The month of March signals that college basketball will become more prominent on this country’s sports radar and afforded increased attention as the madness is already underway as several conference’s are already engaged in their postseason tournaments.
Local men’s hoop teams are completing their regular season schedules and moving towards single elimination conference tournaments. The Big East, Atlantic 10, America East, Colonial Athletic Association, Ivy, Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) and Northeast Conference all have Tri-State area schools that will be competing with aspirations, some more favorable than others, of making the NCAA field of 68.
There was a time St. John’s was a college basketball power. But the Red Storm has made only one appearance in the NCAA tournament over the past six seasons it was held. There was no postseason in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Former St. John’s great and Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Chris Mullin coached his alma mater to a First Four game in the 2018-19 campaign, losing to Arizona State in the tournament’s early stages.
Now in his fourth season as the Red Storm’s head coach, Mike Anderson, has yet to take the team to the college basketball’s major showcase. This season they are unranked at 17-13 overall and 7-12 in the Big East (8th place), and coming off of a 95-86 home defeat last Saturday to the No. 18 ranked Connecticut Huskies. The Red Storm will conclude their regular season Saturday on the road against the Marquette Warriors, the No. 6 ranked team in the country, ahead of the Big East Tournament, which will be held from March 8 to March 11 at Madison Square Garden. They’ll have to win the tournament in what would be a monumental accomplishment to make the field of 68.
A team that could win their conference tournament championship is the Fordham Rams, who are a surprising 23-6 and third in the Atlantic 10 play at 11-5 with one remaining regular season game hosting Duquesne this Saturday.