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News, thoughts and more from the world of college sports across the nation and Long Island.

A look at a few tournament hopefuls

Iona College men's basketball head coach Tim Cluess

(Credit: James Escher)

There are over 20 Division I basketball programs in the NY Metro-Area. A vast majority play in one-bid conferences. Here's a look at a few or our local teams and what they likely need to do to earn a big to the NCAA Tournament.

Fairfield (17-12, 9-7 MAAC) Quality wins: Iona, Rider, St. Joseph’s, Bad losses: DePaul. Remaining games: at Manhattan, at Marist. Outlook: The Stags have won seven...

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Hofstra to face Louisville in 2013 Tip-Off tourney

Hofstra head coach Mo Cassara, center, directs his

(Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke)

It’s been a tough year for the Hofstra, which fell in heart-breaking fashion, 57-56, to Delaware on Senior Day on Wednesday.

But that doesn’t mean things will be easier next season for Hofstra, at least according to the schedule. The Pride will open up the 2013-2014 season against Louisville as part of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament, the organization announced...

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Hofstra’s seniors hang tough

Hofstra's Matt Grogan, left, attempts to get a

(Credit: James Escher)

Rarely has one team been ripped asunder the way Hofstra’s basketball team was this season. But while the Pride dropped to 7-23 (4-13 CAA) with a gut-wrenching 57-56 loss to Delaware in the home finale Wednesday night at Mack Sports Complex, they are not without honor for the way they have persevered all season.

There really was no possible way to recover from the early-season scandal when...

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Orlando Sanchez vs. NCAA: The 3:38 year

Dominican Republic's Orlando Sanchez, left, dribbles around Cuba's

(Credit: AP)

No matter how many times the NCAA reviews the eligibility case of St. John’s forward Orlando Sanchez, it keeps coming to back to the same conclusion – under a rule that says any organized basketball activity after the age of 21 constitutes a year of eligibility, the three-minute, 38-second appearance Sanchez made with the Dominican Republic national team in 2010 counts as one full year.

In...

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WBB Metro Poll: SJU 5th, Iona 9th

Bria Hartley of UConn dribbles the ball behind

(Credit: David Pokress)

Quinnipiac’s near flawless season has continued into late February. Marist and Princeton stayed at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively. Fordham, after winning its 20th game of the season over St. Joseph’s on Sunday, moves up one place to fourth. St. John’s is up two places to fifth after two straight wins, while Sacred Heart jumps two spots to sixth. Army stayed at No. 7, Fairfield moved up one place...

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Metro Poll: Stony Brook No. 1, SJU No. 2

Stony Brook's Tommy Brenton drives the baseline against

(Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan)

Stony Brook continues to roll and remains atop the Metro Poll after four straight wins. The Seawolves clinched at least a share of the America East regular season title after a 69-53 win over Maine on Sunday.

St. John’s and Fairfield held the second and third spots again. Wagner has won three of its last four, including a big 94-92 win over LIU on Sunday and moved up one place to fourth. Princeton...

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D’Angelo Harrison struggles in St. John’s loss

D'Angelo Harrison of St. John's dribbles away from

(Credit: Errol Anderson)

Operating without departed Moe Harkless to relieve the defensive pressure this season, St. John’s leading scorer D’Angelo Harrison has struggled mightily in a couple of big spots. On Feb. 2 in Washington, Harrison recorded the first 0-fer of his collegiate career with a 0-for-9 shooting performance at Georgetown, and he came close on Sunday in St. John’s 63-47 loss to Pitt in which he made just...

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Steve Lavin has “big game” mentality vs. Pitt

St. John's head coach Steve Lavin looks on

(Credit: Errol Anderson)

St. John’s coach Steve Lavin playfully took issue with the notion that his emotional outburst during the Red Storm’s recent win over South Florida was something out of the ordinary. Guard D’Angelo Harrison described it as “blowing a gasket,” but Lavin said that was one of a series of blown gaskets and added that he’s probably broken five clipboards this season.

“All along the line, gaskets...

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St. John’s misses Jamal Branch

Jamal Branch shoots over Durrell McDonald of DePaul

(Credit: Errol Anderson)

On the surface, St. John’s did what it had to do in dispatching South Florida, 69-54, Wednesday night at Carnesecca Arena. If the Red Storm wanted to have any chance of receiving an NCAA bid, it had to win the most winnable game left on its regular-season schedule against the worst team in the Big East.

It wasn’t pretty in the second half. After taking a 22-point lead, the Red Storm (16-10,...

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A little mid-major magic?

Earlier this season we posted a story on how this could be a down year for mid-major programs. Not including the Atlantic-10, which doesn’t consider itself a mid-major league, the situation has changed. Nearly a dozen mid-major teams have a shot at an at-large bid if they fall short of a conference tournament championship.

We'll also leave out Memphis (22-3), which doesn't really consider...

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