St. John’s basketball: Gavitt Games in 2020 look to be officially canned

St. John's basketball head coach Mike Anderson (Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)
St. John's basketball head coach Mike Anderson (Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports) /

The 2020 Gavitt Games look to be on the verge of being canceled as the St. John’s basketball program will not participate for two seasons.

Non-conference schedules are continuing to be finalized but the 2020 college basketball season looks like it will carry one without one of the most significant events, the Gavitt Games.

Named after Dan Gavitt, the legendary head coach of Providence College and first commissioner of the Big East Conference, the games between the Big East and the Big Ten look increasingly less likely.

Over the last two weeks, multiple reports have surfaced that the yearly event looked unlikely but the conferences and schools were still trying to find a way to play the event. CBS Sports’ college basketball insider Jon Rothstein delivered the devastating blow on Wednesday afternoon.

Rothstein reported that the event will not happen in the 2020-21 college basketball season, but the two conferences are looking to resume the event in the 2021-22 campaign.

St. John’s will now be out of the event for the last two seasons as head coach Mike Anderson and the Red Storm were not slated for a game in the coach’s first season in Queens.

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The last time the Johnnies participated in the event was in the 2018-19 season when St. John’s traveled to Rutgers and came away with a 84-65 victory over the Scarlet Knights.

Prior to the coronavirus impacting the college basketball season, Director of Athletics Mike Cragg hinted at the fact that the program would be hosting the Gavitt Games this season in Carnesecca Arena against a notable opponent from the Big Ten.

However, due to the restrictions that the NCAA and their respective conferences have placed on programs this upcoming season, only local games would be feasible for the Gavitt Games, unless they were to be played in the various bubbles across the country.

St. John’s opted out of the Orlando bubble where the team was scheduled to participate in the Preseason NIT and the Johnnies will be hosting its own multi-team event in Queens to begin its 2020-21 season.

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As the program only looks to play local teams in its non-conference schedule, Rutgers seems like the only viable option if the Red Storm were to play a team from the Big Ten this year, but that appears to be an unlikely dream at the moment.

In addition to its MTE, St. John’s is slated to play Texas Tech and Sacred Heart this season leaving two more non-conferences games available to the team.