The Hudson Valley Athletes Representing in the NCAA Tournament
The NCAA College Basketball Tournament is just like the Olympics: an opportunity for us all to sit on our couches and eat our bodyweight in chips and dip while elite athletes perform at a level that we could only dream of. If you don't yell "try harder!" at the TV with a guacamole stain on your shirt, are you even a sports fan?
This year, there's an exciting layer added to the tournament: the Hudson Valley is represented on two Final Four teams.... and one has even made it to the championship game tonight.
Beacon, NY in the NCAA Women's Tournament
Before we get to tonight's huge matchup between UNC and Kansas (and the homegrown talent that will be in the starting five), Beacon's Lauren Schetter deserves a shoutout. Schetter, Pace University's top scorer, helped lead the Setters to the NCAA DII Elite Eight against the top-seeded North Georgia Nighthawks. Although they failed to advance against the 'Hawks, it was Pace's first appearance in the Elite Eight in over two decades.
Ossining, NY in the Final Four
The biggest game of the tournament may turn out not to be the final game, but the Final Four matchup between storied rivals UNC and Duke. The two teams have one of the biggest rivalries in all of sports, but had never met in the tournament before Saturday night. On the court for Duke? Ossining, NY's own AJ Griffin. Ossining is definitely lower-Hudson Valley, but still! Griffin made the ACC All-Freshman Team but was limited to 6 points in their Final Four loss to North Carolina. Speaking of UNC, a former High School teammate of Griffin will be representing NY in the championship game tonight.
White Plains, NY in NCAA Championship Game
AJ Griffin was born in Ossining, but went to High School at Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains, New York with R.J. Davis. Davis scored 18 points in the Tar Heel's Final Four victory that advanced them to the championship game against the Kansas Jayhawks tonight. Admittedly, White Plains is more Hudson Valley-adjacent, but I'll take what we can get!
Want more Hudson Valley athletes? Check out the 2022 Olympians from our hometowns below.