After nine years of riding an emotional roller coaster, St. John's will finally take its spot among college basketball's elite once again; a place that could best be described more as "reserved" than "usurped." The Red Storm will learn their fate in approximately 15 minutes as the 21-11 Johnnies make their return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2002, looking for their first victory in the Big Dance since Mike Jarvis patrolled the sidelines on the corner of Union and Utopia back in 2000.
"I know that our body of work speaks for itself," head coach Steve Lavin said moments ago in an interview with CBS' studio team anchored by Greg Gumbel. When asked how the loss of senior D.J. Kennedy due to a torn ACL would affect his team moving forward, Lavin mentioned that it could "end up being a motivating factor" for this team as they look to advance deep into the field of 68. St. John's is one of four local teams in the tournament this year, joining conference champions Long Island, St. Peter's and Princeton.
St. John's may have to wait just a little longer in regard to who their opponent will be if they are announced as a 5 seed, as the Red Storm may potentially face a team coming off a play-in game in the new "First Four" round to be contested Tuesday and Wednesday. Various bracket projections list St. John's as anywhere from a low 4 seed to a high 6 seed, and the possibilities of who they will take the court against are still endless for another few minutes.