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Big East Tournament 2013 game thread: St. John's vs Villanova

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The Red Storm start postseason play with a long year of experience, and emerging players finally seeing time.

Jamal Branch scored 12 points against Villanova in January, but had 4 turnovers.
Jamal Branch scored 12 points against Villanova in January, but had 4 turnovers.
USA TODAY Sports

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Wednesday, March 13th, 2013
When: 7:00 PM Eastern
St. John's (16-14, 8-10 BE) vs Villanova Wildcats (19-12, 10-8 BE)
Pomeroy Rank: St. John's: 99 | Villanova: 49
Madison Square Garden (Capacity: 19.979)
Where: New York, NY
TV: ESPN | ESPN3
Radio: Bloomberg 1130
Line: -4.5, Villanova

Nova logo

St. John's fell in a thrilling regular season finale, taking Big East co-champion Marquette to the last seconds of overtime in the loss.

And in the game, Christian Jones emerged, Marc-Antoine Bourgault got run (even if he missed a lot of shots), Jamal Branch was an active facilitator, and players moved with purpose without the ball.

Can Steve Lavin's Johnnies do it again - and do it better? Can they cause mistakes from Villanova and capitalize? Can JaKarr Sampson lead the team with a scoring performance, and get efficient help from Phil Greene IV and the returned Sir`Dominic Pointer? Can they do it against a team that will likely play more zone defense?

St. John's played the Wildcats tough in the first tilt down in Philly. Now the Johnnies get Ryan Arcidiacono, Brooklyn's JayVaughn Pinkston, and the rest of Jay Wright's crew in the friendly confines of Madison Square Garden.

The Big East Tournament, the second season, the chance to right the wrongs and make a run - to the NIT, at least, if not the NCAA. A win tonight might not get the Johnnies into the NCAA Tournament, but it could ensure at least one home NIT game, instead of forcing the Storm to take their show on the road.

Game previews/ recent posts of importance

BET pregame: St. John's vs Villanova

JaKarr Sampson, your 2013 Big East Rookie of the Year winner

Big East Tournament Preview/ Team Capsules

VU Hoops preview: 2013 Big East Tournament: Villanova vs. St. John's Preview

VU Hoops preview: St. John's & Nova: Know Your History

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