Preview: Villanova @ St. John's
NEW YORK, NY--A deja vu moment occurred last night at Madison Square Garden, as a fight broke out on the court between some Johnnies and Hoyas. Jaw dropper, it wasn't the players. Both coaches Chris Mullin and John Thompson III were the ones at the center of attention as both coaches were pointing fingers in each others faces over a foul call that led to a 74-73 St. John's victory over the Hoyas, which brings them to the second round of the Big East Tournament to face the #1 seeded Villanova Wildcats (28-3/15-3) at 12:00pm.
The Johnnies defeated Georgetown 74-73 in a matchup that was a nail-biter all the way to the final buzzer. "Big time win for us." Malik Ellison said in the press conference after the victory last night. The Johnnies snapped a six game losing streak in the tournament. Their last win came against their out of state rivals from the old Big East, Rutgers Scarlet Knights in 2011. The Johnnies also set a new team tournament high with seven team blocks.
Leading into the Second Round matchup for St. John's versus the defending national championship Villanova Wildcats, this is the 116th time they will meet, and the 8th time they will meet in the Big East Tournament, with the Johnnies leading that series 4-3 all time. Last time around versus Jay Wright's Wildcats, St. John's lost the previous meeting in February by a whopping 13 points at Madison Square Garden, 92-79.
Villanova won the 2016 NCAA National Championship last year on a game winning three-point shot from Kris Jenkins versus Roy Williams' UNC squad. In 2017, Villanova has won its fourth consecutive Big East regular season title after going 15-3 in conference play throughout. The Red Storm will have issues defending the shots from downtown, as they have struggled all season long when the opponent shoots threes. They cannot reciprocate the work that they play. Which will now be a major problem, because Villanova ranks #4 in the Big East in 3 point percentage.
Potential Lineup for St. Johns Red Storm
(15) G- Marcus Lovett
(2) G- Shamorie Ponds
(0) G- Malik Ellison
(14) F- Kassoum Yakwe
(1) F- Bashir Ahmed
Potential Lineup for Villanova Wildcats
(3) G- Josh Hart
(1) G- Jalen Brunson
(4) F- Eric Paschall
(2) F- Kris Jenkins
(25) F- Mikal Bridges
The Game will be broadcast LIVE on FS1 at 12:00pm, and can listen to the game on WSJU with Joey Jarzynka and Michael Slavit with coverage beginning at 11:30am.