The New York metropolitan area has just one team in the Big Dance this year, LIU Brooklyn. And, no offense to the Blackbirds, but they’re not likely to stick around very long.
So, who should New Yorkers be rooting for during March Madness? (Besides the teams you selected in your bracket, of course.)
Here’s a look at the players with local roots in this NCAA tournament. (Only players who receive significant playing time are included.)
Kansas State (No. 8 seed, East Region)
Jordan Henriquez, a 6-foot-11 junior center from Port Chester, N.Y., averages 7.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.4 blocked shots per game for the Wildcats. Henriquez played for two years at Rice High School in Harlem, where he was teammates with Kemba Walker.
Also, Shane Southwell, a 6-foot-6 sophomore swingman from Harlem, averages 3.4 points and 2.2 rebounds in 17.3 minutes per game. Southwell also played for two years at Rice, after transferring from All Hallows.
Kentucky (No. 1 seed, South Region)
Doron Lamb, a 6-foot-4 sophomore from Queens, is Kentucky’s second-leading scorer at 13.2 points per game. Lamb is shooting 45.7 percent from 3-point range.
Freshman 6-foot-7 forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who is averaging 11.8 points and 7.6 rebounds per game, hails from Somerdale, N.J., and played for St. Patrick High School.
Long Beach State (No. 12 seed, West Region)
Edis Dervisevic, a 6-foot-8 senior forward from New York, N.Y., averages 4.2 points and 3.1 rebounds in 17.4 minutes per game for the 49ers. Dervisevic played for Our Saviour Lutheran High School.
Louisville (No. 4 seed, West Region)
Chris, a 6-foot-2 senior from Millstone, N.J., averages 10.0 points and 3.7 rebounds per game -- he’s the brother of current Knick J.R. Smith, and transferred from Manhattan College. Russ, a 6-foot sophomore from Brooklyn, averages 11.4 points per game off the bench.
New Mexico State (No. 13 seed, South Region)
Hamidu Rahman, a 6-foot-11 senior center from Somerset, N.J., averages 10.0 points and 5.9 rebounds per game for the Aggies, shooting better than 60 percent from the field.
Syracuse (No. 1 seed, East Region)
James Southerland, a 6-foot-8 junior forward from Bayside, N.Y., averages 6.6 points and 3.0 rebounds per game for the Orange. He can shoot the lights out from 3-point range, and his playing time should increase now that center Fab Melo is out for the NCAA tournament.
Vanderbilt (No. 5 seed, East Region)
Lance Goulbourne, a 6-foot-8 senior forward from Brooklyn, averages 8.9 points and 6.9 rebounds per game -- he’s the leading rebounder for the Commodores.
Also, Rod Odom -- a 6-foot-9 sophomore forward from Central Islip, N.Y. -- averages 2.4 points and 1.9 rebounds in 14 minutes per game.
West Virginia (No. 10 seed, East Region)
The Mountaineers are chock-full of talented local products, led by Kevin Jones, a first-team All-Big East performer. Jones, a 6-foot-8 senior from Mount Vernon, N.Y., is averaging 20.1 points and 11.1 rebounds per game this season.
West Virginia’s second-leading scorer is 6-foot-2 senior guard Darryl “Truck” Bryant, who is averaging 17.2 points per game. Bryant is the all-time leading scorer at St. Raymond’s High School in the Bronx.
Jabarie Hinds, a 5-foot-11 freshman, also from Mount Vernon, is fourth on the team at 7.6 points per game.
And Dominique Rutledge, a 6-foot-8 junior forward from Newark, N.J., averages 1.9 points and 2.5 rebounds in 7.3 minutes per game, but has seen more playing time of late.
Western Kentucky (No. 16 seed, South Region)
The Hilltoppers’ leading scorer is Derrick Gordon, a 6-foot-2 freshman guard from Plainfield, N.J. Gordon, who played his high school ball at St. Patrick High School, is averaging 11.8 points and 6.7 rebounds per game.
Also, Kahlil McDonald, a 6-foot-3 senior guard from Brooklyn, chips in 8.5 points per game.
UNLV (No. 6 seed, South Region)
Quintrell Thomas, a 6-foot-8 junior forward from Newark, N.J., averages 4.5 points and 3.1 rebounds in 12 miutes per game for the Rebels.
Cincinnati (No. 6 seed, East Region)
The Bearcats’ leading scorer is 6-foot-4 sophomore guard Sean Kilpatrick, from White Plains, N.Y., who averages 14.3 points per game. Kilpatrick was named to the All-Big East second team this season.
Also, Jermaine Sanders -- a 6-foot-5 freshman forward from Far Rockaway, N.Y. -- averages 1.8 points and 1.2 rebounds in 8.8 minutes per game. Sanders played for Rice High School in Harlem.
Florida (No. 7 seed, West Region)
Erving Walker, a 5-foot-8 senior guard from Brooklyn, leads the Gators in assists (4.7 apg), and is third in scoring (12.1 ppg). Walker played his high school ball for Christ the King.
Also, Mike Rosario, a 6-foot-3 junior guard from Jersey City, averages 6.8 points in 14.8 minutes per game. Rosario is in his first season with Florida, after transferring from Rutgers.
Kansas (No. 2 seed, Midwest Region)
Hoboken native Tyshawn Taylor, a 6-foot-3 senior guard, is second on the Jayhawks in scoring (17.3 ppg), and leads the team in assists (4.8 apg). Taylor played for the legendary Bob Hurley at St. Anthony in Jersey City.
Lehigh (No. 15 seed, South Region)
Justin Maneri, a 6-foot-8 senior center from Saddle Brook, N.J., averages 3.0 points and 2.1 rebounds in 11.5 minutes per game for the Mountain Hawks.
LIU Brooklyn (No. 16 seed, West Region)
The Blackbirds are based in New York, but almost all of their key players are from outside the local area.
Gerrell Martin, a 6-foot-2 freshman guard from the Bronx, averages 2.3 points in 5.4 minutes per game; Booker Hucks, a 6-foot-6 junior forward from Bay Shore, N.Y., averages 1.4 points and 1.4 rebounds in 5.2 minutes per game.
NC State (No. 11 seed, Midwest Region)
Tyler Harris, a 6-foot-8 freshman forward from Dix Hills, N.Y., averages 2.1 points and 1.2 rebounds in 7.4 minutes per game. Harris is the younger brother of Tobias Harris, formerly of Tennessee, now with the Milwaukee Bucks.
Norfolk State (No. 15 seed, Midwest Region)
The Spartans, playing in their first-ever NCAA tournament have a roster full of New York players, including leading scorer and rebounder Kyle O’Quinn (15.9 ppg, 10.4 rpg) and leading assist man Jamel Fuentes -- from Queen and Brooklyn respectively. Click here to read more.
St. Bonaventure (No. 14, seed, East Region)
Demitrius Conger, a 6-foot-6 junior forward from Brooklyn, is the Bonnies’ second-leading scorer (12.1 ppg) and rebounder (6.1 rpg). He played three seasons of high school ball at Covenant Christian Academy in Atlanta.
Also, Da’Quan Cook -- a 6-foot-8 senior forward from Elizabeth, N.J. -- averages 7.6 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. Cook began his high school career at St. Patrick High School in New Jersey, but finished at The Miller School in Charlottesville, Va.
Temple (No. 5 seed, Midwest Region)
Aaron Brown, a 6-foot-5 sophomore guard from Hackensack, N.J., averages 6.6 points and 2.1 rebounds in 14.9 points per game for the Owls.
Texas (No. 11 seed, East Region)
Vermont (No. 16 seed, Midwest Region)
Brian Voelkel, a 6-foot-6 sophomore forward from Plesantville, N.Y., scores just 4.8 points per game, but leads the team in rebounds (8.6 rpg) and assists (5.2 apg).
Voelkel played at Iona Prep in New Rochelle, N.Y., as did Sandro Carissimo -- a 6-foot-2 sophomore guard from Sleepy Hollow, N.Y., who averages 6.9 points and 2.5 assists per game.
Also, Josh Elbaum -- a 6-foot-3 sophomore from Melville, N.Y. -- averages 1.7 points and 1.5 assists in 12.9 minutes per game for Vermont.
Xavier (No. 10 seed, South Region)
The Musketeers’ star senior guard, Tu Holloway (17.0 ppg, 5.1 apg), hails from Hempstead, N.Y. Holloway was name first-team All-Atlantic 10 this year, after winning Player of the Year honors in the conference last year.
Also, Travis Taylor -- a 6-foot-8 junior forward from Union, N.J. -- averages 4.9 points and 4.0 rebounds in 15.7 minutes per game for Xavier. Taylor transferred from Monmouth, where he was a star in the Northeast Conference.