This is it. The final regular season weekend of the 2019-2020 college basketball season. It feels like the season has gone by fast but here we are at the end of the regular season and about to set sail on post season play with the Big East Tournament and a much bigger dance looming on the horizon.
There is still a good amount to play for in the Big East on this final weekend with teams shuffling and jostling for seeding and padding of resumes. Some, on the other hand, are trying to get off the skid before heading into post season play. Two of those teams are facing off against each other as the St. John’s Red Storm play host at Madison Square Garden to the Marquette Golden Eagles. A win for either would be a big boost before post season play as both have been slumping heading into the Big East Tournament.
Coming off of a mid week play, St. John’s were blown out at Hinkle Fieldhouse to Butler by a score of 77 to 55. The Johnnies are 1-4 over their last five games with the one win coming last Saturday in blow out fashion against Creighton and breaking a three game losing streak in the process. Curiously every win that St. John’s had in conference play this season came after a three game loosing streak. Its consistent and trend setting.
At the moment they are sitting on 15-15 record with this last game to play. Mike Anderson has never has a losing season in his coaching career and on Saturday that streak will either come to an end or get legs to continue on. A positive for him is that despite the up and downs this season there is still a determined level of play within the team. Sort of a mix of continuing to try things while also finding ways to stay in games. It has worked some times but most of the time the Red Storm often are playing catch or just missing something. Given Marquette’s recent struggles as well there is plenty of room for St. John’s to operate in this game for them to eek a win out.
Speaking of Marquette, the Golden Eagles mid week lost to fellow Big East basement dweller DePaul by a score of 69 to 68. A single point separating them from the Blue Demons and from getting back to winnings ways. Things have been less then golden for the Golden Eagles. Despite a rather strong run from January 15th to February 9th that saw Marquette going 6-1 over that stretch. Since their win over Butler on February 9th the bottom has fallen out for Marquette with a record of 1-5 since that run. At the moment there could have been a chance for competing for the Big East regular season title but now it is to finish the season with a mark of .500 in conference play. This also seems to be a repeat of last season as well where after a great run through much of the Big East schedule the bottom fell out and the Golden Eagles lost their final four games in the regular season before faltering in post season play.
A win for Marquette could do wonders to get this team’s mindset back in place especially for a team that had to have had expectations headings into this season. In a lot of ways too getting production from someone other than Markus Howard would also do wonders as well as over relying on his talent might have led to a bind for the Golden Eagle’s overall production.
Saturday’s game will also be senior day for St. John’s as the Red Storm will be saying good bye and good luck to four players who have either played their whole careers with the Red Storm or transferred in. Those seniors are Mustapha Heron, Nick Rutherford, Justin Cole, and Thomas O’Connell.
In all it should be a fun game. It is wild that this season went by so fast but we still have a lot more basketball on the horizon.
Time: 12:00 PM ET
Location: Madison Square Garden
TV: FOX Sports Network (Check Local Listings)