Philadelphia will be turned into Jersey City South as the Cinderella story of March Madness continues for the Saint Peter’s men’s basketball team Friday.
The 15th-seeded Peacocks (21-11) will face third-seeded Purdue (29-7) in the first game of the East Regional Semifinals at Wells Fargo Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:09 p.m. on CBS.
This is where the sports wagering dilemma begins and, in a reversal, the New Jersey shoe winds up on New York’s foot.
If you are physically located in the state of Pennsylvania (where the game is being played), you will have no problem making a wager on this game.
For bettors in the Garden State, home of the Peacocks, you are going to have to travel north (to New York) or south or west (to Pennsylvania) on the New Jersey Turnpike or Garden State Parkway to make a wager on this particular matchup.
College Betting and New Jersey, New York
In the Garden State, you can bet on college basketball, just not on any in-state teams that are involved. So during the magical start of this tournament and during the Peacocks’ run, you couldn’t place any bets on Saint Peter’s or two other New Jersey schools that made the tournament: Seton Hall and Rutgers.
New York sports betting has the same college sports wagering regulation as its neighbor, as it also prohibits in-state wagering on their collegiate teams.In New York, though, you can bet on a college game played in, say, Madison Square Garden, as long as an in-state team is not participating. You can’t bet on any collegiate events being played in New Jersey.
Here lies the silver lining: For a few years before New York had launched sports betting back in January, New Yorkers would have to make the trip via car, PATH train or ferry to get to New Jersey to make a legal sports wager, which would cost time and money.
Now, New Jerseyans are going to have to do the same exact thing if they want to make a wager on or against Saint Peter’s on Friday.
The good thing is Jersey City is just a short PATH train to New York via Journal Square, Grove Street, Newport and Exchange Place (just one stop) PATH stations or via ferry terminals from Paulus Hook (Jersey City), Lincoln Harbor and Port Imperial (Weehawken), Hoboken and Edgewater.
How many will do that? It is uncertain, but we will have a better idea after the tournament is complete as official numbers of transactions in New Jersey and New York get released via geolocation data companies.
How ‘Bout Those Peacocks?
There always is a Cinderella story in March Madness and this year the slippers fit the Peacocks of St. Peter’s.
St. Peter’s qualified for the NCAA Tournament by winning the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Tournament.
A second seed in the MAAC, the Peacocks beat Fairfield (77-63), Quinnipiac (64-52) and took care of another New Jersey school, Monmouth, in the final 60-54.
On the first full day of the NCAAs, St. Peter’s jolted college basketball by falling behind and bouncing back several times, then going ahead to stun No. 2 seed Kentucky in overtime, 85-79. Two days later, the Peacocks beat Murray State, 70-60, and were off to the Sweet 16.
St. Peter’s is coached by Shaheen Holloway, a former Seton Hall player. Many have speculated that, following the NCAAs, Holloway will become the coach at his alma mater.
For the best sites to bet on college basketball, check out EmpireStakes.com.
JERSEY VOTERS SAY NO
Last November, Garden State residents voted against allowing in-state college sports betting on teams or events held in the state. More than one million people (1,055,709, 56.64%) voted no to the ballot question and 808,321 (43.36%) voted yes.
Voters weighed in on this referendum question:
At the time, many questioned the lack of publicity efforts to educate the public on the referendum by supporters of the bill and sports betting companies that currently operate in New Jersey.
Last June, the state Assembly passed SCR133 — with Assembly Concurrent Resolution 200 — to allow sports betting on in-state college teams and in-state college tournaments and events by a vote of 70-4.
New Jersey has had legal sports betting since 2018, and residents can wager on college sports on teams not in New Jersey and events held outside the state.
If there is no change in the legislation, bettors also will be affected when the NCAA men’s basketball tournament comes to the Prudential Center in downtown Newark in March 2025, with Seton Hall tapped to be the host school.
The event will mark the first East Regional at the Prudential Center since 2011, when No. 4 Kentucky defeated No. 2 North Carolina in the Region Final.
Safe trips, everybody!