The Bronx is back in the Big Dance. New York’s best basketball rivalry added another epic chapter to its continuing string of instant classics, with No. 2 Manhattan rewriting last year’s script and avenging its title game loss to Iona with a 71-68 victory over the top seed in Monday night’s MAAC Championship at the MassMutual Center, sending the Jaspers to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2004. The fourth league title for Manhattan’s (25-7) — and 11th win in the past 12 games — was finally secured when Iona forward David Laury’s game-tying 3-pointer missed at the buzzer. “What happened last year definitely fueled us for this year,” Manhattan senior Rhamel Brown said. “At the end of the day, the reason we stepped out for that championship is because we’re out there for each other. That’s what’s taken us this far. That’s what’s going to keep taking us to where we have to go.” Before falling to its neighbor of only 9 miles away, Iona (22-10) had won 14 of its previous 15 games and looked like the offensive juggernaut that had earned two straight trips to the NCAAs, but Manhattan’s physical play held the Gaels to 6-of-21 shooting on 3-pointers and earned it a 10-rebound advantage. Though Manhattan coach Steve Masiello advocated for Iona’s second at-large bid in the past three years, Iona coach Tim Cluess acknowledged that as unlikely. The Gaels are guaranteed to play in the NIT. “They wanted a chance at something special that they’d remember for a lifetime and they came within inches of that,” Cluess said. “You’re dealing with kids who are really, really upset. They worked extremely hard to get where they got and I’m very proud of them.” Following a back-and-forth 30-plus minutes, Manhattan took its biggest lead of the game, with sophomore Shane Richards’ (14 points) timely shooting and tournament MVP George Beamon’s (16 points) 3-pointer, which put the Jaspers up 64-54 with 6:14 remaining.