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News, thoughts and more from the world of college sports across the nation and Long Island.

Steve Lavin's NCAA express stalls

St. John's Rysheed Jordan hits for two in

(Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy)

For the past month, St. John's has been one of the hottest teams in college basketball. The Red Storm rose like a phoenix from the ashes of its 0-5 start in Big East play to win nine of its next 10 to climb into firm contention for an NCAA Tournament bid.

But momentum only is as good as your last game, and in this case, coach Steve Lavin’s team has come crashing back to earth with two straight...

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Steve Lavin builds St. John’s NCAA resume

St. John's head coach Steve Lavin watches his

(Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy)

          If St. John’s had been able to squeeze past No. 9 Villanova Saturday at Wells Fargo Center, the Red Storm probably could have punched their ticket to the NCAA Tournament. But even after their 57-54 loss, Steve Lavin expressed confidence in his team’s ability to build a resume strong enough to meet the criteria used by the Selection Committee.

         ...

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Steve Lavin averts disaster

St. John's Sir'Dominic Pointer celebrates after getting fouled

(Credit: AP)

As victories go, St. John’s 77-76 squeaker over Seton Hall Thursday night at Carnesecca Arena wasn’t exactly a confidence booster. It could have been. The Red Storm had a 15-1 run to build 65-48 lead with exactly nine minutes remaining.

But instead of easing across the finish line at the end of a blowout, the ending was a torturous litany of mistakes and misplays that have characterized the...

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Steve Lavin: Fewer threes, please

Orlando Sanchez poses for a portrait at the

(Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy)

The box score sometimes offers a blueprint for how a game went beyond the final score. That was the case for St. John’s 73-57 victory over Wagner in its home opener Friday night at Carnesecca Arena.

The one figure that jumped off the page like a red warning light was the Red Storm’s 0-10 shooting from three-point range. That means St. John’s (1-1) is 2-for-23, which is 8.7 percent, for the...

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St. John’s warms up for Wisconsin

St. John's guard Sir'Dominic Pointer reacts next to

(Credit: AP Photo Joe Raymond)

No one will mistake Division II Humboldt State as a credible sparring partner for St. John’s, but if nothing else, the Red Storm got an ego boost and worked up a good sweat as it pounded the Lumberjacks, 106-39 Monday night at Carnesecca Arena.

The final tuneup for Friday night’s season opener against Big Ten power Wisconsin in Sioux Falls, S.D. went far more smoothly than Saturday’s nail-biting...

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Orlando Sanchez vs. NCAA: The 3:38 year

Dominican Republic's Orlando Sanchez, left, dribbles around Cuba's

(Credit: AP)

No matter how many times the NCAA reviews the eligibility case of St. John’s forward Orlando Sanchez, it keeps coming to back to the same conclusion – under a rule that says any organized basketball activity after the age of 21 constitutes a year of eligibility, the three-minute, 38-second appearance Sanchez made with the Dominican Republic national team in 2010 counts as one full year.

In...

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