The Knicks aren’t the only basketball team in town that’s getting New Yorkers excited.
After years of mediocrity, St. John’s University is boasting one of the top men’s hoops teams in the nation — and with the Big East tournament starting tomorrow, they may just be getting started.
City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D- Astoria) is a St. John’s alumnus and said the team’s incredible run — including a 7-1 record to finish the season — is great for the city, especially because of the dearth of high-profile college sports in the area.
“I think of St. John’s not as my team because I went there or as Queens team because the campus is there,” he said. “St. John’s is New York City’s college basketball team. This team has created a great deal of excitement this season. And when St. John’s does well, I think that New York City does well.”
Ranked No. 15 nationally, the Red Storm are a lock to make the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2002.
“A year ago, the Knicks and St. John's were both not very good, and the city was starving for good basketball,” said Bill Brusca, 22, a St. John’s senior from Flushing. “In a matter of only a year, this city is completely rejuvenated by the success of the Knicks and St. John's.”
They finished the season tied for third in the Big East with a 12-6 conference record (20-10 overall), securing the fifth seed for the tournament. After a first round bye, they’ll play their first tournament game on Wednesday at 2 p.m. against either Seton Hall or Rutgers at Madison Square Garden.