Syracuse enters this game as the newly minted #1 team in the nation. They take on a St. John's team that is in 14th place in the Big East, with only five league wins and 15 wins overall. Four of those five wins have come against teams currently in eighth place or worse in the league. Syracuse is still averaging a lot of points, currently 81.7, while St. John's only averages 66.6. Syracuse also still leads the nation in field goal percentage, with 51.8%. Conversely, St. John's only shot 37.5% in their last game, a loss to Pitt at home. St. John's only has two players scoring in double figures. DJ Kennedy (14.6ppg, 6.2rpg) and Dwight Hardy (10.8ppg) are the major scorers for the Red Storm, but that is about it, as most everyone else is averaging around 6.8ppg. Syracuse's offense is far better than St. John's, and so is their defense. Syracuse is also a bigger team and should be able to score like they did against Villanova inside. The only way St. John's has a chance against the Orange is if they shoot insanely well from the floor, especially from three point range, and they limit Syracuse's transition game. Good luck. At this point they are playing brilliantly on both ends. The only way Syracuse will give St. John's a fighting chance is if they overlook this Red Storm team. But they didn't overlook Providence on their way to Villanova, easily their biggest game of the year. Plus Syracuse has a few things still to play for. Keeping the #1 ranking would help, but clinching the regular season championship for the Big East is another. Additionally it is Senior Night, and no one wants to see Andy Rautins and Arinze Onuaku play their guaranteed last game in the Carrier Dome end with a loss. If Syracuse keeps getting the ball inside, and continue to score in transition, they will run away with this game in the second half. I see that happening as this Syracuse team is just too much for St. John's. Frankly they probably would be even if they do not bring their absolute best game. I think they will, but I'm just saying. Look for Syracuse to roll over St. John's again. Syracuse over the Red Storm by 22.
Be sure to check out the Q&A I did with St. John's Blogger Pico from East Coast Bias and Johnny Jungle here, and check out my answers to his questions here. Congratulations again to the seniors Onuaku and Rautins. They have had great careers and will be missed.