When one thinks of the glory days of the old Big East, battles between Georgetown and St. John's are some of the most revered. Now that the conference has changed, with many original members having moved on, it's still the Hoyas and Red Storm doing battle in the middle of February with potential postseason spots on the line. Both teams come in with four-game winning streaks, so they enter Sunday's matchup at St. John's playing some of their best basketball of the season.
The Red Storm have won seven of their last eight contests, with the only loss coming at then-No. 20 Creighton on Jan. 28 - a setback they avenged at home 12 days later. The Hoyas snapped a five-game losing streak with a win over then-No. 7 Michigan State on Feb. 1 and haven't lost since. The conference rivals met on Jan. 4 in Washington D.C., with the Hoyas coming out on top.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1
ABOUT GEORGETOWN (15-9, 6-6 Big East): Turnovers have been a focus for coach John Thompson III and his team of late, with the club's latest hot streak coinciding with three straight games with a single-digit total of miscues. If the Hoyas are going to make a run at a postseason berth, they must take care of the basketball and not give opponents extra possessions. "I think the guys,they understand what we're looking for, and we're not forcing anything," Thompson told the Washington Post. "We understand, this group, we can't turn the ball over. We realize we can't just be careless with the ball."
ABOUT ST. JOHN'S (16-9, 6-6): The Red Storm seem to finally be finding their game, playing as a team on both ends of the floor as they begin to resemble a potential postseason darkhorse. Still, despite the current run, coach Steve Lavin continues to remind his team there's more work to be done. "You want to win every game, but it's rewarding to see the development coming, given our earlier struggles," Lavin said. "We're not satisfied and cannot afford to be complacent as we haven't accomplished anything of significance yet."
1. The Hoyas (.395) and Red Storm (.405) rank first and third, respectively, in the Big East in field-goal percentage defense.
2. St. John's C Chris Obekpa easily leads the Big East in blocked shots, averaging 3.2.
3. St. John's leads the all-time series 53-47, but the Hoyas have won the last six meetings.
PREDICTION: St. John's 74, Georgetown 68