Johnnies Will Have to Win Big East Tourney to Make Big Dance | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Tuesday / June 18.
  • Johnnies Will Have to Win Big East Tourney to Make Big Dance

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    When the season began, there were high hopes for St. John’s to make the NCAA Tournament for the second time in Steve Lavin’s tenure.

    The Johnnies were picked fifth in the Big East, but at least one league coach called them the most talented team in the conference.

    Yet here we are in mid-January and the Johnnies are 0-5 in the Big East and sitting in dead last place following Thursday’s 84-83 double-OT loss to Providence at home.

    At this point, they will likely have to win the Big East tournament in March to make the Big Dance.

    With that said, no 0-5 Big East team has ever qualified for the NCAA Tournament.

    Ever.

    The good news for the Johnnies is that the Big East tournament is still two months away, giving them plenty of time to regroup and jell.

    Another piece of good news, of course, is that the Big East tournament is played at Madison Square Garden — the Johnnies’ homecourt.

    For those looking ahead, the Big East tournament  runs March 12-15 this year, meaning the Johnnies would have to win four games in four days to win the event.

    If the tournament started today, St. John’s would be the No. 10 seed and would face No. 7 on Tuesday night.

    If the Johnnies can move into the top six of the league they would only have to win three games in three days — beginning in the quarterfinals March 13.

    Butler is the other winless team in the league at 0-5.

    “I think both of those teams could get hot and snowball in the opposite direction and win five in a row,” Villanova coach Jay Wright said Friday. “They’re good enough.”

    “Once we get a good win, we’re going to shoot right off,” Lavin said, according to the Daily News.

    “Once we feel how it is to win again, the sky’s the limit. Our season is nowhere near over.”

     

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.

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