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Posted at 8:45 AM ET, 02/ 9/2011

NCAA tournament 2011: The curious case of St. John's

By Eric Prisbell

Come selection Sunday, there may not be a more interesting profile to examine than that of St. John's. The Red Storm clearly has shown it can beat just about any team in the country. It has victories over four top 18 RPI teams: Georgetown, Duke, Notre Dame and at West Virginia. The Red Storm has also played the nation's toughest schedule. But it also has significant black marks on its profile, as well: an ugly Dec. 11 loss at Fordham, which ranks 247th nationally in the RPI. St. John's is an adequate 5-5 in the nation's toughest league, but it has nine overall losses, which is a concern. The worst record ever to earn an at-large berth (when the field included just 65 teams, obviously) was Arizona (18-14) in 2008.

Barring a run in the Big East tournament -- which may be required -- the Red Storm promises to be right around that mark, as well, thus giving the selection committee a profile to really ponder the second week of March. It likely will boil down to how much value individual selection committee members place in a tough schedule and a handful of impressive victories by a team that will have otherwise taken some shots during the course of the season. This season in particular, there are other teams, namely a few from mid-major leagues, that have impressive overall win totals but are struggling to claim a top 100 victory, even one top 100 victory. How will those resumes look side by side St. John's resume? Different committee members could look at St. John's profile and see different things. The Red Storm is this season's Rorschach test.

St. John's
Record: 13-9
RPI: 22
SOS: 1
Vs. top 50: 4-7
Vs. top 100: 6-7
Best win: Georgetown (RPI: 6)
Worst loss: at Fordham (247)
Road-neutral court: 5-6
As of today: No. 9-10 seed

What do you make of St. John's?

By Eric Prisbell  | February 9, 2011; 8:45 AM ET
 
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