St. John's Red Storm vs Arizona State Sun Devils: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

How to Watch

Where: University of Dayton Arena, in Dayton, OH, USA.

When: Wednesday, March 20th, at 9:10pm EST.

How (TV/Radio): TruTV; March Madness Live Stream on ncaa.com

St. John’s Red Storm

Head Coach: Chris Mullin{Overall: 21-12, .636 W-l% | Conference: 8-10, 7th in Big East}

The Red Storm enter this play-in game as one of the last four teams in, and understandably so, having lost five of their last seven games. These losses include blowouts against Providence on February 20th and Marquette on March 14th in the Big East Tournament.

The Johnnies are making their 30th NCAA Tournament, their first under current head coach and school alumnus, Chris Mullin. The Naismith Hall of Famer’s alma mater has experienced a cold spell in the Big Dance, not advancing past the Round of 32 since 1999, a year where the roster featured retired NBA veteran Ron Artest (now Metta World Peace).

St. John’s is led by junior point guard, Shamorie Ponds, who is averaging 19.5 points per game this season. The Brooklyn native led the Big East in steals while ranking in the top five in scoring and assists. Ponds has performed well in neutral site games this season, with 35 and 37 point performances against VCU and Georgia Tech respectively, along with another 37 point outburst at Georgetown on January 5th.

Arizona State Sun Devils

Head Coach: Bobby Hurley {Overall: 22-10, .688 W-L% | Conference: 12-6, 2nd in Pac-12}

Unlike St. John’s, the Sun Devils finished their season somewhat strong, winning six of their last eight games, with the two losses coming against Pac-12 Conference tournament champion, Oregon. Arizona State fell 79-75 to the Ducks in overtime in the Pac-12 semi-finals, putting up a better fight than their 79-51 road loss on February 28th in Eugene.

Bobby Hurley’s squad returns to the tournament after appearing in the First Four round last year, losing to Syracuse. The former Duke point guard will aim to snap ASU out of it’s own March Madness funk, as the program has not advanced to the Sweet 16 since 1995.

The Sun Devils are led by freshman guard, Luguentz Dort, who is the top scorer on the squad with 16.1 points per game. The 6-4 Canadian from Montreal has a knack for getting to the free throw lines, as his 195 free throw attempts ranked second in the Pac-12. Dort has performed well against tournament teams at neutral sites this year, as evidenced by his 33 and 24 point scoring efforts against Utah State and Nevada respectively.

St. John’s Roster Notes

There are no injuries or roster changes to report for St. John’s.

Arizona State Roster Notes

There are no injuries or roster changes to report for Arizona State.

Head-to-Head: LJ Figueroa vs Zylan Cheatham

LJ Figueroa

Shooting Guard | 6-6, 195lb (198cm, 88kg) | West Oaks Academy (FL) | Lawrence, MA | Sophomore

14.3 PPG | 1.7 APG | 6.2 RPG | 1.8 SPG | 0.2 BPG | 1.3 TOV | .513 FG% | .375 3P%

Zylan Cheatham

Power Forward | 6-8, 220lb (203cm, 99kg) | South Mountain HS | Phoenix, AZ | Senior

11.8 PPG | 3.3 APG | 10.4 RPG | 0.8 SPG | 0.8 BPG | 3.1 TOV | .539 FG% | .435 3P%

Rebounding is an aspect of basketball that is often overlooked by the casual fan but is critical to a team’s success. These two players have proven to be valuable to their teams in this regard, leading their squads in rebounds while also chipping in as scorers when necessary.

Despite being a 6-6 perimeter player, LJ Figueroa has managed to lead the Johnnies in rebounding, largely due to there being only one player on the roster standing over 6-7. The Dominican sophomore has also been a pest on defense, ranking third in the Big East in steals, which was on full display in two games against Georgetown where he combined for ten steals.

The Pac-12 leader in rebounds, Zylan Cheatham has been a trustworthy piece to coach Hurley’s rotation. The local product and former San Diego State Aztec has been a monster on the boards this year, racking up 20+ rebound performances against UCLA and arch-rival, Arizona. His ability to dominate the glass and contribute on offense has translated into 13 double-doubles this year which ranked third in the Pac-12.

St. John’s vs Arizona State Predictions and Odds

Most online sportsbooks are predicting a close game, as they favor Arizona State by 2 points over St. John’s. The most popular over/under amongst oddsmakers is currently 153.