Johnnies stuns Villanova 00:01:17
St. John's overcame an early deficit, roaring back to beat Villanova, 71-65, bolstering their hopes of earning an NCAA tournament bid

LJ Figueroa scored 22 points and St. John's rallied from a 14-point deficit in the second half to stun No. 13 Villanova 71-65 on Sunday night.

The Red Storm (19-7, 7-6 Big East) were down 48-34 with 12:30 left. St. John's scored 20 of the next 25 points to take its first lead on Figueroa's 3-pointer from the corner that brought the sellout crowd at Madison Square Garden to its feet. During that run, Villanova coach Jay Wright was hit with a technical foul for arguing a call.

The teams traded the lead over the next few minutes before Figueroa hit another 3-pointer that gave the Red Storm a 58-57 advantage with 3:12 left that started an 8-0 run.

The Red Storm led 63-57 with 50 seconds left when Villanova's Phil Booth was fouled shooting a 3-pointer. He made 2 of 3 free throws to get the Wildcats within four.

That's as close as they could get as St. John's converted its free throws down the stretch. The win snapped a 12-game losing streak for St. John's against Villanova at Madison Square Garden dating back 17 years. >> Read more

Copyright 2019 by the Associated Press

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Powell talks after Wofford loss 00:01:39
Seton Hall guard Myles Powell spoke after the team's first round loss to Wofford and is proud of how his team fought all season.

Seton Hall guard Myles Powell spoke about his team's effort in their 84-68 loss to Wofford in the NCAA Tournament on Thursday and reflected on the season as a whole.

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 (John David Mercer)
(John David Mercer)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) Fletcher Magee set the Division I career record for 3-pointers, poured in 24 points and led seventh-seeded Wofford to an 84-68 victory over Seton Hall in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday night.

Magee hit seven treys against the No. 10 seed Pirates to help the Terriers to their first tournament win in five tries. Wofford also won its 21st consecutive game overall.

Magee now has 509 3-pointers in four seasons, breaking the career mark set by Oakland's Travis Bader in 2014. Duke's J.J. Redick (457), Tennessee's Chris Lofton (431) and Davidson's Stephen Curry (414) also rank in the top 10.

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Mar 20, 2019; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Seton Hall Pirates guard Quincy McKnight (0) during practice day before the first round of the 2019 NCAA Tournament at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Stamey-USA TODAY Sports (Matt Stamey)
Mar 20, 2019; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Seton Hall Pirates guard Quincy McKnight (0) during practice day before the first round of the 2019 NCAA Tournament at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Stamey-USA TODAY Sports (Matt Stamey)

Seton Hall (20-13) is in the tournament for the fourth year in a row, tying the program record for consecutive appearances. The team is an at-large selection for the third straight season.

"I'm so proud of what we accomplished and where we are," Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard said. "I'm also excited, if we play that hard (in the NCAA Tournament), I'm excited about it. I really am. That's what I told the team."

Seton Hall reached the Big East Conference tournament final last weekend, falling to Villanova by 74-72 in the title game. The league tournament gave the Pirates a sense of what they might be capable of.

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 (Rick Osentoski)
(Rick Osentoski)

St. John's was the 68th team selected in the NCAA Tournament's field of 68, and they looked the part Wednesday night as they never held a lead in a 74-65 loss to Arizona State in a First Four matchup of No. 11 seeds in the West Region. St. John's was eliminated and still hasn't won a Tournament game since 2000. >> Box score

Things to know about Wednesday's game...

1) This was the worst day for Mustapha Heron to have a nightmare of a game. The Auburn transfer had just six points after entering the game averaging 14.9 points per game for the season. Heron didn't score in the first half and finished 1-for-11 from the field with four turnovers. Early in the second half he went to the line for three free throws and missed all three attempts. Marvin Clark II did not score and finished 0-for-5 from the field after averaging 10.8 points per game during the season.

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Iona preps for showdown 00:01:01
Jeane Coakley talked to Iona Gaels senior guard, Rickey McGill, ahead of the team leaving for the NCAA Tournament to face North Carolina.

MAAC champions Iona are back in the NCAA Tournament for the fourth straight season, but as a No. 16 seed have a tall task ahead of them with a matchup against No. 1 North Carolina set for Friday in Columbus at 9:20 p.m. 

Senior guard Rickey McGill talks to SNY's Jeane Coakley about returning to the Big Dance and how they can pull off the big upset like UMBC did last year as the first ever No. 16 seed to beat a No. 1 seed in the Tournament.

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Mar 14, 2019; New York, NY, USA; St. John's Red Storm head coach Chris Mullin coaches against the Marquette Golden Eagles during the first half of a quarterfinal game of the Big East conference tournament at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Mar 14, 2019; New York, NY, USA; St. John's Red Storm head coach Chris Mullin coaches against the Marquette Golden Eagles during the first half of a quarterfinal game of the Big East conference tournament at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

St. John's is making its first NCAA appearance under Chris Mullin, the school legend who is in his fourth season as head coach, making steady improvement. St. John's last made the NCAA Tournament in 2015 and hasn't won a game in the tourney since 2000.

"It's a good step forward," Mullin said Sunday night.

"Historically, traditionally, this is where St. John's has always been. To get back to this point, I'm happy for my players first and foremost. ... Every year, we've gotten progressively better."

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St. John's ahead of play-in game 00:02:06
St. John's players Shamorie Ponds, Justin Simon, Mustapha Heron, Marvin Clark II and head coach Chris Mullin talk before their play-in game.

St. John's found its way into the NCAA Tournament but will have to do it via a play-in game on Wednesday night against Arizona State. 

Shamorie Ponds, Justin Simon, Mustapha Heron, Marvin Clark II and head coach Chris Mullins spoke on Tuesday about pressure and expectations ahead of the play-in game.

The winner of the play-in game will draw No. 6 seed Buffalo in the West Region. 

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Mar 13, 2019; New York, NY, USA; St. John's Red Storm head coach Chris Mullin coaches in front of guard Shamorie Ponds (2) during the first half in the Big East conference tournament against the DePaul Blue Demons at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Mar 13, 2019; New York, NY, USA; St. John's Red Storm head coach Chris Mullin coaches in front of guard Shamorie Ponds (2) during the first half in the Big East conference tournament against the DePaul Blue Demons at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

The NCAA Tournament is here and the New York/New Jersey area will be well represented. Here's a look at who each local team is playing and what their chances of making a run are:

Syracuse (No. 8 seed, West Region)

City/Tip time: Salt Lake City, 9:57 p.m.
Thursday TV: truTV

Tags: St. John's, Adam Zagoria
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Mar 16, 2019; New York, NY, USA; Seton Hall Pirates guard Myles Powell (13) drives to the basket against Villanova Wildcats guard Collin Gillespie (2) during the second half of the Big East conference tournament final at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Mar 16, 2019; New York, NY, USA; Seton Hall Pirates guard Myles Powell (13) drives to the basket against Villanova Wildcats guard Collin Gillespie (2) during the second half of the Big East conference tournament final at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

As one of the country's hottest teams, Seton Hall played themselves into the tournament over the final weeks of the season that included a run to the final of the Big East Tournament. 

Their NCAA Tournament fate decided, the Pirates (20-13, 9-9 Big East) now have definite answers of their fourth straight tournament appearance. 

10-seed Seton Hall will head to Jacksonville in the Midwest Regional and play 7-seed Wofford in the first round Thursday.

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Johnnies react to NCAA bid 00:02:17
St. John's head coach Chris Mullin and the Red Storm players react to the news that they are headed to the NCAA tournament

They had to hold their breaths, but St. John's is in -- barely. 

The Johnnies secured a NCAA Tournament berth Sunday as an 11-seed, but will have to play in the "First Four" round Wednesday against Arizona State in Dayton, Ohio. The winner of that matchup will earn the right to play No. 6 Buffalo in Tulsa. 

St. John's (20-12, 8-10 Big East) is coming off a blowout loss against Marquette last Thursday in the Big East Tournament. Whether they'd done enough during conference play, coupled with a relatively weak non-conference schedule, put the Johnnies squarely on the bubble entering Selection Sunday.

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Mar 14, 2019; New York, NY, USA; St. John's Red Storm forward Sedee Keita (0) and guard Justin Simon (5) and guard Shamorie Ponds (2) and forward Marvin Clark II (13) react on the bench during the second half of a quarterfinal game of the Big East conference tournament against the Marquette Golden Eagles at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports  (Brad Penner)
Mar 14, 2019; New York, NY, USA; St. John's Red Storm forward Sedee Keita (0) and guard Justin Simon (5) and guard Shamorie Ponds (2) and forward Marvin Clark II (13) react on the bench during the second half of a quarterfinal game of the Big East conference tournament against the Marquette Golden Eagles at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

After St, John's defeated then-No. 13 Villanova on Feb. 17, the only question regarding the Red Storm's NCAA Tournament future was what seed they would get. 

But after going 1-4 to close out the regular season with two losses to Xavier and one apiece to DePaul and Providence and then getting destroyed by Marquette in the Big East Tournament quarterfinals, the Johnnies are squarely on the tournament bubble heading into Selection Sunday and have to wait anxiously until early Sunday evening to see if they're going dancing.

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Kevin Willard proud of his team 00:00:53
Head coach Kevin Willard comments on Seton Hall's hard-fought loss to Villanova in the Big East final

NEW YORK (AP) - Villanova became the first team to win three consecutive Big East Tournaments, beating Seton Hall 74-72 on Saturday night behind seniors Eric Paschall and Phil Booth and key contributions from freshman Saddiq Bey.

Seton Hall star Myles Powell, guarded closely by Booth, missed a 3-pointer in the closing seconds that could have won it. Booth was called for traveling as he tried to corral the rebound, however, and the Pirates got one more chance with 0.4 seconds left. Anthony Nelson's long inbounds pass bounced off the backboard and was slapped away by the Wildcats, who got to party on the Madison Square Garden floor yet again.

The 25th-ranked and top-seeded Wildcats (25-9) were in the Big East final for a fifth straight year, and have won four of the last five championships. The only loss during that span was to Seton Hall in 2016, and Powell and the third-seeded Pirates (20-13) gave Villanova all it could handle once again.

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Mar 15, 2019; New York, NY, USA; Seton Hall Pirates guard Myles Powell (13) celebrates with guard Quincy McKnight (0) during the second half in the Big East conference tournament against the Marquette Golden Eagles at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Mar 15, 2019; New York, NY, USA; Seton Hall Pirates guard Myles Powell (13) celebrates with guard Quincy McKnight (0) during the second half in the Big East conference tournament against the Marquette Golden Eagles at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

NEW YORK (AP) - Myles Powell sparked Seton Hall with 18 second-half points and Big East player of the year Markus Howard of Marquette came up short on a potential winning 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Pirates a chippy and foul-filled 81-79 victory in the Big East Tournament semifinals Friday night.

The third-seeded Pirates (20-12) will face top-seed and defending champion Villanova in the final Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in a rematch of the 2016 title game won by Seton Hall. >> Read more

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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

NEW YORK (AP) Myles Powell scored 29 points in the first half to set a Big East Tournament record and finished with 31 to lead Seton Hall a 73-57 victory against Georgetown in the quarterfinals Thursday night.

The third-seeded Pirates (19-12) will face No. 2 seed Marquette in the second game of the semifinal doubleheader Friday night at Madison Square Garden. Seton Hall ended the regular season with consecutive victories against Marquette and Villanova and now seems safely in the NCAA Tournament field no matter what else happens this weekend in Manhattan. >> Read more

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St. John's crushed by Marquette 00:00:39
St. John's head coach Chris Mullin and guard Justin Simon speak after their crushing loss to Marquette in the Big East Tournament.

NEW YORK (AP) Markus Howard scored 12 of his 30 points in a game-breaking 23-2 second-half run, and No. 23 Marquette snapped its four-game losing streak with an 86-54 rout of St. John's in the Big East Tournament quarterfinals Thursday night.

Fellow guard Sacar Anim added 13 points as the second-seeded Golden Eagles (24-8) beat seventh-seeded St. John's (21-12) for the first time in three tries this season. Sam Hauser had 10 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

"It was as complete a performance as we've had in some time," coach Steve Wojciechowski said.

The win advanced Marquette to its first Big East semifinal since 2010 against No. 3 seed Seton Hall or No. 6 seed Georgetown, who played in the late quarterfinal at Madison Square Garden. The Golden Eagles split with both teams. >> Read More

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Mar 13, 2019; New York, NY, USA; St. John's Red Storm guard Justin Simon (5) reacts against DePaul Blue Demons forward Jaylen Butz (2) during the second half of a first round game of the Big East conference tournament at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Mar 13, 2019; New York, NY, USA; St. John's Red Storm guard Justin Simon (5) reacts against DePaul Blue Demons forward Jaylen Butz (2) during the second half of a first round game of the Big East conference tournament at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

NEW YORK (AP) Shamorie Ponds scored 18 points, had seven assists and led a second-half surge as St. John's gave their NCAA hopes a boost with a much-needed 82-74 victory against DePaul in the first round of the Big East Tournament Wednesday night.

The seventh-seeded Red Storm (21-11) will face No. 2 seed Marquette in the third game of the quadruple header at Madison Square Garden on Thursday night. St. John's avoided being swept three games by the 10th-seeded Blue Demons (15-15), burying DePaul in the second half.

Eli Cain led DePaul with 23 points before fouling out late.

Tags: St. John's
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Hofstra advances in OT 00:00:42
Hofstra beat Delaware, 78-74, in OT in the CAA semifinal. Justin Wright-Foreman broke the CAA record with 42 points in a tournament game.

Justin Wright-Foreman broke the Colonial Athletic Association tournament record with 42 points to lead Hofstra to a 78-74 overtime victory over Delaware in the CAA semifinal.

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Mar 9, 2019; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Xavier Musketeers guard Paul Scruggs (1) goes to the basket during the first half against St. John's Red Storm forward Marvin Clark II (13) at the Cintas Center. Xavier won 81-68. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports  (Frank Victores)
Mar 9, 2019; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Xavier Musketeers guard Paul Scruggs (1) goes to the basket during the first half against St. John's Red Storm forward Marvin Clark II (13) at the Cintas Center. Xavier won 81-68. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports (Frank Victores)

CINCINNATI (AP) Stranded in the Big East basement last month after six losses in a row, defending champion Xavier is finishing with a flourish.

Paul Scruggs scored 22 points, Ryan Welage hit pivotal 3s down the stretch, and Xavier extended its late-season surge by beating St. John's 81-68 on Saturday, its ninth straight win over the Red Storm.

"We've got to end with a bang," Scruggs said. >> Read more

Tags: St. John's
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The Hall upsets Nova 00:01:22
SHU head coach Kevin Willard, guard Myles Powell and Villanova coach Jay Wright discuss the Pirates' stunning win over the Wildcats, 79-75

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) Seton Hall may have punched its ticket to the NCAA Tournament with a pair of stunning upsets in the final week of the regular season in the Big East Conference.

Myles Powell scored 20 points, Myles Cale added 19 and Seton Hall upset No. 23 Villanova 79-75 Saturday, just three days after knocking off No. 16 Marquette to revive its chances of going to college basketball's biggest tournament.

"We just beat two ranked teams. We beat Kentucky. We beat Maryland," said Powell, who added seven rebounds, five assists and three steals in more than 36 minutes. "The list goes on. We can play with anybody in the country when we are playing our basketball."

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Seton Hall stuns Marquette 00:01:00
Seton Hall needed to beat Marquette for their tournament hopes to stay alive. They ended the game with an 18-0 run to stun Marquette.

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) As Quincy McKnight dribbled into the frontcourt in the waning seconds, a smile came across the face of the Seton Hall point guard and it wasn't long before his teammates starting jumping around and hugging each other as if they had won a tournament game.

The Hall didn't win anything other than a game against No. 16 Marquette on Wednesday, but the way the Pirates did it and what it meant was extraordinary.

Myles Powell scored 34 points and Seton Hall revived its NCAA Tournament hopes by scoring the final 18 points to beat the Golden Eagles 73-64 at the Prudential Center.

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Feb 12, 2019; Queens, NY, USA; St. John's Red Storm guard Mustapha Heron (14) reacts in the second half against the Butler Bulldogs at Carnesecca Arena. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)
Feb 12, 2019; Queens, NY, USA; St. John's Red Storm guard Mustapha Heron (14) reacts in the second half against the Butler Bulldogs at Carnesecca Arena. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)

With Selection Sunday fast approaching, as many as half a dozen teams from New York State are in position to make the NCAA Tournament.

Here's a look at where each team stands now and what they need to do to make the Big Dance:

Syracuse

The skinny: Despite getting thrashed by Virginia 79-53 on Monday night, the Orange (19-11, 10-7 ACC) are safely into the Big Dance thanks to wins over then-No. 1 Duke in January and then-No. 18 Louisville in February. The Orange have a NET ranking of 39 and are currently a No. 8 seed in the NCAA Tournament, according to Jerry Palm of CBSSports.com. Syracuse will be a top-7 seed in the ACC Tournament next week in Charlotte, N.C., and the Orange will get a first-round bye. They could help their NCAA Tournament seeding with a deep run in the ACCs.

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St. John's Red Storm head coach Chris Mullin (Eric Hartline)
St. John's Red Storm head coach Chris Mullin (Eric Hartline)

CHICAGO (AP) Max Strus had a career-high 43 points as DePaul topped St. John's 92-83 on Sunday.

Femi Olujobi had 23 points and 10 rebounds for DePaul (14-13, 6-10 Big East Conference), which snapped its four-game losing streak. Jaylen Butz added eight rebounds.

After falling behind 42-33 at the half, DePaul outscored St. John's 59-41 in the second half to earn the 9-point victory. The Blue Demons' 59 second-half points were a season best for the team.

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Nov 20, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; St. John's Red Storm head coach Chris Mullin reacts against the Virginia Commonwealth Rams in the first half of the championship game of the Legends Classic at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)
Nov 20, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; St. John's Red Storm head coach Chris Mullin reacts against the Virginia Commonwealth Rams in the first half of the championship game of the Legends Classic at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)

JAMAICA, N.Y. (AP) Naji Marshall had a career-high 31 points as Xavier got past St. John's 84-73 on Thursday night.

Marshall hit 10 of 12 from the free throw line.

Quentin Goodin had 13 points for Xavier (16-13, 8-8 Big East Conference), which won its fifth consecutive game. Zach Hankins added 11 points and seven rebounds. Tyrique Jones had 11 points and 10 rebounds for the visitors.

LJ Figueroa had 23 points for the Red Storm (20-9, 8-8). Shamorie Ponds added 13 points and six assists. Marvin Clark II had 11 points. >> Read more

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Andy takes on Chris Christie 00:01:47
Former Gov. Chris Christie takes on SNY's Andy Martino in BNNY's Rapid Fire and boy was it a battle.

Former New Jersey governor Chris Christie certainly knows his U.S. presidents, but SNY's MLB Insider Andy Martino does as well as he proved when the two matched wits on Baseball Night in New York.

Watch Christie and Martino go toe-to-toe in Rapid Fire.

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Feb 23, 2019; Queens, NY, USA; St. John's Red Storm guard LJ Figueroa (30) celebrates against the Seton Hall Pirates during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)
Feb 23, 2019; Queens, NY, USA; St. John's Red Storm guard LJ Figueroa (30) celebrates against the Seton Hall Pirates during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

With their win over Villanova on Feb. 17, St. John's put themselves back in play for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. After a hiccup on the road against Providence on Feb. 20, the Johnnies dominated Seton Hall in a wire-to-wire victory on Saturday that almost certainly cemented their spot in the Tourney.

With three games remaining (vs. Xavier on Feb. 28, @ Depaul on Mar. 3, @ Xavier on Mar. 9), followed by the Big East Tournament, St. John's is now likely playing for seeding.

Here's where the Bracketology experts currently have them dancing...

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College athletes should get paid 00:00:59
SNY's Chris Williamson argues that college athletes should get paid and Zion Williamson's scare with an injury proves it.

Duke freshman phenom Zion Williamson is projected to be the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft. But his recent knee sprain has people wondering if he should shut down his college season to prepare for the next level.

And on the same note, it has people wondering if college athletes should be paid.

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Feb 23, 2019; Queens, NY, USA; St. John's Red Storm guard Shamorie Ponds (2) drives to the basket on Seton Hall Pirates guard Quincy McKnight (0) during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)
Feb 23, 2019; Queens, NY, USA; St. John's Red Storm guard Shamorie Ponds (2) drives to the basket on Seton Hall Pirates guard Quincy McKnight (0) during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

NEW YORK (AP) Shamorie Ponds had 27 points, five assists and five steals as St. John's beat Seton Hall 78-70 on Saturday night.

Marvin Clark II had 18 points for St. John's (20-8, 8-7 Big East). Justin Simon added 10 points. Sedee Keita had four blocks for the home team.

The Red Storm swatted a season-high 12 blocks. >> Read more

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Celebrating Muhammad Ali 00:00:47
In honor of Black History Month, SNY looks back at the ground-breaking accomplishments of boxing legend Muhammad Ali.

In honor of Black History Month, SNY looks back at the ground-breaking accomplishments of boxing legend Muhammad Ali...
 

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Johnnies prep for the Hall 00:01:03
Shamorie Ponds, Marvin Clark II and Chris Mullin comment on St. John's crucial game against Seton Hall on Saturday at MSG

Coming off a rough loss at Providence, St. John's has a huge game Saturday night against Seton Hall in a matchup which will break a tie for third place in the Big East. 

Head coach Chris Mullin, Shamorie Ponds and Marvin Clark II preview the Red Storm's final regular-season home game at MSG.

Tags: St. John's
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Feb 20, 2019; Providence, RI, USA; Providence College Friars guard Isaiah Jackson (44) dribbles up the court defended by St. John s Red Storm Shamorie Ponds (2) during the second half at Dunkin Donuts Center. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports (Paul Rutherford)
Feb 20, 2019; Providence, RI, USA; Providence College Friars guard Isaiah Jackson (44) dribbles up the court defended by St. John s Red Storm Shamorie Ponds (2) during the second half at Dunkin Donuts Center. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports (Paul Rutherford)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) Nate Watson tied his career high with 21 points as Providence topped St. John's 78-59 on Wednesday night.

Alpha Diallo had 16 points and 11 rebounds for Providence (15-12, 5-9 Big East Conference). Isaiah Jackson added 11 points and nine rebounds. Maliek White had 11 points for the home team.

LJ Figueroa had 16 points for the Red Storm (19-8, 7-7). Justin Simon added 10 points. Marcellus Earlington had 10 points. >> Read more

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Chris Mullin joins SportsNite 00:00:51
St. John's head coach Chris Mullin joins SportsNite ahead of the Red Storm's game against Villanova and alludes to how to slow them down.

Inconsistent since the start of Big East play with a 6-6 conference record, St. John's has a huge game on Sunday when it hosts No. 13 Villanova at the Garden.

Red Storm head coach Chris Mullin joins SportsNite to discuss what his team needs to do to come away with a win against the Wildcats.

Tags: St. John's
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Feb 12, 2019; Queens, NY, USA; St. John's Red Storm guard Mustapha Heron (14) reacts in the second half against the Butler Bulldogs at Carnesecca Arena. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)
Feb 12, 2019; Queens, NY, USA; St. John's Red Storm guard Mustapha Heron (14) reacts in the second half against the Butler Bulldogs at Carnesecca Arena. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)

JAMAICA, N.Y. (AP) Mustapha Heron had a season-high 28 points as St. John's beat Butler 77-73 in overtime on Tuesday night.

Heron hit 10 of 12 foul shots.

Marvin Clark II had 18 points for St. John's (18-7, 6-6 Big East Conference). Shamorie Ponds added 14 points and seven rebounds. Justin Simon had seven rebounds for the hosts.

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St. John's effort falls short 00:00:57
Chris Mullin and Marvin Clark II comment on St. John's poor rebounding effort in their 70-56 loss to Providence

Alpha Diallo had 10 points and 15 rebounds to lead Providence to a 70-56 win over St. John's on Saturday.

Nate Watson had 18 points for Providence (14-10, 4-7 Big East Conference). Isaiah Jackson added 12 points and seven rebounds. David Duke had 11 points for the visitors.

Shamorie Ponds had 20 points for the Red Storm (17-7, 5-6). LJ Figueroa added 14 points. Marvin Clark II had eight rebounds.

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St. John's Red Storm guard Shamorie Ponds dribbles against the Creighton Bluejays in the second half at CHI Health Center Omaha. (Steven Branscombe/USA TODAY Sports)
St. John's Red Storm guard Shamorie Ponds dribbles against the Creighton Bluejays in the second half at CHI Health Center Omaha. (Steven Branscombe/USA TODAY Sports)

If the NCAA tournament began today, St. John's would be a No. 9 seed in the Big Dance, according to the latest ESPN bracketology.

The Red Storm did themselves a big favor by knocking off No. 10 Marquette on the road on Tuesday, and now play five of their next six games at home. This stretch is pivotal for the Johnnies (17-6, 5-5 Big East), who can really help their NCAA tournament chances by taking care of their home court -- both at Madison Square Garden starting with Saturday's tilt against Providence and at Carnesecca Arena.

St. John's best opportunity for another signature win during the homestand comes on Feb. 17 when they host No. 14 Villanova, which is undefeated in the Big East (10-0) entering its tilt on Saturday at Marquette.

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NY deserves championship teams 00:01:32
The New England Patriots added another trophy to the Boston area trophy case and it's now time for New York to reclaim the best sports town.

With the New England Patriots collecting yet another Super Bowl ring, it was another reminder that Boston sports have been superior to New York sports. 

This one fact paints the picture perfectly: A 4-month-old baby who lives in Boston has experienced more parades than a 45-year-old Mets-Jets-Knicks fan living in the Big Apple.

Well, it's time for that to stop and SNY's Marc Malusis believes it can. He explains in his "State of the New York Sports Fan" speech...

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Feb 5, 2019; Milwaukee, WI, USA; St. John's Red Storm guard Shamorie Ponds (2) shoots during the second half against the Marquette Golden Eagles at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports (Jeff Hanisch)
Feb 5, 2019; Milwaukee, WI, USA; St. John's Red Storm guard Shamorie Ponds (2) shoots during the second half against the Marquette Golden Eagles at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports (Jeff Hanisch)

MILWAUKEE (AP) Shamorie Ponds scored 28 points, including a go-ahead layup with 16 seconds left, to give St. John's a 70-69 victory over No. 10 Marquette on Tuesday night.

The loss ended an eight-game winning streak for the Golden Eagles and was their first defeat at their new home this season after 14 victories.

Marquette, which trailed 49-34 early in the second half, took a 69-68 lead on a 3-pointer from the right corner by Sacar Amin with 32 seconds left

 

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Feb 2, 2019; Durham, NC, USA; Duke Blue Devils forward Zion Williamson (1) shots over St. John's Red Storm forward Sedee Keita (0) during the first half at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports (Rob Kinnan)
Feb 2, 2019; Durham, NC, USA; Duke Blue Devils forward Zion Williamson (1) shots over St. John's Red Storm forward Sedee Keita (0) during the first half at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports (Rob Kinnan)

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) Freshman phenom Zion Williamson scored 29 points, Tre Jones flirted with a triple-double and No. 2 Duke routed St. John's 91-61 on Saturday.

RJ Barrett added 15 points and 14 rebounds while Jones had 13 points, seven rebounds and seven assists while also playing lockdown defense on Shamorie Ponds. The Blue Devils (19-2) shot 56 percent while winning their fifth straight.

Williamson stuffed the stat sheet in this one - hitting 13 of 17 shots while finishing with five steals, two blocks and a couple of his customary highlight-reel dunks. >> Read More

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Duke Blue Devils forward Zion Williamson and forward R.J. Barrett react during the second half against the St. John's Red Storm at Cameron Indoor Stadium. (Rob Kinnan/USA TODAY Sports)
Duke Blue Devils forward Zion Williamson and forward R.J. Barrett react during the second half against the St. John's Red Storm at Cameron Indoor Stadium. (Rob Kinnan/USA TODAY Sports)

As the Knicks and their fans fantasize about a potential future featuring some combination of Zion Williamson, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, Williamson says it would be pretty sweet to play with those players.

"I mean, it would be dope to play with KD and Kyrie, but like I said I'm enjoying college and whichever team drafts me I'm going to be ready to play hard and work," Williamson told me in the Duke locker room after going for 29 points, 6 rebounds, 5 steals and 2 blocks as No. 2 Duke beat St. John's 91-61 on Saturday at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

The Knicks (10-41) own the NBA's worst record and have full on "Stopped Tryin' for Zion." This week, they traded Kristaps Porzingis and nearly half their team to the Dallas Mavericks, and now have nearly $75 million in cap space to pursue two max free agents this summer, with Durant and Irving squarely in their sights.

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Jan 30, 2019; Omaha, NE, USA; St. John's Red Storm guard Mustapha Heron (14) dunks the ball past Creighton Bluejays forward Christian Bishop (13) in the second half at CHI Health Center Omaha. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports (Steven Branscombe)
Jan 30, 2019; Omaha, NE, USA; St. John's Red Storm guard Mustapha Heron (14) dunks the ball past Creighton Bluejays forward Christian Bishop (13) in the second half at CHI Health Center Omaha. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports (Steven Branscombe)

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) Shamorie Ponds scored 26 points and St. John's had its best shooting game of the season while forcing Creighton into its worst shooting game, rolling to an 83-67 win on Wednesday night.

Mustapha Heron added 17 points and LJ Figueroa 15 for the Red Storm (16-5, 4-5 Big East Conference), who snapped a two-game skid. Ponds also had eight rebounds, eight assists and six steals.

Despite missing its last four shots, St. John's shot 65 percent (15 of 23) in the second half to finish the game at 57.9 (33 of 57). Its previous best was 57.4 percent. >> Read More

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Red Storm lose to Hoyas 00:01:40
Patrick Ewing and Georgetown avenged an early-season loss to St. John's with an 89-78 win at Madison Square Garden on Sunday.

NEW YORK -- The chances of St. John's getting an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament may have died in a series of failed putbacks in the final minutes on Sunday at Madison Square Garden.

With the Red Storm trailing Georgetown by two points with about 1:20 remaining, L.J. Figueroa made a steal at midcourt and the Garden crowd let out a tremendous roar because the home team had at chance to tie the game after trailing for much of the second half. Figueroa opted for a pull-up 3-pointer from the left arc that rimmed out, and St. John's then had one, two, three, four good looks at a putback that would've tied the game.

None of them went through the net, Georgetown big man Jessie Govan ended up with the ball and fed Mac McClung for an uncontested dunk on the other end.

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Jan 27, 2019; New York, NY, USA; during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)
Jan 27, 2019; New York, NY, USA; during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

NEW YORK (AP) Mac McClung scored 25 points, Jessie Govan added 20 with nine rebounds and Georgetown beat St. John's 89-78 on Sunday.

McClung was 9-of-19 shooting with four 3-pointers and slammed home a dunk in transition with 1:11 to go for an 81-77 lead after the Red Storm missed three shots on their possession. A block by Govan led to another easy transition basket by Josh LeBlanc for the Hoyas (13-7, 3-4 Big East) as they avenged a 97-94 overtime loss to St. John's in Washington on Jan. 5.

LeBlanc added 15 points for Georgetown, which had lost four of its previous five games.

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St. John's Red Storm head coach Chris Mullin reacts during the first half against the Georgetown Hoyas at Capital One Arena. (Scott Taetsch/USA TODAY Sports)
St. John's Red Storm head coach Chris Mullin reacts during the first half against the Georgetown Hoyas at Capital One Arena. (Scott Taetsch/USA TODAY Sports)

Old friends and rivals Chris Mullin and Patrick Ewing with renew their rivalry on Sunday in a critical Big East game at Madison Square Garden.

St. John's (15-4, 3-4) and Georgetown (12-7, 2-4) are both under .500 in league play and need to win some games if they're going to make a push toward the NCAA tournament. Typically, Big East teams need to finish at least 9-9 in league play to make the Big Dance.

"I'm looking forward to playing my old buddy Chris one more time," Ewing, the former Georgetown and Knicks legend and current Georgetown coach, said Thursday.

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Hofstra tops JMU 85-68 00:01:02
Hofstra travelled to James Madison to secure their first conference road win. The Pride's defense led to offense in a strong effort.

Hofstra traveled to James Madison to secure their first conference road win, 86-68. The Pride's ever-changing defense led to offense in a strong effort.

"Anytime you win on the road, it's like gold," said head coach Joe Mihalich.

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Russo opens up about Francesa 00:01:10
While on The Climb podcast, Chris Russo opens up about the bad years he had doing the show with Mike Francesa and what ultimately saved it.

Legendary sports talk radio show host Chris "Mad Dog" Russo joined SNY's Jonas Schwartz on "The Climb" podcast, and he had loads to say about his former radio show co-host Mike Francesa

It is no secret Russo and Francesa had their fair share of qualms during their 19 years in the WFAN booth, and Mad Dog admitted that there "four or five really bad" fights in that span.

At the end of the day, though, both sides knew they needed to at least work it out on air.

"You have to admit, 'I need him, he needs me.' " Russo said. "We gotta figure out a way to make this work."

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The Climb is the podcast that tells the stories of big names in the New York sports scene, and how they got to the top of their industry. On the premiere episode, SNY's Jonas Schwartz sits down with sports talk radio legend Chris "Mad Dog" Russo. They chat about the very beginnings of Russo's broadcasting career, the origin of the "Mad Dog" nickname, the rise of the Mike and the Mad Dog show, his infamous battles with Mike Francesa, the details of how their show ended, and the challenges he faced when moving to Sirius XM and MLB Network.

SUBSCRIBE TO 'THE CLIMB' HERE

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A Star Rises at Hofstra 00:03:07
SNY's Chris Williamson heads to Hofstra to tell the story of Justin Wright-Foreman, who is having a historic season for the Pride.

SNY's Chris Williamson heads to Hofstra to tell the story of Justin Wright-Foreman, who is having a historic season for the Pride.

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Jan 19, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Butler Bulldogs guard Kamar Baldwin (3) defends against St. John's Red Storm guard Greg Williams (4) in the second half at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports (Thomas J. Russo)
Jan 19, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Butler Bulldogs guard Kamar Baldwin (3) defends against St. John's Red Storm guard Greg Williams (4) in the second half at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports (Thomas J. Russo)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Kamar Baldwin scored 30 points, Jordan Tucker added 24 and Butler held off St. John's for an 80-71 win on Saturday.

The Bulldogs (12-7, 3-3 Big East) had their largest lead after a 17-2 run made it 58-36 early in the second half, but the Red Storm (15-4, 3-4) scored 12 straight in one run and six straight in another to close within 73-69 with 50 seconds remaining. Butler made 7 of 8 free throws from there to secure the victory.

Baldwin was two points of career high and grabbed eight rebounds for Butler. Tucker was 6 of 11 from 3-point range. Sean McDermott scored seven points to go with his 12 rebounds.

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Jan 16, 2019; Queens, NY, USA; St. John's Red Storm guard Shamorie Ponds (2) drives to the basket against Creighton Bluejays guard Ty-Shon Alexander (5) during the second half at Carnesecca Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)
Jan 16, 2019; Queens, NY, USA; St. John's Red Storm guard Shamorie Ponds (2) drives to the basket against Creighton Bluejays guard Ty-Shon Alexander (5) during the second half at Carnesecca Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

NEW YORK (AP) Shamorie Ponds had 22 points and five assists in his return from a back injury and St. John's broke away from Creighton for an 81-66 victory Wednesday night.

Mustapha Heron scored 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting for the Red Storm (15-3, 3-3 Big East), who lost their previous two games. That quickly knocked St. John's out of the AP Top 25 this week after the school's first appearance in four years.

LJ Figueroa had 16 points and 13 rebounds, and Justin Simon added 16 points and four steals. >> Read More

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Mullin takes blame for struggles 00:00:45
Chris Mullin and Marvin Clark II try to stay positive after St. John's played without Shamorie Ponds and lost their second straight game.

NEW YORK (AP) Femi Olujobi had 27 points and eight rebounds in his New York homecoming and DePaul pulled away from No. 24 St. John's, beating the short-handed Red Storm 79-71 on Saturday night for its first win over a ranked team in almost three years.

Star guard Shamorie Ponds sat out with a lower back strain for St. John's (14-3, 2-3 Big East), which dropped its second straight game since moving into the AP Top 25 for the first time in four years.

Paul Reed added 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Blue Demons (10-5, 2-2), who snapped a 17-game skid against ranked opponents that dated to a victory over No. 11 Providence in February 2016. The last time the Blue Demons defeated a ranked foe on the road was a season earlier at No. 24 Seton Hall. >> Read More

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