With just under a month until Selection Sunday, so much is still up in the air for so many Big East teams.
Two of those teams face off Tuesday evening, as the Xavier Musketeers (11-3, 4-3) head to Queens to take on the St. John’s Red Storm (13-8, 7-7).
It feels like Xavier is pretty safely in the NCAA Tournament at this point, having crossed the 13-game eligibility threshold. Continuing to win games can only help Xavier going forward, as ESPN’s Joe Lunardi currently projects the Musketeers as a 9-seed.
St. John’s, on the other hand, find themselves on the outside looking in at the moment. Lunardi has them in the Next Four Out, which makes sense. St. John’s has been bogged down a bit by inconsistent play prior to this month when they ripped off six straight wins before falling to Butler in overtime. St. John’s has a favorable schedule going forward and could defnitely play their way off the bubble, but it would start with winning a coin flip home game against Xavier on Tuesday.
Xavier picked up a 69-61 victory last time these teams played, January 6 in Cincinnati. Freshman Colby Jones had a career-high 16 points, while Jason Carter hauled in 16 rebounds. Julian Champagnie and Rasheem Dunn combined for half of the Red Storm’s points, as St. John’s struggled to find other scoring options.
The most intriguing matchup of this game will be Champagnie vs. Zach Freemantle. Champagnie comes into the contest leading the Big East in scoring at 19.7 points per game and fifth in the conference in rebounding with 7.4 per game. Freemantle, on the other hand, is sixth in the conference in scoring with 16.1 points per game, and leads the Big East with 8.6 rebounds per game. Freemantle is coming off a game against UConn where he had 30 points and 15 rebounds, so he’ll be looking to keep it rolling.
How to watch or stream
Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
Streaming: FOX Sports Go