Recent results have been promising for the St. John’s Red Storm - and that glint of optimism has sent some observers into overdrive, talking about postseason play.
The Johnnies are getting a little notice nationally, now that Seth Davis in Sports Illustrated is noting the upward trajectory and good wins as part of his column.
But then, someone asked us if St. John’s really has a realistic shot at the NCAA Tournament - this, despite a team that’s 12-14 on the season, 6-7 in Big East play.
At this point, despite the recent effective play, that seems like a stretch, but that didn’t stop this bit of conjecture from the SI Live on the path to an at-large bid:
The Red Storm have a legitimate chance.
Go 3-2 the rest of the way and make to the Big East Tournament finals.
Or win four of the last five, and advance to the tourney semis.
There’s a lot more, please read the piece.
But... even with a .500 Big East record - or a 10-8 record, which would mean St. John’s goes 3-2 over their final five regular season games (@Butler, @Marquette, hosting Georgetown, @Creighton, hosting Providence).
That’s possible, and should earn the team a first-round Big East bye.
But as far as the NCAA Tournament goes, there are some bad losses (LIU, Delaware State) and some middling losses (Penn State, Old Dominion), with a strength of schedule that isn’t spectacular (around 55).
St. John’s probably needs to win the Big East’s auto-bid to reach the NCAA Tournament.
Is the NIT possible?
Let’s all see what this team does. There are a number of bubble teams - some of which might decline an NIT invite (would Indiana keep playing, for example?), but this is in the hands of St. John’s themselves. Ending the season at .500 is still possible, and in that case, some NIT observers might make the case for a surging Red Storm squad.
But it’s still a longshot.
And the team still needs to slay some dragons - on the road at Butler and/ or Marquette; finally beating Georgetown, a team that annihilated the Johnnies in the first meeting; beating Creighton in Omaha; and sweeping Providence.
That’s a tough, tough slate coming up.
How do you think the Red Storm will fare?