St. John’s basketball: Johnnies making inroads to NCAA Tournament

St. John's basketball forward (Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports)
St. John's basketball forward (Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports) /

The St. John’s basketball team is trending towards the NCAA Tournament. 

It has been two weeks since the the college basketball season started and the St. John’s basketball team seems to be on an upward trend to the NCAA Tournament.

In his early season bracket update, ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi has the Johnnies in the Field of 68 after not including the Red Storm in his offseason bracket.

St. John’s is currently in the “Last Four Byes” in Lunardi’s bracket, meaning St. John’s would be safely into the Round of 64 instead of having to play in the First Four once again.

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The recent bracket from Lunardi is updated to reflect St. John’s only loss of the season to Indiana as the Red Storm have won its three other games this season against Mississippi Valley State, St. Peter’s, and Fairleigh Dickinson.

St. John’s is slated as a No. 11 seed in the ESPN bracket, facing 6-seeded Michigan State in the South Region as the winner would hypothetically face No. 3 seed Baylor or No. 14 seed Liberty.

The Hoosiers are an 8-seed in the same region as Lunardi has six teams from the Big East Conference in his bracket (Villanova, UConn, Xavier, Seton Hall, Marquette, and St. John’s).

St. John’s basketball with one last chance to impactful non-conference victory

After dropping its Gavitt Game against Indiana, St. John’s only has one major non-conference opportunity left and it comes next week on December 3 against the No. 4 Kansas Jayhawks in the Big East vs. Big 12 Challenge.

Kansas is a No. 1 seed in Joe Lunardi’s most recent NCAA Tournament projections.

ALSO READ: 5 things learned from loss to Indiana

The game will be a St. John’s home game in the new UBS Arena at Belmont Park in the first college basketball game in the venue.

Should the Johnnies drop its matchup with the Jayhawks it could mean Mike Anderson will need his team to be extremely impressive in conference play in order to make the NCAA Tournament for the first time under his watch in Queens.

In the meantime, St. John’s will host St. Francis Brooklyn on Tuesday night (7 p.m., FS2).

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