NYC College Basketball Hits Low with Columbia, Fordham, and Manhattan Struggling

Sam BlumCorrespondent IFebruary 20, 2010

RALEIGH, NC - MARCH 20:  Jason Wingate #5 of the Manhattan Jaspers moves the ball during the second round game of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at the RBC Center on March 20, 2004 in Raleigh, North Carolina. The Demon Deacons won 84-80.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

New York has been known for years as the mecca of college basketball. Local high schoolers dream of one day playing for the teams that they have grown up watching. Now, however, things are changing.

Out of the seven local teams, only one school has a winning overall record, while some schools like Fordham and Wagner haven't even hit five total wins.

For former big-time programs like Manhattan and Fordham, the losses spell the area's inconsistency and failure to maintain what was once greatness.

In the 1970-71 season, Fordham posted a 26-3 season record and made it to the second round of the NCAA tournament. Now the Rams see themselves at 2-22, having won just five games in nearly two years.

For the Jaspers of Manhattan, failure has come quick. They were tops in the MAAC conference in 2004 and were a New York favorite. They reached the NCAA tournament second round that season and had numerous games at Madison Square Garden. Now they find themselves in second-to-last with a 4-11 conference record.

Columbia hasn't been a great team in recent history; however, compared to the school's success in the prior years, its struggles are hard on the fans. They are now one of the worst teams in a strong Ivy League conference and have fewer than 10 wins to boast.

New York is home to three Northeast Conference teams. St. Francis of New York has had a good year, but it hasn't gotten the clutch wins to keep itself in the running for a conference championship.

Long Island University has had the same problem after starting conference play at 5-0. The Blackbirds are the only team to beat Robert Morris, but recent struggles have kept them from doing that well in the conference.

Wagner is having a horrible year, sitting at just four wins. The Seahawks are the only team to lose to Bryant (1-26) this year. 

St. John's out of the Big East isn't having the spectacular year everyone was expecting. The Red Storm have a few good wins including Louisville, Temple, Siena, and Notre Dame, but losses to Rutgers and Seton Hall might do them in come march.

So although it looks like no local teams are going anywhere come March, the season is far from over.

Columbia has been eliminated from postseason play because of the fact that the Ivies are without a conference tournament. Wagner and Fordham don't look like they are going anywhere. However, a decent end to the regular season might be a big boost to teams like St. Francis, St. John's, LIU, and Manhattan, who all will be part of their conference tournaments as it looks right now.