The St. John's basketball program (ranked No. 17 in the AP poll and No. 18 in the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll) earned a No. 6 seed in the Southwest Region of the 2011 NCAA Tournament, announced Sunday night on the CBS Selection Show. The Red Storm (21-11) will play the No. 11-seeded Gonzaga Bulldogs (24-9) Thursday in the second round of the 68-team tournament in Denver, CO. The time of the contest has yet to be announced. The winner of St. John's and Gonzaga will play a third-round contest between either No. 3-seeded BYU Cougars and No. 14 Wofford on Saturday. The Red Storm could also play No. 2 Florida Gators in the Sweet 16 and possibly No. 1 Pittsburgh Panthers in the Elite Eight, both contest would be held in San Antonio, TX. The NCAA Final Four will be held n Houston, TX, April 2-4.
This is the first time since 2002 that the Johnnies have earned an invite to play in the NCAA Tournament. In '02, St. John's earned a No. 8 seed, but lost to the No. 9 Wisconsin Badgers, 80-70. In 2000, the Red Storm earned a No. 2 seed, earned a first-round victory, but lost in the second round to Gonzaga, 82-76.
This season, the Red Storm finished the regular season 20-10. St. John's defeated the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in the second round of the 2011 Big East Tournament but were downed by the Syracuse Orange, 79-73, in the quarterfinals.