St. John’s basketball schedules highly anticipated matchup between twins

St. John's basketball forward Julian Champagnie (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
St. John's basketball forward Julian Champagnie (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

St. John’s basketball has scheduled a highly anticipated matchup between twin brothers. 

A large majority of college basketball fans in the New York metro area have wanted to see one matchup; Julian Champagnie vs. Justin Champagnie and the St. John’s basketball program and Pittsburgh Panthers seen to be making that happen.

CBS Sports college basketball insider Jon Rothstein reported on Monday morning that the Red Storm and Panthers have agreed to play at Madison Square Garden next season in the 2021 Gotham Classic.

The 2020 version of the event was postponed due to scheduling complications related to COVID-19, but the field was originally comprised of Syracuse, LSU, Green Bay, Jacksonville State, Iona, Mercer, and Stony Brook.

However, only two games were scheduled to take place at The Garden, Syracuse vs. LSU and Iona vs. Stony Brook.

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It remains to be seen who else would be included in the field.

St. John’s has not participated in the event since it began in 2012, while Pittsburgh is 4-0 in the Gothic Classic, all games coming in 2015, including a victory over Davidson in the Showcase game.

Red Storm head coach Mike Anderson and Panthers head coach Jeff Capel are both trying to lead their teams to the NCAA Tournament this season, although Pittsburgh (9-7, 5-6 ACC) is fading down the stretch while the Johnnies (13-8, 7-7 Big East) are surging towards March Madness.

The two programs have not played since February 24, 2013, when both schools were members of the Big East Conference, and Pittsburgh has won three straight, and eight of the last nine, matchups against St. John’s.

Twin brothers ready to take center stage for St. John’s basketball, Pittsburgh

Two of the most improved players in the country include Julian Champagnie of St. John’s and Justin Champagnie of Pittsburgh.

Julian Champagnie, the younger of the twins, is the Big East’s leading scorer, averaging 19.7 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.3 blocks, and 1.4 steals per game on 44.6-percent from the field and 42.5-percent from three-point range.

Justin Champagnie is putting the Atlantic Coast Conference on notice, posting 18.7 points and 11.6 rebounds per game for the Panthers.

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However, it’s conceivable that both players will not be at their respective schools next season.

According to various mock drafts, Justin Champagnie is garnering more interest from the NBA than  Julian Champagnie as the Pittsburgh star is slotted as the No. 36 overall pick in the most recent 2021 NBA Mock Draft while the Red Storm standout is not included.

If both players opt to return to St. John’s and Pittsburgh, respectively, for the 2021-22 season the pending matchup between the two programs will be one of the most anticipated non-conference games.

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