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Manhattan only local team in NCAA tournament, St. John's to NIT

New York City will be well-represented as always in players taking part in the NCAA tournament, but the only local team will be Manhattan.

Steve Masiello Head coach Steve Masiello has the Jaspers back in the Big Dance.
Credit: Getty Images

New York City will be well-represented as always in players taking part in the NCAA tournament, but the only local team making the Big Dance will be Manhattan.

The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference champions knocked off fellow locals Iona on March 10 to punch their ticket.

The 25-7 Jaspers, who finished second in the conference in the regular season, won't have an easy first assignment. As the the No. 13 in the Midwest Region, they will face No. 4-seed Louisville on March 20 at 9:50 p.m.

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It will be tough for both head coaches, as Manhattan head coach Steve Masiello served as an assistant under Louisville head coach Rick Pitino from 2005 to 2011.

The Jaspers have won 11 of their last 12 games with two wins over MAAC No. 1-seed Iona.

"This is just an amazing run," Masiello said. "It doesn't happen. It's storybook-like. Normally you have like two or three things that are wrong. There's nothing wrong."

Manhattan is led by senior guard George Beamon, a native of Roslyn, N.Y. just across the city line in Nassau County. He led the team with 19.2 points and 6.6 rebounds per game.

They are 2 1/2 hours and four hours from New York City respectively, but both Albany and Syracuse will be taking part in the NCAA Tournament. Syracuse received an at-large bid out of the ACC, while Albany won the America East championship for the second straight season.

A large number of New York City stars will be taking part in the tourney, including ...

Kentucky freshman Dakari Johnson (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
Louisville senior Russ Smith (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
Creighton junior Devin Brooks (Harlem, N.Y.)
Oklahoma State sophomore Kamari Murphy (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
St. Joseph's senior Halil Kanacevic (Staten Island, N.Y.)
Villanova junior JayVaughn Pinkston (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
VCU sophomore Melvin Johnson (Bronx, N.Y.)

Meanwhile, St. John's had to settle for a trip to the NIT after they lost to Providence in the first round of the Big East tournament last week. They earned a No. 1 seed — along with SMU, Florida State and Minnesota. The Red Storm host Robert Morris on Tuesday at 7 p.m. and will try to advance to the final on their home court at Madison Square Garden.

Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports.

 
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