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St. John’s Red Storm Edges DePaul Blue Demons in a Tale of Two Teams

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Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

The St. John’s Red Storm and DePaul Blue Demons couldn’t be anymore different than any two programs in the country. The Red Storm have youth, this enigmatic feel, the program is alive with only a future filled with sunshine. On the other hand, DePaul does have some talent that feels like it’s going untapped, a fan base that seems more and more withdrawn with every loss, and a culture of losing. None of that was on more display, when on Wednesday night the Johnnies escaped with a victory in overtime.

The game was fun for everyone to watch, even for DePaul fans until the end, but these two squads are headed in completely different directions. In hindsight, you can say the game itself was a microcosm of both teams’ seasons. Whenever a break needed to be had, St. John’s seemed to catch it. When JaKarr Sampson traveled in overtime (it was a travel), the referees called a foul and Sampson went to the line to finish off the Blue Demons.

Yet, even that foul call wasn’t the most confusing moment of the game. With regulation ticking down to last tenths of a second, a sloppy Red Storm offensive possession almost turned into a gift wrapped pair of free-throws to win the game. Nearly impossible to explain, I’m still confused(Mind you, that’s not hard to do), so just watch the video:

The no-call ended up being irrelevant but it could have ended up being a disaster. Had the referees got it wrong, and the Red Storm lost, the Johnnies season could have taken a huge turn in the wrong direction. Obviously, if they held up the foul call, DePaul fans everywhere would not only chalk this up to another Blue Demon moment under coach Oliver Purnell, but chip little pieces of their hearts away.

DePaul as a program should be better. They also have a fan base that, gluttons for punishment I assume, love this university’s basketball team through all of their horrible seasons(And even more horrible seasons). The Blue Demon athletic department have what should be an easy decision when the season ends, to fire Purnell. With the Catholic Seven starting anew with a brand new league maybe it’s time the DePaul program joins the rest of their brethren in having a respectable hoops program.

For St. John’s, well they got sunshine kids, sunshine.

Joe covers the Catholic Seven for Rant Sports. For the love of Sam Cassell, follow Joe on the Twitter Machine @JosephNardone

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NCAA Tournament Profile: St. John's Red Storm

Record: 21-11

RPI: 37

BPI: 51

Conference: Big East Conference

How They Qualified: At-Large Berth

Region: No. 9 seed in South

 

The St. John’s Red Storm have been a tough puzzle to solve ever since Steve Lavin took over as head coach. Lavin has recruited like a boss, but his teams simply have not met expectations. Well, his team didn’t blow us all away this year, but it will be partaking in the 2015 NCAA tournament. It is all about those baby steps.

This is the Red Storm’s first appearance since 2011. Needless to say, the team was well overdue.

 

What You Need to Know:

Leading Scorer: D’Angelo Harrison (17.5 PPG)

Leading Rebounder: Sir’Dominic Pointer (7.6 RPG)

Leading Passer: Rysheed Jordan (3.1 APG)

Bad Losses: DePaul, Creighton, Seton Hall

Good Wins: Providence (twice), Xavier (twice), Syracuse, Georgetown

 

If everything comes together, St. John’s could be one of the biggest surprises of the tournament. That may be asking for a lot, though. This team did lose 11 times on the season.

If you are looking for a player who can score at will, look no further than D’Angelo Harrison. Harrison is a senior, so you better believe he will be playing every game like it is his last because … well, every game could realistically be his last. Fun fact: Harrison has averaged over 16 points per game all four years at St. John’s — he is the real deal, folks.

St. John’s wasn’t the most consistent team in the country, so it will be interesting to see which Red Storm team shows up — the one that lost three in a row at one point, or the one that started the season off with an 11-1 record.

The St. John’s Red Storm are dancing!

Trevor Lowry is a Content Associate at RantSports.com. If you’re a tweeter feel free to follow him @TheTrevorLowry, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

Will this finally be the year that Steve Lavin coaches his St. John's Red Storm on a deep run? Whether the case, they enter the dance with some talent.

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