Tourney Chances Up In The Air


After going 1-3 in their last four contests and having their tournament hopes slightly derailed, the St. John’s men’s basketball team hopes to get back on track against South Florida on Wednesday night.

Head Coach Steve Lavin will make his return to the hardwood after missing two games after the passing of his father, Albert “Cap” Lavin.

“Although the circumstances weren’t, it was nice to be with all my siblings and my mother together, but it is good to get back here and back with my team,” Lavin said.

While on leave, Lavin was forced to leave his team to face Syracuse and Louisville on the road – probably the most grueling pair of back-to-back games that the Johnnies had to deal with this season.

Both the Johnnies and Bulls are both coming off losses to Louisville; St. John’s fell at Louisville last Thursday while USF suffered a home loss to the Cardinals on Sunday.

The Red Storm need to finish their last five games strong if they hope to make it into the tournament while South Florida is hoping to play spoiler and record only their second Big East victory of the season.

Statistically, this is a good matchup for the Red Storm but Sir’Dominic Pointer isn’t taking USF lightly.

“Anybody can beat anybody, we lost to Georgetown twice and they beat Georgetown,” Pointer said.

In addition to their tournament dreams, St. John’s would undoubtedly like to avenge the loss suffered at USF last season when they were beat by 15.

However, this Bulls team is not the same as it was a year ago, posting only a 10-15 record. Barring a miraculous Big East Championship victory, USF will not be playing in the tournament, but they will be looking to play spoiler for
St. John’s.

St. John’s currently sit at 15-10(7-6) with five games remaining before the Big East Tournament. Statistically, Big East teams with (post-tournament) 17 wins make the tournament 80% of the time. As the wins rise so does the percentage of going to the dance – 18 wins is a 85% chance, 19 is 90% and 20 is 97%.

This means that out of their five remaining games, the Johnnies do not necessarily have to win-out, a good thing considering three of the teams they are set to face are currently ranked.

“We could lose and still have a shot,” said point guard Phil Greene. “But we’re just looking at every game one by
one and hoping we win.”

The game will be played at Carnessecca arena at 7 pm and the first 4000 fans will receive a Lou Carnessecca