New Jersey Schools affected in March Madness

This year saw a nice change of scenery for many fans of New Jersey schools in college basketball. The state had a sort of college basketball renaissance that came to a disappointing, abrupt end with the cancellation of both conference tournament and the NCAA Tournament due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Teams such as Seton Hall and Rutgers were poised to make the March Madness Tournament this year. Each team had a successful season that saw the Rutgers team crack the Top 25 and Seton Hall’s senior-laden team share a Big East regular season title for the first time since 1993 and spend all but three weeks in the Top 25.

Seton Hall men’s basketball team 2019-2020 team photo


Rutgers men’s basketball team 2019-2020 team photo

Seton Hall finished this season with a record of 21-9 and had senior Myles Powell took home Big East Player of the Year honors, while senior Romaro Gill took home Defensive Player and Most Improved Player of the Year awards.

The Hall was a projected 3-seed in the NCAA Tournament and fans and media members were getting ready for a deep run, some even projecting them to be a Final Four team and National Champion contender.

Meanwhile, the Scarlet Knights finished the regular season with a record of 20-11 with an 18-1 record at home. The Scarlet Knights surprised many this year and had their most competitive season since joining the Big Ten. The special year began early when Rutgers took the Garden State Hardwood Classic boardwalk trophy from the Pirates.

Rutgers went on a late season skid during a stretch of mainly road games, yet they remained a competitive team that seemed near unbeatable at home and came close to some major wins on the road.

While these teams had tremendous regular seasons, the NCAA’s decision to cancel games due to fears about the COVID-19 pandemic has caused many to look at this season as a lost cause for both teams.

This is not a mindset that people should have however, as both teams should be celebrated as bringing back an in state rivalry that saw two successful schools within the same state go head to head against each other.

Residents and fans from each team should look forward of whats to come with New Jersey Basketball.