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st. john's red storm

St. John’s Probably Isn’t Getting That Double-Bye Now

St. John's lost, 84–70, to Seton Hall last night — a game in which Jeremy Hazell scored 31 points for the Pirates and both Steve Lavin and Justin Burrell got ejected. It ends a six-game Red Storm winning streak dating back to February 10 — a span during which St. John's defeated three ranked teams and rose all the way to No. 15 in both polls. With a win over Seton Hall last night and another in their regular-season finale against South Florida tomorrow night, the Red Storm would have earned a double-bye in the Big East Tournament, starting play on Thursday instead of Wednesday. Now, they'll need some help from Syracuse — help they're unlikely to get.

Not only does St. John's need to take care of South Florida tomorrow at Carnesecca Arena, they need Syracuse (conference record: 11–6) to lose to DePaul (conference record: 1–16) at the Carrier Dome. Otherwise, the Johnnies will open the Big East Tournament as the No. 5 seed and play the winner of the opening-round game between Rutgers and, yes, Seton Hall, the team that upset them last night.

If we believed that we at The Sports Section truly had the ability to jinx Syracuse — as we've been accused of doing in the past — we'd be attempting to do so right now, by writing things like "Go Orange!" and "There's no way you'll lose to lowly DePaul, so have some fun tomorrow!" But we can't actually jinx anyone, so enjoy that No. 4 seed you've totally already locked up, Coach Boeheim. See you, hopefully, in the quarterfinals.

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Photo: Mel Evans/AP