2014-15 schedule update: St. John's scheduled for NIT Season Tip-Off

John Alber

St. John's lands in a prestigious bracketed tournament next season; hope to shake off the poor performance in the postseason NIT this spring.

Reportedly, St. John's will participate in next season's prestigious NIT Season Tip-Off, with the Championship Rounds on November 26 and 28 in Madison Square Garden.

Since it is a bracketed tournament; early games will be on campus sites, but St. John's will need to win those to get to the Garden.

There is no official announcement yet, but the Rumble will pass that along when the field is set and announced.

Also in the field, so far as hosts are the current NIT champion Minnesota Golden Gophers, NIT participant Georgia Bulldogs, and the Gonzaga Bulldogs, who lost in the Round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament. Also participating will be the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, 20-game winners from the Sun Belt Conference.

The Johnnies were last in the preseason NIT in 2008. They got a victory against Cornell, then lost in the next round to the one seed in the East Region, Boston College, 82-70.

There are also a few interesting possible matchups, assuming that every team that should get to MSG actually make it there.

Two number one seeds in the 2014 postseason NIT will try and make it to The Garden, SJU and Minnesota. St. John’s meeting up with Gonzaga could be a matchup to watch for - a rematch of the first of the 2010 NCAA Tournament. Gonzaga head coach Mark Few put an end to a great run by then-first year head coach Steve Lavin and his senior loaded team. That team suffered a tough loss, when DJ Kennedy went down with an injury in the Big East Tournament and wasn’t able to play.

Regardless of who they play, St. John’s will be looking to get some revenge on someone in the NIT. Whether it is Gonzaga, or the rest of the field, St. John’s should come out with a little chip on their shoulder early in the season. They had a rough end to the season - a first round of the Big East Tournament and NIT.

To add on to that, two big pieces of this team Jakarr Sampson and Chris Obekpa have left, along with the rest of their frontline due to graduation. There are rumors of new recruits coming and also of Steve Lavin working toward a contract extension.

There is a long summer ahead of us. Most people in Queens that just want to play basketball and put the rumors to rest, see what this team can do on the court.

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