The Manhattan Jaspers coughed up a double-digit lead down the stretch in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship game, but managed to escape with nothing more than a case of high blood pressure.
Manhattan’s win over its conference nemesis earned the Jaspers just the latest ticket to be handed out to the big dance, which will mark the program’s first appearance in the NCAA tournament since 2004. The Jaspers’ 25-7 record along with a decent resume has the team projected to be either a No. 13 or 14 seed come Selection Sunday, but will the committee do Manhattan a favor and place the team in a weak region?
In the MAAC championship game, a defensive battle broke out between two high-flying offenses that scored well below their season averages. The Jaspers squandered a big lead late, but were able to hold on as the Iona Gaels missed a buzzer-beater that would have sent the game to overtime.
The Jaspers’ balanced offense lifted the team to victory as four different players ended with double-digits. Although it was a total team effort, George Beamon was the driving force behind the win as he delivered 16 points and eight rebounds. The team has a good chance at advancing in the tournament if matched up against a team that struggles in the low post.
Manhattan’s drive and talent could pose a problem for several teams in the Big Dance as the Jaspers will hope the chips fall their way in the draw come Selection Sunday.
Greg Douglas is a College Basketball writer for RantSports.com. Follow im on twitter @thegpd93 or add him to your Google Network.