ESPN has concluded its 50 in 50 series. Of course, in order to figure out the Top 50 teams the stats department had to rank every team that played at least 15 seasons of Division I basketball during that time period (309 total). The comprehensive rankings were just tweeted out by Brett Edgerton. The best New York City mid-major during the past 50 years was…
Iona, according to the study. The Gaels tied for 110th overall and were ranked second in the MAAC behind only Siena. In fact, Iona was the only New York mid-major in the top 150 of the rankings. (Note: St. John’s tied for 40th.)
The Gaels’ MAAC buddies, Manhattan are next on the list at 154th. The Jaspers are ranked fourth in the MAAC, with Rider separating the two NYC schools. Their Atlantic 10 rival in the Bronx, Fordham, is was ranked 232nd, which was only in front of Duquesne in the conference.
The lowest of the schools is a tie between Columbia (but fifth in the Ivy League) and St. Francis (NY) (eighth in the NEC) at 285th overall. Stony Brook wasn’t ranked because the Seawolves haven’t played 15 seasons of Division I basketball.
The rest of the rankings:
- Hofstra – tied for 201st, 7th in CAA
- LIU-Brooklyn – tied for 193rd, 3rd in NEC
- Wagner – 237th, 7th in NEC
I have to say, the biggest surprise for me in the rankings was seeing Fairleigh Dickinson all the way up at 180th and second in the NEC. Now that the Knights are sitting near the bottom of the standings you don’t really think of them as a power, but there was a time that FDU commanded respect. Also, Murray State has just dominated the Ohio Valley Conference.