4 New Jersey teams to play in NCAA Tournament as tournament returns to normal

March Madness is back and may look like its old self once again.

News 12 Staff

Mar 14, 2022, 11:57 AM

Updated 860 days ago


March Madness is back and may look like its old self once again.
The billion-dollar tournament was held last year during the COVID-19 pandemic, but a lot was missing because of restrictions.
Last year’s tournament has limited fans, no school bands and not nearly the community celebration that helps get the teams excited.
Four New Jersey colleges have made it to the 2022 tournament – Princeton, Rutgers, Seton Hall and St. Peter’s. And this year fans will be allowed to attend the games.
This is the second year in a row that Rutgers has made the tournament.
It’s the first time since 1975 that Rutgers has received back-to-back bids. The team plays Wednesday night against Notre Dame.
“It’s always exciting when they get to go, But now it’s even more exciting because it was taken away from them first,” says Rutgers Pep Bands Director Dr. Julia Baumanis.
Princeton had its entire season taken away last year. The Ivy League shut down sports, even as most of the other conferences welcomed players back.
“It was tough like watching everybody else on TV having their season,” says Princeton junior guard Julia Cunningham.
She stepped away from school with a gap year. But at least she had pickup games.
The last two years of college have been challenging for most students because of the pandemic.
“I guess it teaches you in the long run how to deal with change, good or bad, and just move forward with it,” says Princeton senior Abby Meyers.
And she has done it, rallying to be the Ivy League Player of the Year.
The whole team has shown that spirit and is now set to face Kentucky in the NCAA Tournament.
“I think there’s been a mental challenge for everyone this year. But I think they’ve done such a great job of staying in the moment,” says Princeton women’s basketball coach Carla Berube.
The conferences make money from the tournament which often trickles down to schools.

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