New Jersey Ties in the NCAA Sweet 16
Photo by: Sideline Photos
This year's March Madness tournament has seen a number of standout players and teams with ties to New Jersey. From the impressive underdog runs like FDU and Princeton to standout performances, New Jersey athletes and coaches have made their mark on the competition. As the Sweet 16 kicks off today, we take a look at some of the influence New Jersey has on the competition ahead.
Isaiah Wong, University of Miami
Isaiah Wong, the shooting guard for the Miami Hurricanes basketball team, has been playing exceptionally well in the recent tournament games. In a game against Indiana, he scored an impressive 27 points, helping his team advance to the Sweet 16 round where they will face the number one seed, Houston. Wong's scoring ability was on full display as he made multiple shots from beyond the arc and was effective driving to the basket. He has also been a key contributor in other games during the tournament, demonstrating his importance to the team's success. Along with teammate Kameron McGusty, Wong has been a crucial part of Miami's offensive firepower. If he can continue his strong play, there's no doubt that he can help lead Miami to a deep tournament run.
Dan Hurley, Head Coach at UConn
Dan Hurley, the head coach of the UConn men's basketball team, has had a successful season leading his team to a long-awaited Sweet 16 return. Hurley took over the program in 2018 and has worked hard to bring the team back to its former glory. This season, he has managed to lead the team to a record of 27-8, and the Huskies have made a strong showing in the tournament so far. In the first round, they defeated Iona 87-63 and in the second round they knocked offSt. Mary's 70-55. Hurley's coaching has been instrumental in the team's success, as he has emphasized strong defense and efficient offense. He has also been able to inspire his players to play with intensity and heart, which has helped them overcome adversity and win close games. As UConn prepares to face off against the Arkansas in the Sweet 16, Hurley will undoubtedly have his team well-prepared and ready to compete at a high level.
Markquis Nowell, Kansas State
Markquis Nowell, an alum of St. Patrick's High School in New Jersey, has been a standout player for the Kansas State basketball team. In the recent game against Kentucky, Nowell's exceptional second-half performance helped lead his team to a victory and a spot in the Sweet 16 round of the tournament. Nowell scored an impressive 23 points in the second half, demonstrating his ability to take over games and make clutch shots when it matters most. Nowell's success at Kansas State comes to no surprise as he has show he is super star talent during his time at St. Patrick's High School in New Jersey. As he continues to put K-State on the map, it is clear that Nowell is the player to watch during this tournament.
Princeton Men's Basketball
After the defeat of FDU New Jersey's sole team remains in the tournament still. The Princeton men's basketball team has defied expectations and advanced to the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA tournament after a remarkable upset over the number two seed, Arizona. In a thrilling game, the team played with determination and grit, ultimately securing a 59-55 victory over their heavily-favored opponent. The win over Arizona was a significant achievement for the Princeton team, as they showed that they have what it takes to compete with the best teams in the tournament. As they continue to make their way through the tournament, there's no doubt that the Princeton men's basketball team will be looking to build on their "Cinderella run" as the #15 seed will look to make an even deeper impact on the NCAA tournament.
Jahvon Quinerly, Alabama
As a prominent figure in New Jersey basketball, we can't help but be excited for Jahvon Quinerly's impressive performance thus far. Quinerly has been a key player for Alabma throughout the tournament, consistently providing scoring, playmaking, and leadership on the court. His ability to create scoring opportunities for his teammates and knock down shots from beyond the arc has been crucial to our success. Coming off of a tough injury, JQ had to battle all season to stay healthy and get his team where they are today. Additionally with the rise of Brandon Miller and Noah Clowney, Quinerly has seen his role take a back seat as he played his lowest minutes per game this season since transferring into Bama. However don't let that fool you as he is as productive as ever when he is on the floor. Last game he scored 22 points help his team secure a spot in the Sweet 16 and we look forward to seeing him do it again.
Nick Boyd, Florida Atlantic University
Nick Boyd, a standout basketball player for Florida Atlantic University (FAU), has played a crucial role in the team's impressive run in this year's NCAA tournament. Hailing from New Jersey and a graduate of St. Mary High School in Rutherford, Boyd has showcased his skills on both ends of the court, providing scoring, rebounding, and tenacious defense for FAU. Although he is not the superstar just yet, he has been given solid minutes during this tournament and putting his well-rounded skills to use. As FAU prepares for their next opponent in the tournament, there's no doubt that Boyd will continue to give his all on the court and help lead the team to even greater success.