New York City still considers itself the mecca of basketball and while this year’s tournament will be void of a traditional city power like a St. John’s or Manhattan, there will be several teams with relatively close proximity and ties to NYC participating in the 2016 NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
A look at the locals:
The Pirates have their highest seed in the tournament since the glory days under P.J. Carlesimo in the late 1980s and early 1990s. This year’s group is also one of the hottest teams in the entire field as they sliced through the Big East Tournament last week at Madison Square Garden.
The Pirates are led by sophomore guard Isaiah Whitehead (18.4 ppg) and will play No. 11 Gonzaga Thursday at 9:57 p.m. (truTV).
It’s the first ever NCAA tournament appearance for the Long Island school and it’s been a long time coming in more ways than one. The Seawolves made their conference tournament championship game in four of the past five seasons but lost all four times. Of course, if you win your conference tournament, you get an automatic bid into the dance. Stony Brook is led by senior forward Jameel Warney (19.8 ppg) and will play powerhouse Kentucky on Thursday (9:40 p.m., CBS).
The boys from New Rochelle are led by A.J. English, who pumped in a cool 22.4 points per game this year. The Gaels have momentum on their side as they’ve won eight straight games. Their first round opponent, No. 4 Iowa State, went just 5-7 down the stretch. Iona will shoot for the upset at 2 p.m. on Thursday (TBS).
UConn – The Huskies will take on Colorado in an 8-9 game on Thursday (1:30 p.m., TNT)
Syracuse – The Orange will shoot for an upset over No. 7 Dayton on Friday (12:15 p.m., CBS).
Yale – The Bulldogs will look to take down No. 5 Baylor on Thursday (2:45 p.m., CBS)