Well, here we are in the throes of another anticipated March Madness and if you were holding your breath on the St. John’s Red Storm making the tournament then better luck next season. At the time of writing this article, the Johnnies are getting ready to play DePaul in the Big East tournament on Wednesday, March 9th.
Where did it all fall apart? In retrospect, there are so many moving parts in a basketball program so it’s difficult to put your finger on one cause for a relatively disappointing season. St. John’s currently sits as the seventh seed in the Big East and mathematically they are not out of the running for the NCAA postseason yet but they have to win tonight against DePaul. Win and you move on and your hopes still stay alive. The Red Storm currently are 16-14 overall but 8-11 in Big East play and have recently dropped their last games including a big loss to Marquette 85-77 last Saturday to close out the regular season. All is not lost – or at least we will find out by late Wednesday night.
Of course, there is still the possibility of moving on to the NIT and some sort of redemption. I sound like a nay-sayer but the odds of St. John’s moving on to win the Big East and qualify for the NCAA tournament is going to be a challenge to say the least. The NIT, on the other hand, is an achievable goal and it’s certainly better than sitting home and waiting until next season. Remember, even NIT winners still get to hoist up a major trophy from a tournament that’s been around for a long time. Right now it’s about respect – for themselves, for their opponents and for the tournament selection process. Winning a lot of your basketball games consistently throughout the regular season is still the sure-fire way to get into March Madness but winning at the critical moments can be just as productive. Starting tonight is the critical moment for the St. John’s men’s basketball program to redeem the 2021-22 season. Stay tuned. . . .
postscript: The Red Storm took out a season’s worth of frustrations on the DePaul Blue Demons Wednesday night in a 92-73 drubbing. If the Johnnies would have played the whole season like they did at the end of the first half tonight, who knows what their ranking would be right now? On to Villanova and tougher challenges but there’s a time to hit your stride and St. John’s looks like they just might have a chance to change things around.