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ncaa tournament

If You Want Local NCAA Tourney Hoops, You Need to Watch the Women

A couple of weeks ago, we took at a look at the seven local men's college basketball teams and their chances to make the NCAA Tournament. They were grim then and they're worse now: Columbia and Fordham are officially out, Manhattan is next to last in their league, St. Francis (NY) needs two wins this week to even guarantee a spot in their conference tournament, and St. John's is making a run far, far too late. When your best hope lies with the fourth-place team in the NEC (Long Island), it's not looking good. So ... how are the women doing? Much, much better.

So, with Selection Sunday just a few weeks away, we thought we'd take a look at each of the seven women's Division I-A programs in the city. We haven't seen any of these teams play, so we won't make any predictions, but we did feel it worthy of a rundown.

Likely In

1. St. John's (21–5, 9–4 in the Big East). Last week, ESPN's Charlie Creme had the Red Storm at a No. 6 seed, and that was before they beat Georgetown this week. Connecticut is obviously winning the whole tournament, but St. John's held them closer than almost anybody has this season, only losing by fourteen.

There's some hope.

2. Long Island (18–9, 12–4 in the NEC). LIU is in second place in the conference, behind Robert Morris, and they've already clinched a spot in the conference tournament, and are likely the No. 2 seed.

3. Manhattan (14–3, 9–7 in the MAAC). The Lady Jaspers are tied for third in the conference, but are five games behind Marist.

Very little chance.

4. Wagner (9–18, 6–10 in NEC). They're barely hanging on to the No. 8 spot in the NEC, a league that lets eight teams in its conference tournament.

Not a chance.

5. Fordham (8–20, 2–11 in Atlantic-10). The A-10 only allows twelve teams in their tournament, and the Lady Rams are, like the men's team, in fourteenth place.

6. Columbia (15–9, 6–4 in the Ivy). With no conference tournament, the Lions are too far behind first place Princeton to catch up.

7. St. Francis (NY) (2–25, 1–15 in NEC). The Terriers will be missing the NEC Tournament.

So, not great, but so much better than the men's that it's pathetic.

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Photo: J. Meric/Getty Images