March Madness: Four Teams from NJ in NCAA Tournament
New Jersey will be represented by two men's teams and two women's teams in the NCAA college basketball championships.
First up is Fairleigh Dickinson University in the play-in game Tuesday night against Prairie View in Dayton, Ohio, for the West Region's 16th seed. The winner plays Thursday against top-ranked Gonzaga in Salt Lake City.
FDU, which has never won an NCAA tournament game, earned their way into the tournament with their eighth-straight victory to win the Northeast Conference championship over St. Francis behind leading scorers Darnell Edge and Jahlil Jenkins.
Seton Hall, the No. 10 seed in Midwest Region, takes No. 7-ranked Wofford College.
"Seton Hall made a great run to the Big East championship game behind Myles Powell, who has become one of the nation’s best shooting guards. He is the leader of a team that graduated four starters a year ago," said Kevin Williams, of the Shore Sports Network.
Williams said Wofford is considered one of the "Cinderella" teams of the tournament and depend heavily on their ability to make 3-pointers.
"If the Terriers struggle then the Pirates have a good chance to pull off an upset," Williams said.
Should Seton Hall win then they would likely face Kentucky, who they beat earlier in the season.
On the women's side, Princeton, ranked No. 11 in the Portland Region, takes on sixth-seeded Kentucky on Friday morning in Raleigh, North Carolina.
The Lady Tigers won their second-straight Ivy League Tournament by beating rival Penn and take a 12-game winning streak into their tournament opener.
Williams said Bella Alarie is the leader of the team, averaging 23 points and 10 rebounds per game and for the second straight year was named Ivy League Player of the Year.
No. 7-ranked Rutgers made the tournament in the Albany Region for the first time in four years but without their Hall of Fame coach C. Vivian Stringer, who is on sick leave and will miss the remainder of the season.
They will play 10th-seeded Buffalo in the first round on Friday in Storrs, Connecticut. If they win they would likely meet up with former conference rival Connecticut on the Huskies home court, according to Williams.
"Rutgers struggled in February before winning four of their last five and advancing to the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament. The Scarlet Knights are led by redshirt senior Stasha Carey, who earned 2nd team All-Big Ten honors," Williams said.