It's not the NCAA Tournament, but it's better than nothing.

St. John's (17-15) received an at-large bid to play in the NIT. The Red Storm will travel to Memphis to face the Tigers (23-9) in a first-round game on Wednesday at 9 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2.

Junior guard Paris Horne is raring to go.

"I'm excited. I'm pumped," he said. "I'm ready to go play now."

Not making the NCAA Tournament was a disappointment, but Horne is aware of St. John's rich NIT history.

"Everybody wants to make the [NCAA] Tournament, but this is also a big tournament," Horne said. "St. John’s is known for being in the NIT and winning it, so I think we can make history again."  

We realize St. John's fans and alumni may not be impressed. But considering the heat Norm Roberts has been under, this could be the break the program needs to get over the hump. There were reports out there that said Roberts would be out after St. John's loss to Marquette in the Big East tournament.

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Georgia Tech's Paul Hewitt and Seth Greenberg of Virginia Tech were named as possible replacements. But Georgia Tech made the NCAA Tournament, which may prompt Hewitt to stay. And Greenberg, although a good coach, has been to one NCAA Tournament in six years as coach at Virginia Tech.

St. John's joins four other Big East squads -South Florida, Seton Hall, Cincinnati, UConn- in the field.

 Photo credit: Getty Images