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With three games remaining, St. John's controls their own destiny

The Johnnies are entering the home stretch.

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

In January, St. John's lost five of eight games, lost their AP Top 25 ranking and Rysheed Jordan took a "leave of absence." It quickly seemed as if the season was spiraling out of control.

But with March right around the corner, the Johnnies have completely changed things around and the good news is the team controls their own destiny.

"We are pleased that we are moving in the right direction," Steve Lavin said. "It was a hard fought win against Xavier and we are beginning to get closer to having our full compliment of players out there at full strength. That's played the biggest part in our run."

Despite the up and down season and all the noise about his contract, Lavin has remained positive. He has had a strong opinion and has had a strong liking to this team from the beginning.

Before the season began, he said that he felt this team could make the NCAA Tournament and possibly make a run.

During the season, he continued to preach that his team was improving despite losing Big East games because of "their habits in practice" and their impressive "maturity."

The Johnnies may make the NCAA Tournament and other Big East coaches may be raving about their potential but they still have work to do as there's still a lot of basketball left to be played before the Big Dance rolls around.

The Johnnies have won two straight games and five out of six but they have a huge matchup on Saturday at Madison Square Garden against their rival Georgetown.

Emotions will be running high for St. John's on Senior Night with a chance at 20 wins on the line, but this will be no easy task. Remember, the Hoyas ran the Johnnies out of the Verizon Center a week ago by completely shutting down D'Angelo Harrison.

"We don't tell our players this game is bigger than the last game," Lavin said. "As a coach you're really consistent with your team. Certain rivalry games take on a certain significance but our approach is really the same. Teams, athletes, coaches, we are all creatures of habit."

The Red Storm have an impressive resume at this point. They have four RPI top 50 victories (sweeps against Providence and Xavier) and eight RPI top 100 victories (including a road win at Syracuse that continues to look better and better).

With opportunities left against Georgetown, Villanova and in the Big East Tournament, the dream has a chance to become a reality. But it has not come to fruition just yet and a hungry senior laden team can define themselves and their legacies in three critical weeks.