The St. John’s women’s basketball team received a warm sendoff at Carnesecca Arena Friday afternoon before heading to Norman, Oklahoma for their first round NCAA matchup.
St. John’s students enjoyed food, games, and prizes as they waited for the No. 3 seed Red Storm to make their appearance.
“It’s great to see all the students come out and support a team that has accomplished so much this year,” said senior Bill Brusca, “I’m really hoping they advance so that we can head out to Fresno to cheer for them on the way to Denver.”
Following emcee Tony Luftman’s announcement of each player, the party resumed before students made a “human tunnel” from the team’s home arena to the bus that was set to deliver them to the airport for their flight.
The 22-9 Johnnies are seeded in the Fresno region and will have to go through a likely scenario of No. 14 Creighton, No. 6 Oklahoma, and No. 2 Duke if they’ll get a rematch against #1 Stanford, who ousted them a year ago.
President Barack Obama selected St. John’s to advance to the Final Four along with Baylor, Notre Dame, and UConn in his bracket.
“I’m picking for the upset,” he told ESPN’s Doris Burke, “That’s my dark-horse…I’m just going to keep on running with St. John’s here.”
When discussing who would advance to the National Championship, the President thought the Red Storm’s luck would run out, saying, “Cinderella only goes so far.”
For now, however, the Johnnies are set for their first game with #14 Creighton. The game will air Sunday at 5:00 pm on ESPN2. Students can watch the matchup in a special “picnic style” viewing party in the D’Angelo Center ballroom on campus.