Location: Bronx, NY
Coach: Steve Masiello
Record: 19-13 (13-7 MAAC)
Kenpom ranking: 145
Good wins: vs. Iona
Bad losses: vs. Niagara, vs. Fairfield
Tournament appearances: 8 (current streak: 2)
Best result: First game (most recent: 2014)
NBA alumni: Luis Flores
Best name: Ashton Pankey
Celebrity alumni: Rudy Giuliani
Strange doesn't quite describe the year Steve Masiello and Manhattan had. The Rick Pitino protege was a hot coaching prospect after last year's tournament appearance, so he took a job at South Florida. But a background check revealed he had never actually graduated college as he had claimed, and USF rescinded their offer. Manhattan took him back under the condition he earn his degree, which he did. It worked out OK for the Jaspers, who got back-to-back tourney teams.
Style of play: The New York Press
Masiello favors a full-court press, and with a team of tall athletes, he's got the squads for it. They're pretty effective, forcing a turnover on 24.1 percent of opposing baskets, but they do foul quite a bit, committing the second-most in the nation. They're also uncommonly good at drawing fouls -- 25.1 percent of their points are from the free throw line, 11th most in college hoops -- so expect a choppy one. How the refs are feeling could be a huge factor.
Key player: The Emmy goes to
Senior Emmy Andujar is everything for the Jaspers, leading the squad in points (16.5) rebounds (7.6) and assists (3.5). The Bronx native is 6'6 with the dribbling and passing skills of a guard but the length and playing style of a power forward, looking to maneuver in the post for buckets.
What's a Jasper?
Manhattan is the rare school that doesn't have a mascot that stands for a thing. The team name, "Jaspers," is an ode to Brother Jasper, a priest who worked at the school in the 1800's. Jasper started the school's baseball team and is credited by the Baseball Hall of Fame with inventing the seventh-inning stretch -- during an 1882 game, he noticed students' restlessness and called a timeout. Take a break during your 14-hour tourney watch session in his honor.