St. John’s has become one of the Big East’s hottest basketball teams as of late, riding a five-game winning streak into Saturday’s matchup with Georgetown. In what will be a huge litmus test for the young Red Storm, seeing if they can come back and get revenge against the last team to defeat them, I think the underlying important story is that this is (not really but sort of) the end of one of the greatest rivalries not just in the Big East, but in college basketball history.
I know that the two teams will both be a part of the Catholic Seven to branch out of the Big East, but these two teams have represented a basketball culture very connected to not just their conference, but their conference’s predominant region, the Northeast.
Being a Northeasterner myself, I understand the frustration that many may have of the East coast bias, especially towards New York City hoops and Madison Square Garden, but let’s not act like the Big East doesn’t have the second most national championships (7) to the ACC (10) over the last 30 years. The Northeast has high standards for it’s basketball teams, which doesn’t mean that St. John’s hasn’t been terrible more often than they’ve been good over the last 20 years, but you can always expect hard fought matchups when these two teams meet.
Although the Johnnies lead the all-time series 53-45, Georgetown has the upper hand in Big East play by just a few games as they lead the series 34-30. If St. John’s momentum is any indication on how they’re going to play Saturday, this should be a good game.
Despite fouling out and missing the overtime period in the Red Storm’s win Wednesday night over DePaul, St. John’s leading scorer D’Angelo Harrison had a strong message for the Hoyas.
“We’re going to come in ready to fight at Georgetown so they better be ready, too.” With the history between these two teams, I can’t imagine either team won’t be ready.
Big East basketball, people.
For hoops, hip-hop and other random sports and pop culture commentary, follow Jared Mintz on Twitter @JaredMintzTruth