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Game thread: NCAA Tournament, St. John’s vs Arizona State

The spotlight’s on Chris Mullin and his Red Storm, hoping to recapture the magic they had earlier in the season, late in the evening in front of the national audience.

Wendell Cruz

We have kept it light and positive around here before St. John’s game against Arizona State University, the desert institution of 83,000 people (only about 1% of them work in adult entertainment, maybe 2%).

Let’s try not to name-call tonight, rip each other new ones, and let’s just enjoy the ride.

After all, it has to be said: yes, the Red Storm had some good wins this season. But the way they played over the last half of February, they might have been the worst team in the Big East.

When last we saw them on the court, the starters looked like this:

NCAA Basketball: Big East Tournament-Marquette vs St. John Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Rest may have helped, a new opponent might help.

Facing an Arizona State team that loves to run and enjoys early offense might help — it’s St. John’s style, and, with good energy, the Red Storm should be able to run with and disrupt the Sun Devils for stretches.

But it’s hard to discount the epic struggles this team endured on the court.

There will be a lot of points tonight, a lot of misses, and hopefully, for St. John’s sake — not a lot of fouls.

More links

Our preview: NCAA First Four, St. John’s vs Arizona State: how to watch, preview, odds

Our look at the west region, dreaming of wins: Let’s imagine a St. John’s path to the 2019 Final Four

Princeton’s coach scouts both teams (after a loss to St. John’s and a win over Arizona State): Princeton coach knows what to expect from St. John’s-Arizona St.

For more on Mullin’s recent family tragedy: Chris Mullin’s 8-day ‘roller coaster:’ From brother’s death to Selection Sunday tension

For more on LJ Figueroa’s journey: ‘I wanted more for myself’: St. John’s star’s leap of faith pays off

Chris Mullin, talking about coaching Shamorie Ponds: The electric game that brought Shamorie Ponds, Chris Mullin together

Game Information

Who: St. John’s Red Storm (21-12, 8-10 Big East regular season) vs Arizona State Sun Devils (22-10, 12-6 Big East regular season)

Where: UD Arena, Dayton, OH (cap: 13,435)

When: Wednesday, March 20, 9:10 PM

TV: TruTV | NCAA March Madness Online

Audio: 970 AM WNYM | TuneIn Radio

Odds: Opened at Arizona State, -1