So what exactly does St. John’s win over Connecticut do for them? In the big picture, it puts the program in the national spotlight, it will help on the recruiting circuit and it just gives the squad a huge confidence boost.
Just for this season, it should secure a seed somewhere in the 3 to 6 range. A three seed would happen if the Red Storm, a 63-54 winner over West Virginia on Tuesday night, wins the Big East tournament or makes it to the final.
To earn a seed in the 4 to 6 range all the Red Storm (19-8, 11-3 Big East) probably needs to do is finish the season strong –they have games against Villanova and Georgetown to end the regular season– and get at least one win in the Big East tournament.
One of the biggest keys to getting ahead in the NCAA Tournament is good seeding. In its previous three NCAA appearances, St. John’s was seeded somewhere in the seven to 10 range. In each case the Red Storm won its first-round game, but would face the first or second seed in the region in the second round.
They have yet to get past the second round. Last year the Red Storm was a nine seed and beat No. 8 Texas Tech in the first round. Unfortunately, they got crushed by Stanford, 75-49, in the second round. And the game was in Stanford.
Winning at Connecticut, beating Rutgers twice and Louisville all but assures the Red Storm it will be seeded no lower than sixth. This is assuming they finish the regular season reasonably well and get at least one win in the Big East tournament.
With the better seed comes the added pressure of winning.
In ESPN’s latest Bracketology, Charlie Crème has the Red Storm as a sixth seed facing No. 11 Iowa State in the Ames region with a projected second-round matchup against the winner of No. 3 Ohio State vs. No.14 Idaho State.