Rapid Reax: Manhattan in, St. John's out
March, 16, 2014
By Kieran Darcy | ESPNNewYork.com
NEW YORK -- Some quick thoughts following the NCAA tournament selection show:
Go Jaspers: Manhattan heard its name called on Selection Sunday for the first time since 2004.
We already knew the Jaspers (25-7, 15-5) were in the field of 68, following their win over Iona in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship game Monday. Sunday we learned the Jaspers are a No. 13 seed in the Midwest Regional and will face No. 4 seed Louisville on Thursday in Orlando, Fla.
Manhattan coach Steve Masiello, a former Louisville assistant, will be going up against his coaching mentor, Rick Pitino. And it's a difficult matchup -- the Cardinals (29-5, 15-3) were the regular-season co-champions (along with Cincinnati) in the American Athletic Conference, and just won the AAC tournament. They are one of the hottest teams in the country, ranked No. 5 in the latest Associated Press poll, making their NCAA tournament seeding surprising. They were projected to be a No. 3 seed by ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi.
Storm drain: St. John's did not hear its name called on CBS, which should come as no surprise.
The Red Storm (20-12, 10-8) weren't among Lunardi's First Four Out, nor even his Next Four Out, following their loss to eventual Big East tournament champion Providence in the quarterfinals Thursday.
St. John's will almost certainly be among the 32 teams in the NIT -- that bracket will be announced at 8:30 p.m. on ESPNU. But much more was expected from the Red Storm and coach Steve Lavin, who have now missed the NCAA tournament three years in a row.