St. John's releases Big East schedule, will open at Villanova

Steve Lavin's young group still has limited experience, but one year under their belts makes them better prepared for the rugged Big East.

With the dates of all St. John's Red Storm games now released (with tentative times until we get final confirmation), we all can plan our late-autumn and winter schedules. Yes, we promise there will still be a night or two for you to take your significant other out for dinner and a movie.

In July, the Johnnies disclosed its 2012-13 non-conference opponents. But we all know when the season actually begins. When your upcoming games are against some combination of Georgetown, Louisville, and Pittsburgh or Cincinnati, Notre Dame, and Connecticut, college basketball has truly commenced.

We can tell you who St. John's is playing, when they're playing them, and where the game will take place.

More, below the fold.

[see full Big East Schedule from Bigeast.org]

The Red Storm - and the team's five returnees and seven newcomers - will begin the Big East season on January 2nd down in Philadelphia against the Villanova Wildcats. The game will be played at 8pm, most likely on the Villanova campus at the cramped Pavilion. A year ago, the underachieving Wildcats stole a close one from the young Johnnies at the Garden, 79-76.

St. John's will continue its opening road trip by traveling out to Cincinnati on January 5th. The last time the Red Storm visited the Bearcats, Moe Harkless' last second tip-in gave St. John's its first Big East win of the season. Mick Cronin is expected to once again assemble a nationally-contending squad, led by guard Sean Kilpatrick, this season.

Next, St. John's will come home for a three-game homestand. Mike Rice's improving Rutgers Scarlet Knights will come to New York on January 9th for a metropolitan clash. Three days later, the rival Georgetown Hoyas come to town for an unusual 11am start, to be televised nationally on ESPN2. The homestand concludes with a battle against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on January 15th.

All three games will be played at the World's Most Famous Arena, Madison Square Garden.

The Johnnies will then travel west to Chicago, where Oliver Purnell's DePaul Blue Demons will await them on January 19th. Cleveland Melvin will be the star on a DePaul team that could be much better than most fans are used to. On January 23rd, St. John's will visit the RAC for the first time since last year's demoralizing loss to close out the season.

January will conclude with two home games, one at the Garden and the other on campus at Carnesecca Arena. The Seton Hall Pirates will come to the Garden on the 27th, providing an opportunity for their fans to make the easy commute across the river to see their team. DePaul comes to Queens the following Wednesday night.

St. John's will make a quick trip down the Washington, D.C. to play Georgetown at the Verizon Center on February 2nd before returning home. The UConn Huskies, who are ineligible for all postseason play including the conference tournament, will come to New York on Wednesday, February 6th.

[official .pdf of the St. John's schedule]

The Johnnies toughest stretch may come next, when they travel to the Carrier Dome and the KFC Yum! Center in succession to play Syracuse and Louisville, two of the nation's best teams. The trip to upstate New York will be the Red Storm's last in Big East play, as Syracuse plans to move to the ACC for the 2013-14 season.

St. John's returns home to play the South Florida Bulls at Carnesecca Arena on February 20th. Stan Heath's Bulls received their first NCAA Tournament bid a year ago since joining the Big East in 2005, and will return a lot of talent.

Pittsburgh will come to Madison Square Garden on Sunday, February 24th. The Panthers beat St. John's twice last year, which included ending the Red Storm's disappointing 2011-12 season last March in the first round of the conference tournament.

The Red Storm's final road trip will take them north to Providence to play Ed Cooley's Friars at the Dunkin Donuts Center on March 2nd. They will then go to South Bend on March 5th for their second meeting with Notre Dame.

The eighteenth and final Big East regular season game will take place back at the Garden, when the Johnnies welcome the Marquette Golden Eagles. Though Buzz Williams loses both Darius Johnson-Odom and Jae Crowder to the NBA, you can bet he will have his team restocked as always.

Rumble in the Garden will have review coverage of last season, and what to look forward to this season in the days ahead.

What are your initial reactions to this year's conference schedule? Does it favor St. John's?

Date
Team
Location
W
L
Pom rk
Time
11/01/2012
Sonoma State (exh)
Carnesecca
17
11
--
11/06/2012
Concordia (ILL) (exh)
Carnesecca
10
16
--
11/13/2012
Detroit
Carnesecca
22
14
120
2:00 PM
11/15/2012
Coll of Charleston
TD Arena, Charleston
19
12
161
5:00 PM
11/16/2012
Murray State/ Auburn
TD Arena, Charleston
11/18/2012 TBD
TD Arena, Charleston
11/21/2012
Holy Cross
Carnesecca
15
14
227
11/24/2012
Florida Gulf Coast
Carnesecca
15
17
170
11/29/2012
South Carolina
Carnesecca
10
21
155
7:30 PM
12/04/2012
San Francisco
War Memorial Gym
20
14
139
12/08/2012
Fordham
Madison Square Garden
10
19
273
12/15/2012
St. Francis
Barclay's
15
15
215
12/21/2012
UNC-Asheville
Carnesecca
24
10
117
average
16.7
15.1
177
Date
Big East Team
Location
W
L
BE W
BE L
Pom Rk
Time
01/02/2013
Villanova
Pavillion
13
19
5
13
78
8:00 PM
01/05/2013
Cincinnati
Fifth Third Arena
26
11
12
6
26
4:00 PM
01/09/2013
Rutgers
Madison Square
14
18
6
12
119
7:00 PM
01/12/2013
Georgetown
Madison Square
24
9
12
6
13
11:00 AM
01/15/2013
Notre Dame
Madison Square
22
12
13
5
39
7:00 PM
01/19/2013
DePaul
AllState Arena
12
19
3
15
144
12:00 PM?
01/23/2013
Rutgers
RAC
14
18
6
12
119
7:00 PM?
01/27/2013
Seton Hall
Madison Square
21
13
8
10
57
12:00 PM?
01/30/2013
DePaul
Carnesecca
12
19
3
15
144
9:00 PM
02/02/2013
Georgetown
Verizon Center
24
9
12
6
13
4:00 PM
02/06/2013
Connecticut
Madison Square
20
14
8
10
37
7:00 PM
02/10/2013
Syracuse
Carrier Dome
34
3
17
1
6
1:00 PM
02/14/2013
Louisville
KFC Yum! Center
30
10
10
8
15
9:00 PM
02/20/2013
South Florida
Carnesecca
22
14
12
6
48
7:00 PM?
02/24/2013
Pittsburgh
Madison Square
22
17
5
13
63
12:00 PM?
03/02/2013
Providence
Dunkin Donuts
15
17
4
14
124
8:00 PM?
03/05/2013
Notre Dame
Joyce Center
22
12
13
5
39
7:00 PM
03/09/2013
Marquette
Madison Square
27
8
14
4
18
2:00 PM

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