NCAA Tournament 2012 BracketBusters: Iona, Albany, Stony Brook, Long Island All In Running For Automatic Bids

CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 18: Julian Boyd #42 of the Long Island Blackbirds moves the ball from on the floor in the second half while taking on the North Carolina Tar Heels during the second round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Time Warner Cable Arena on March 18, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The Big East Conference is not the only league in the nation that holds possible NCAA Tournament prospects. SB Nation New York gives an update on the New York-New Jersey BracketBusters for 2012.

The 2012 NCAA Tournament is less than two months away -- yeah, I know! -- and a few New York-New Jersey mid-majors are in heated races for their conference's automatic March Madness bids. Here's an update on the SB Nation New York's favorites to earn a trip the NCAA Tournament.


(NCAA Tournament dates for the first and second round will be March 13-18. The dates for the NCAA Final Four will March 31 and April 2 with the location being New Orleans, LA. )


Iona Gaels -- 14-4 Overall; Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference 6-1

Iona is trying to run away with the MAAC but a loss, Jan. 12, to the Manhattan Jaspers halted their getaway.

On Sunday, the Gaels defeated Loyola, Md. Greyhounds, 74-63, in New Rochelle. This week, Iona plays just one game, as they host the Rider Broncos on Friday (10 p.m.).

As of Wednesday, senior forward Michael Glover was pacing the Gaels in scoring (19.0 points per game) and rebounds (8.6 per game).

Bracketology status:

SB Nation's Dobbertean (Jan. 17): No. 12 seed vs. No. 5 Vanderbilt Commodores
ESPN's Joe Lunardi (Jan. 16): No. 12 vs. No. 5 St. Mary's, Calif. Gaels
CBSSports.com's Andy Glockner (Jan. 17): No. 13 Vs. Creighton Bluejays
CBSSports.com's Jerry Palm (Jan. 18): No. 12 Vs. No. 5 Michigan Wolverines


Albany, N.Y. Great Danes -- 12-8 Overall; 4-2 America East Conference

The Great Danes are in noway a shoo-in, as they are behind Stony Brook and the Boston U. Terriers in the America East standings and have lost to both. Luckily, they play both squads again.

Despite the long odds, SI.com's Andy Glockner still thinks they're going to win the conference title.

On Thursday, Albany travels to the Vermont Catamounts looking to rebound from a Monday night loss to the Terriers, who's currently second in the league standings.

As of Wednesday, junior guard Gerardo Suero was the team's leading scorer and ranked fourth in the nation in points per game (21.6). Suero is coming off his worst game of the season after netting just six points against BU Monday.

Bracketology status:

SB Nation's Dobbertean (Jan. 17): OUT

ESPN's Joe Lunardi (Jan. 16): OUT
CBSSports.com's Andy Glockner (Jan. 17): No. 16 vs. No. 16 Texas Southern Tigers (first round)
CBSSports.com's Jerry Palm (Jan. 18): OUT


Stony Brook Seawolves -- 10-7 Overall; 5-1 America East

The Seawolves are in prime position to earn their first NCAA Tournament bid in program history, as they sit atop of the America East standings. However, Stony Brook a loss to second-place Boston U., Jan. 14, will not help its cause once conference play progresses.

Luckily, the Seawolves host the Terriers, Jan. 27, and could even the season series at 1-1.

This week, Stony Brook plays at the Maine Black Bears on Saturday.

Currently, senior guard Bryan Dougher is the team's leading point-getter (13.5 ppg), while sophomore guard Dave Coley is netting 10.1 ppg.

Bracketology status:

SB Nation's Dobbertean (Jan. 17): No. 16 vs. No. 16 Texas-Arlington Mavericks (first round)

ESPN's Joe Lunardi (Jan. 16): No. 16 vs. No. 1 Syracuse
CBSSports.com's Andy Glockner (Jan. 17): OUT
CBSSports.com's Jerry Palm (Jan. 18): No. 16 vs. No. 16 UNC-Asheville Bulldogs (first round)


Long Island Blackbirds -- 12-6 Overall; 6-0 Northeast Conference

The Blackbirds are on solid pace to earn their second straight NCAA Tournament bid, as they sit in first place in the Northeast standings. Just behind them are the Wagner Seahawks (5-1), Cent. Connecticut St. Blue Devils (5-1) and St. Francis, NY Terriers (5-1).

As of Wednesday, forward Julian Boyd is one of four Blackbirds averaging in double figures, as he's tallying a team-best 16.8 ppg, while Jamal Olasewere (15.9), C.J. Garner (11.1), Michael Culpo (10.1) are right behind him.

On Monday, Boyd earned his second Northeast Conference Co-Player Of The Week honors after averaging 21 points and eight rebounds last week.

Bracketology status:

SB Nation's Dobbertean (Jan. 17): No. 16 vs. No. 1 Syracuse Orange

ESPN's Joe Lunardi (Jan. 16): No. 16 vs. Baylor Bears
CBSSports.com's Andy Glockner (Jan. 17): No. 16 vs. Texas Southern (first round)
CBSSports.com's Jerry Palm (Jan. 18): No. 16 vs. No. 1 Kentucky Wildcats


Honorable Mention

Manhattan Jaspers: The Jaspers (12-7, 5-2 MAAC) is currently on a three-game winning streak in league play, and is just a game behind league favorite, Iona, in the standings.

The last time Manhattan made the NCAA Tournament was in '04.

St. Francis: The Terriers are currently below .500 overall (8-9), but their 5-1 Northeast Conference record puts them in a good spot to get the programs first NCAA Tournament bid.

For more on Bracketology, be sure to check out the SB Nation blog Blogging The Bracket. Want to track the Mid-Major teams? Visit Mid-Major Madness.

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