Big East Tournament Set as St. John's Still Has Work To Do | 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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Friday / July 12.
  • Big East Tournament Set as St. John’s Still Has Work To Do

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    NCAA Basketball: St. John's at LouisvilleBy JOSH NEWMAN
    Special to ZAGSBLOG

    The bracket for the 10-team Big East Tournament is finalized and when No. 5 seed St. John’s walks on to its home floor at Madison Square Garden on Thursday afternoon for its quarterfinal, it will do so while on the NCAA Tournament bubble.

    Picked to finish fifth in the Big East in the preseason, the Red Storm did just that and will square off against No. 4 seed Providence on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. Both sides have little room for error in their quest to get to the NCAA Tournament. The loser may have to start thinking about the NIT, while the winner would either be in good standing or should be one more win away from going dancing.

    St. John’s moved to 20-11 overall and 10-8 in the Big East on Saturday afternoon with a 91-90 double-overtime win at Marquette, a game it led by six with 11 seconds to go in regulation before coughing up the lead. The Johnnies closed the regular season by winning 10 of 13 after an 0-5 start to conference-play.

    “I’m proud of of our guys for coming into this hostile environment and having the toughness and resourcefulness to pull out a double-overtime victory,” St. John’s head coach Steve Lavin said. “This team has been through so many challenges both on and off the court so it’s nice to see the kids accumulate wins they deserve. This victory is an indication of how much we’ve matured as a basketball team.”

    The Big East Tournament will open on Wednesday evening with No. 8 seed Seton Hall taking on ninth-seeded Butler. That will be a rematch of a game played Saturday, won by the Bulldogs, 71-54, at Hinkle Fieldhouse. The winner gets No. 1 seed and regular-season champion Villanova in Thursday’s first quarterfinal at noon.

    Wednesday’s other first-round game will be No. 7 seed Georgetown, which also enters the week on the bubble, taking on No. 10 seed DePaul at 9:30 p.m. The winner there gets National Player of the Year candidate Doug McDermott — who dropped a career-high 45 points in an 88-73 win over Providence¬†and No. 2 seed Creighton on Thursday at 7 p.m.

    The top six seeds receive byes to the quarterfinals, where the only matchup already known other than St. John’s-Providence will be No. 3 seed Xavier and No. 6 seed Marquette. The game will be the 9:30 p.m. nightcap on Thursday.

    Thursday’s winners are through to Friday night’s semifinals at 7 and 9:30 p.m., respectively, while the final will be Saturday night at 8:30 p.m. All games will be broadcast nationally on Fox Sports 1.

    Follow Josh Newman on Twitter

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