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BET First Round Preview: St. John’s vs Georgetown

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NCAA Basketball: Georgetown at St. John Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Game 30: No. 9 St. John’s Red Storm (15-16) vs No. 8 Georgetown Hoyas (15-14)

When & Where: Wednesday 7pm, Madison Square Garden

Series: St. John’s leads 57-53

Last Meeting: Jan 20, 2018 – Georgetown 93, St. John’s 89 2OT

TV: FS1 (Gus Johnson, Bill Raftery, Lisa Byington)

KenPom: St. John’s 75, Georgetown 71 (65 percent)

Line: St. John’s -4.5, 146 o/u

While so much has changed for Georgetown in the last year, the Hoyas once again find themselves matched up with St. John’s on the opening night of the BIG EAST Tournament with one final shot at extending their season.

After going just 2-8 down the stretch the Hoyas need at least one win in NYC to guarantee themselves a winning season for the first time since 2015.

While the conference gets one more Ewing versus Mullin showdown at the Garden for old time’s sake, much of the attention will center on the availability of each school’s all-league selection.

First Team BIG EAST selection Shamorie Ponds is expected to be available for the Johnnies after missing the last two games with an abdominal strain while the status of Georgetown’s Marcus Derrickson, a Second Team BIG EAST pick, is unknown. Derrickson missed the Hoyas loss at Villanova over the weekend with a sore ankle.

Georgetown swept St. John’s in dramatic fashion during the regular season. The first victory came thanks to a late Jessie Govan 3-pointer at the Garden while the Hoyas outlasted the Red Storm in double overtime in DC as Derrickson went for 27 points while Ponds had a game high 33.

So, can the Hoyas beat the same team three times in a season? Sure, but it’s going to take everything they’ve got as St. John’s has proven that they can beat literally anybody as evidenced by wins over Duke and at Villanova this season.

So what needs to happen for the Hoyas to win? Georgetown will need to limit turnovers and get something out of their guards in order to extend its season for at least another day. Jagan Mosely started for Derrickson last time out but was held scoreless in 23 minutes while Jonathan Mulmore had just 2 points on four shot attempts.

Since the league reconfigured to ten schools in 2013, Georgetown has beaten a team three times in the same season twice - Creighton in 2015 and DePaul in 2016.

The winner will face top seeded Xavier on Thursday at noon.

HOYAS NOTES

Govan needs at least 10 rebounds to keep his double-double average going for the season. Govan would be the first Georgetown player since Mike Sweetney in 2002-03 to post a double-double for the season....The Hoyas are 5-2 against St. John’s in BET play and post a 6-1 mark against 9 seeds.... Jahvon Blair needs one more 3-pointer to become the third Hoya to hit at least 50 in a season joining teammate Jamorko Pickett and Irvin Church. Both Blair and Pickett made the BIG EAST All Freshman squad....The Hoyas last beat St. John’s three times in the season season back in 1984-85 when Ewing led Georgetown to a 3-1 mark against Mullin’s Johnnies.

WEDNESDAY REGULARS

Georgetown will be playing in the first round of the BIG EAST Tournament for the third straight year and the fourth time in the five years since the league reconfigured for the 2013-14 season.

Georgetown is 1-2 in the opening round since 2014 having earned a split with DePaul to go along with the loss to St. John’s last season in former coach John Thompson III’s final game in charge.

Only the Blue Demons have appeared in more opening round doubleheaders in the new format. Only Villanova and Providence have avoided an opening round game. Here’s the list of appearances including this season:

DePaul 5

Georgetown 4

St. John’s 3

Marquette 3

Seton Hall 2

Butler 1

Creighton 1

Xavier 1

Prediction: St. John’s 83, Georgetown 80