The Jaspers demolished No. 3 seeded Quinnipiac, 87-68 in Sunday's semifinal round of the MAAC tournament to earn its berth in Monday's championship contest against Iona at 7 p.m.
At the very least Manhattan, which finished 15-5 in the regular-season standings and two full games behind the 17-3 Gaels, played like they'll be a most-formidable opponent for top finishing Iona.
The Jaspers' late Sunday night victory over the Bobcats sets up the tournament's championship-game meeting of New York metropolitan rivals with an NCAA berth on the line for the second straight year.
Iona held off Manhattan, 70-67, last season to be the MAAC's representative in the national championship event.
But, the Gaels, who finished fourth in last year's regular-season standings, appear even stronger this season having put up a 17-3 conference record and a 22-9 overall record.
Manhattan is now 24-7 overall.
Both teams are assuredly headed to national post-season events, but in all likelihood only one will get to the NCAA's.
Iona entered the MAAC tournament with a Ratings Percentage Index of No. 66 nationally, while Manhattan was No. 77. Both fall far from the usual range of consideration, usually no worse than in the 40's, for mid-major level teams hopeful of getting an NCAA at-large invitation.
Manhattan coach Steve Masiello, though, doesn't agree.
"We're both NCAA teams," said Masiello. "Does anyone know what the RPI is? There used to be an eye test. If anyone watched our teams play this season, they know we're both NCAA teams."
Manhattan, though, didn't play like an NCAA team in its two previous meetings with Quinnipiac, losing both games by scores of 90-86 in overtime and 81-76 in the regular-season.
"In the first two games we tried to go power to power with them," said Masiello. "We thought we coupld do that. But, tonight we just said that we'd play this one on our terms, that we'd play a speed game and we did that."
The Jaspers did just that, often using 6-foot-5 swingman Emmy Andujar at the power forward position, and Andujar responded with a 21-point performance.
The team's small forward, 6-4 George Beamon, led all scorers with 25 points.
And, the Jaspers continually beat Quinnipiac down court with its speed, as well as using that quickness edge to force 15 Bobcats' turnovers while commiting just 10.
Manhattan, surprinsingly also outrebounded the Bobcats, 37-34, even though Quinnipiac entered play here with the nation's largest rebounding advantage.
It all resulted in Manhattan getting 10 more shots than their opponents, and they made 50 percent of their shots.
"I'm really disappointed, but I hope we get an invitation to some post-season tournament ... the CIT or the CBI," said Quinnipiac coach Tom Moore of his 20-12 team. "I'd like the opportunity to coach these quality young men in another game."