Game 22: Georgetown Hoyas (12-9, 2-6) at St. John’s (13-9, 2-7)
When: Super Bowl Sunday 1 PM
Where: The World’s Most Famous Arena (technically it’s a Garden)
Series: Red Storm leads 59-55
Last Meeting: Georgetown won 87-66 at Capital One Arena on Jan. 8
TV: CBS (Ian Eagle & Bill Raftery)
Radio: The Team 980 (Rich Chvotkin)
KenPom Rankings: Georgetown 54, St. John’s 77
KenPom Score Prediction: St. John’s 78, Georgetown 76 (55 percent)
NET Rankings: Georgetown 49, St. John’s 73
Line: St. John’s -1.5, 154 o/u
Longtime rivals Georgetown and St. John’s wrap up their season series on Super Bowl Sunday in a game with big implications on the bottom of the BIG EAST standings.
Both teams have combined for just four wins in the league and three of those wins have come against other bottom feeders. Georgetown beat St. John’s for one of its wins while the Red Storm have swept last-place DePaul.
Since that blowout win over St. John’s back on Jan. 8, expectations for Georgetown have gone down a level.
The last time I previewed this match-up Georgetown needed to win to keep their NCAA Tournament hopes alive. Three weeks later and now this game is really important for the Hoyas to win in order to stay in contention for the NIT.
Let’s show the math.
With 10 games remaining, Georgetown needs four more wins to ensure a non-losing record of 16-15 heading into the BIG EAST tournament. Five more wins, probably gets the Hoyas a second consecutive berth into the NIT at 17-14 thanks in large part to a solid schedule.
So now let me ask you, can you find a path to another four or five wins with their remaining schedule that doesn’t include a sweep of St. John’s?
I’m not sure I can.
(For those still holding out hope for Georgetown getting back into the NCAAs for the first time since 2015, well that will require a 7-3 finish although 6-4 might do it with the right combination of wins.)
As for the actual game, Bill Raftery is on the call on CBS! This game doesn’t really seem big enough for him or the network but it’s his first Georgetown game of the season so we’ll take it baby.
The Hoyas could really use another performance like they had in their first meeting. All five starters scored in double-figures, Mac McClung had 24, Jamorko Pickett had his first double-double, and Omer Yurtseven had one of his 11 double-doubles on the season.
The Hoyas led by nearly 30 at the half and went on to hold St. John’s to just 35 percent shooting for the game. L.J. Figueroa led the Red Storm with 23 points but he needed 23 shots to get there.
I’m probably most interested to see how Georgetown defends, particularly at the 3-point line should some on St. John’s get hot. I’m also looking for some Yurtseven and Qudus Wahab lineups.
Prediction: Georgetown 81, St. John’s 80 - In what has yet again become a three-team mini conference along with DePaul, Georgetown would be in good shape to avoid finishing in last place with a sweep of the Johnnies.
Note: Georgetown has never finished in last place in the league but this game, along with the DePaul series will go a long way towards figuring out seeding on Wednesday at the BET.