The Johnnies hope to get into the NIT Tournament with a 16-15 record, a chance to cut down the nets in Madison Square Garden.
Right now, it looks like St. John's has a solid chance to be in the NIT, per John Templon's NIT update as of last night. He has the Johnnies as a 6-seed, playing Saint Joseph's in the first round (NIT matchups tend to be regional when possible).
Don't start making plans to go to Philadelphia; with an RPI of 88 according to ESPN and 81 according to Real Time RPI, there is no guarantee that the Red Storm are in. Remember that the RPI ratings published are calculations, estimates, and we don't know exactly what numbers the selection committee is looking at.
NIT Selection Process/ Schedule
First round games: Tuesday/ Wednesday March 19/20
The NIT Selection Committee selects teams for the 2013 Postseason NIT from Friday March 15 to Sunday, March 17th.
Regular-season champion of an NCAA Division I conference not otherwise selected to the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship will secure an automatic qualification into the NIT.
Charleston Southern Buccaneers - Big South
Mercer Bears - Atlantic Sun
Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders - Sun Belt (if not selected as an at-large team by NCAA Tournament)
Niagara Purple Eagles - MAAC
Norfolk State Spartans - MEAC
Northeastern Huskies - Colonial
Robert Morris Colonials - NEC
Stony Brook Seawolves - America East
The committee then picks the best available teams to fill the 32-team NIT field. Selected teams are seeded and placed into one of four eight-team regions.
First, Second, and Quarterfinal Rounds are hosted at campus sites. The higher seeded team gets the first option to host, but if logistics don't allow for them to host (in 2010, for example, top-seeded Illinois played at #8 seed Stony Brook because their on-campus arena was hosting Cirque du Soleil), the lower-seeded team can host.
First-round games will be played March 19 + 20. Second-round games are played March 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 and quarterfinal games are scheduled for March 26 and 27.
The Championship and semifinal games of the 2013 NIT will be in Madison Square Garden - they've been there for 76 years. The quarterfinals are on April 2nd (a Tuesday) with the final on April 4th.
Comparison - St. John's and Providence's resumes
The Red Storm have solid wins over Notre Dame, Cincinnati, and Connecticut, but those wins came with the suspended D`Angelo Harrison. Without Harrison, the Johnnies are 0-4 with close losses to Providence (who should be in the NIT) and Marquette (solidly an NCAA team, co-winner of the Big East).
Will recency be an issue? Providence might be a slightly better team, but their recent wins (they won 7 of 8 at one point) were over Cincinnati, Notre Dame, Villanova, and then St. John's, Seton Hall, Rutgers, and South Florida. They're not so different in profile, but have done their winning more recently; and welcomed critical players back from injury to make their late push.
Still, the Friars lost to DePaul, Boston College, and Brown.
St. John's has UNC-Asheville and San Francisco as bad losses, and possibly Murray State.
Is the NIT worth it?
A chance to play one to five more games? A chance to rack up wins and experience? A chance to develop the bench scoring and the team's post play and rebounding? A chance to practice a few more times as a team before offseason restrictions?
A chance to play the semis and finals in Madison Square Garden, a semi-home game?
You dang skippy the NIT is worth it.