So says Dick Weiss at the New York Daily News, who notes that LaSalle, Temple, St. Joseph’s and Penn all have good basketball teams this year, and laments that the Big Apple doesn’t embrace college ball the way Philly continues to do:
It doesn’t matter whether they are playing in front of crowds of 4,000 in college gyms or 20,000 at Wells Fargo, they will always lay it on the line. The formation of the Big Five in 1956 created a parity among local teams that has lasted for close to 60 years. Unlike New York City, this is one of the few cities where the NBA has never trumped the college game.
New York City has become a Knicks town and it is quickly becoming a Nets town, too, now that that franchise has taken up residence in Brooklyn. Fordham, Manhattan and Iona have all had their moments in the past, but almost all of the interest in the city college hoops revolves around St. John’s. The Johnnies are the barometer of how the city views college basketball and interest peaked with a Final Four appearance in 1985. … Beyond that, sadly, no one embraces college basketball in this town the way fans have 90 miles south of Manhattan.
Hey! That’s one thing we don’t have to feel inferior to New York about!