by Nate Oats

Michael Wilbon picks Iona upset of Alabama

Feb 14, 2020; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Team Wilbon coach Michael Wilbon during lineup introductions before the NBA All Star-Celebrity Game at Wintrust Arena. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

"The biggest upset pick anybody on your show is going to have. I've got Iona beating Alabama," Wilbon said. 

"Are you kidding," Kornheiser said. "Iona?!"

"Rick Pitino's done that already," Wilbon said. "He did that. He beat Alabama — it wasn't 2/15, but it was something like that. He was a heavy underdog early in his career, I think at BU, and they beat Alabama."

Wilbon is referring to Pitino coaching No. 6 seed Providence to a 103-82 win against No. 2 seed Alabama in the 1987 Sweet 16. Pitino coached at Boston University from 1978-83 before coaching Providence from 1985-87.

Providence coach Rick Pitino stands between players Billy Donovan (34) and Delray Brooks (21) as they congratulate each other after their 103-82 victory over Alabama in the Southeast Regional Semi-Final game in Louisville, March 19, 1987.  (AP Photo/Rob Kozloff)

"Wow," Kornheiser said. "Wow." 

"You got to do something stupid, so I'm picking that," Wilbon said.

Wilbon proceeded to pick UConn to defeat Iona in the Round of 32. 

He picked Illinois to win the national title with Baylor, Gonzaga, and Texas rounding out his Final Four predictions. 

At the start of the segment picking his bracket, Wilbon admitted, "I've seen fewer of these teams than ever. There are a handful of teams I have some conviction about, but my bracket is way too chalky for me. 

Here's more Alabama, Iona basketball news: 

Alabama and Iona are scheduled to play at 3 p.m. CT on Saturday, March 20.

Erik Hall is the lead digital producer for sports with the USA Today Network. You can find him on Twitter @HallErik