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Pregame: St. John's vs Columbia - TV info, game notes, preview

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Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sport

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Saturday, December 28, 2013
When: 2:30 PM Eastern
Columbia Lions (7-5) vs St. John's (8-3)
Pomeroy Rank: St. John's: 56 | Columbia: 131
Barclays Center (Capacity: 17,732)
Where: Brooklyn, NY
TV: Fox Sports 1 | Fox Sports Go online
Radio: WFAN 660
Line: 10, St. John's

St. John's finishes the pre-conference play season with an intriguing tuneup against the Ivy League's Columbia Lions at the Barclays Center. (There is one more non-conference matchup, against Dartmouth, on January 18.)

Words of warning were issued in the pregame Q and A with Big Apple Buckets, and we answered questions for that site. Of note:

The Lions just haven't beaten any of the hard teams they've played this season. They lost to Manhattan by 1-point at home in dramatic fashion, they hung tough with Michigan St. in East Lansing, lost at Elon in overtime, etc. If they had gotten one of those to go their way this is probably a slightly different story...

The three-point shooting numbers are for real. Four players on the team with at least 20 attempts are shooting 38% or better. Smith has the luxury of picking - and feeding - the hot hand between Meiko Lyles (38%), Maodo Lo (50%), Grant Mullins (41%) and Alex Rosenberg (48%).

St. John's two point defense - powered by the size of Chris Obekpa, Orlando Sanchez, JaKarr Sampson and Sir`Dominic Pointer - is unquestionable stout. Can the perimeter defense - with the returned Rysheed Jordan and the now-activated Felix Balamou - stifle the Columbia offense's stars?

Of note: the Lions do not go for the offensive glass, preferring to get back on defense. How many transition/ early-offense points can St. John's muster? Can they win without those points?

See also: Previewing St. John’s vs. Columbia on Big Apple Buckets.