St. John's guard Shamorie Ponds (2) and forward Marvin Clark II celebrate during against Georgetown in the Big East tournament on March 8, 2018, at Madison Square Garden.

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St. John's, Seton Hall, Syracuse, Iona Learn Opponents As NCAA Tournament Bracket Unveiled

March 17, 2019 - 7:35 pm
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By WFAN.com

It’s almost time for the madness to begin.

An intense college basketball regular season has wrapped up, and now Selection Sunday has come and gone. 68 teams know where they’re headed to begin their respective postseason campaigns, while quite a few others are left frustrated to have missed the cut.

Of those 68 teams, eight have ties to the New York area. Here’s where all the local teams wound up when the final bracket was unveiled on Sunday night.

St John’s (#11) – Arizona State (#11)

St. John’s were one of the last four teams to make it into the tournament. The Red Storm had an anxious wait as they sat on the bubble following their blowout loss to Marquette in the quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament. It will be their first time in the NCAA Tournament since 2015, and their first time qualifying under the leadership of head coach Chris Mullins.

Mullins’ team will now look to make the most of their selection against the school that finished second in the Pac-12. The Sun Devils fell to Oregon in the semifinals of their conference tournament after finishing the regular season 22-10.

The winner of this First Four matchup will then play No. 6 seed Buffalo in the next round.

Syracuse (#8) – Baylor (#9)

Syracuse found themselves on the bubble after another regular season filled with inconsistent play. Still, Jim Boeheim’s squad are into the tournament as a No. 8 seed in the West Region. It will be Boeheim's 34th appearance in the big dance. 

Their first round opponent in Salt Lake City will be No. 9 seed Baylor. The Orange face the daunting prospect of likely having to play Gonzaga in the second round, if they get by the Bears. Last year, Syracuse knocked off No. 3 seed Michigan State as they won three games to reach the Sweet Sixteen, where they then lost by to Duke by four points.

Syracuse finished 20-13, good enough for sixth in the ACC. The highlight of their season was a win over No. 1 ranked Duke in January.

Iona (#16) – North Carolina (#1)

Iona are dancing once again after they won the MAAC Championship for the fourth year in a row. Tim Cluess’ team have drawn North Carolina, one of the top seeds in the tournament. The game will take place in Columbus, Ohio on Friday.

The Gaels will be heavy underdogs to a UNC team that won the national championship in 2017. Luke Maye, Nassir Little, and company should have extra motivation after they were upset by Texas A&M in the second round of last year’s tournament. Unsurprisingly, they're one of the favorites to win the title again. 

Fairleigh Dickinson (#16) – Prairie View A&M (#16)

The Knights made the NCAA Tournament by winning the Northeast Conference championship over St. Francis on Tuesday. It will be the program’s second trip to the tournament in just four years, but they’ll have to win a game just to make it into the field of 64.

Their First Four game will be against Prairie View A&M, a school making its first tournament appearance since 1998. The winner of that clash in Dayton, Ohio will then have to go to Salt Lake City, Utah to face No. 1 seed Gonzaga.

Colgate (#15) – Tennessee (#2)

Colgate have qualified for March Madness for the first time since 1996 after winning the Patriot League. They beat Bucknell 94-80 on Wednesday, and will now be in action against the Tennessee Volunteers, a No. 2 seed.

Tennessee are one of the most dangerous teams in the tournament, as they could’ve easily been a No. 1 seed. Colgate are riding high having won 11 games in a row, but it will take a minor miracle for them to beat the Vols in Columbus.

Seton Hall (#10) – Wofford (#7)

Seton Hall are one of four Big East teams selected to this year's NCAA Tournament. They finished third in their conference during the regular season, and then fell just short of beating Villanova in the Big East championship. Kevin Williard sees his team qualify for the tournament for the fourth year in a row. The South Orange, New Jersey school lost to No. 1 seed Kansas last year. 

The Pirates' reward is one of the hottest teams in the country. Wofford, a No. 7 seed, have won 20 games in a row. Terriers' fans won't have to travel terribly far from South Carolina to show up in numbers in Jacksonville.

Yale (#14) – LSU (#3)

Yale booked their place in the tournament on Sunday afternoon when they beat Harvard 97-85 to win the Ivy League Tournament. Now, they’ll have to travel to Jacksonville, Florida to face the third-seeded LSU Tigers.

LSU are dealing with some drama off the court. Head coach Will Wade was suspended on March 8 after Yahoo Sports reported that an FBI wiretap caught Wade talking about a “really big offer” he made to a recruit. Despite the distractions from having a coach suspended, LSU will still be heavily favored after they finished 26-6 on the year.

Buffalo (#6) – Arizona St (#11) or St John’s (#11)

Buffalo could meet an in-state adversary in the round of 64 if St. John’s can get past Arizona State. They'll be waiting in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The Bulls reached the tournament for the fourth time in their history, with each appearance coming since 2015. Their 31-3 record earned them the highest seed ever awarded to a team from the Mid-American Conference. They made some noise last year when the upset No. 4 seed Arizona in the first round.

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Zion Williamson’s Duke are the top overall team in the tournament. Gonzaga, North Carolina, and Virginia are the other No. 1 seeds.

Eight Big Ten schools qualified after only four made it last year.

Princeton did not receive a bid after they fell in the semifinals of the Ivy League Tournament.

The 2019 NCAA Tournament gets underway on March 19th.