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.
They escaped on the right side of that debate, but will now have to play an extra game to make the big dance. It's the first time St. John's has made the tournament since 2015; the team has not won a NCAA Tournament game since 2000.
Arizona State (20-12, 12-6 PAC-12) finished second in the weakest Power 5 conference this year. The Sun Devils fell to eventual conference tournament champions Oregon in the semifinals on Friday. Freshman Luguentz Dort leads the team in scoring with 16.4 points per game, while sophomore guard Remy Martin averages 13.4 points per game.
The Sun Devils are coached by former New Jersey preps standout and Duke star Bobby Hurley.
If the Johnnies can advance past the Sun Devils, Buffalo awaits two days later. The Bulls are Hurley's former team and won the MAC this year. They also upset Arizona as a 14 seed last year.