For SJU women, three might be the magic number
Mar 13, 2012 | 7123 views | 0 0 comments | 123 123 recommendations | email to a friend | print
For the third-straight season, the St. John’s women’s basketball team earned an At-Large bid to the NCAA Tournament as the Red Storm was picked to face Creighton as the No. 3 seed in the Fresno Region, as announced by the Selection Committee Monday night on ESPN.

The Red Storm will play the No. 14 seeded Bluejays, the automatic bid from the Missouri Valley Conference, on Sunday, March 18, in a 5:05 p.m. (ET) tip-off at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla. The game will be televised live on ESPN2.

The winner of the St. John’s-Creighton match up will face either No. 6 Oklahoma (20-12) or No. 11 Michigan (20-11). Oklahoma and Michigan will tip off at approximately 7:30 p.m. (ET) following the Red Storm and Jays.

The No. 3 seed is St. John’s highest seeding in the NCAA tournament in program history. Previously, the Red Storm’s highest seed was No. 6 in 2010.

“This is a great feeling and I’m really proud of our kids and the program for being able to do it [make the tournament] three times – that is a tremendous accomplishment,” remarked head coach Kim Barnes Arico. “Not only to make the tournament three times, but also to get a No. 3 seed, it's really impressive. We have had a lot of quality wins and the ladies stepped up to the challenge.”

This will be Barnes Arico’s fourth trip to the Big Dance during her 10-year tenure with St. John’s. Barnes Arico is 3-3 in the NCAA Tournament, taking the Red Storm to the Second Round all three times (2006, 2010 and 2011). With the No. 3 seed in 2012, she is the only Red Storm coach to take the women's basketball team to three-straight tournaments.

The 2011-12 season marks St. John’s seventh appearance in the NCAA Tournament with its first in 1983. Overall St. John’s has a record of 4-6 in the Big Dance and has made it to the Second Round four times (1988, 2006, 2010 and 2011).

In 2011-12 St. John’s (22-9) remained in the national spotlight as one of the top teams in the Big East Conference, which had eight teams selected to the 2012 tournament field. Picked to finish seventh in the conference, Barnes Arico led the Red Storm to a No. 2 seed in the league championship and finished the regular season on an eight-game winning streak. In the second half of the regular season, St. John’s won 14 of its last 16 games, defeated six top 25 programs, went 7-1 against Big East opponents on the road and celebrated its third-straight 20-win season.

On February 18, St. John’s made national headlines as the Red Storm defeated then-No. 2 Connecticut, 57-56, to end the Huskies’ 99-game home-winning streak.

The Creighton Jays (20-12) received an automatic bid to the Big Dance after capturing its second MVC Tournament title. It is Creighton’s fourth time in the NCAA Tournament, first since 2002, the last time the Jays won the MVC. Creighton also received berths in 1992 and 1994.

Sunday’s NCAA First Round meeting will be just the second between the Red Storm and the Jays, who last played each other on November 29, 1997.
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