Nearly one calendar year later, history repeated itself.
St. John’s had the No. 1 seed down big.
Last year, it was a 17-point lead over Villanova.
This year, it was a 14-point bulge against Marquette.
The results were the same: Painful losses.
And this latest one, an agonizing 72-70 overtime defeat, may result in the end of the Mike Anderson era as the Johnnies’ coach after his fourth season without a postseason berth.
After going scoreless in the first half, Big East Player of the Year Tyler Kolek scored 19 points, seven in overtime.
His two free throws with 15.8 seconds left were the game-winners.
AJ Storr and Posh Alexander both missed potential go-ahead 3-pointers and Marquette survived.
Oso Ighodaro’s offensive rebound and follow, after St. John’s failure to extend the lead on two previous possessions, with 1:01 left in regulation gave Marquette the lead.
On the other end, Dylan Addae-Wusu missed the front end of a 1-and-1 and Kam Jones sank a 3-pointer to extend the lead to four.
Storr was fouled on a 3-point attempt with 19.6 seconds left and hit all three free throws.
After an Alexander steal, David Jones put his head down driving to the basket and was stripped with 12.9 seconds to go.
After Olivier-Maxence Prosper hit one of two at the line, Addae-Wusu pulled the Johnnies even with 4.6 seconds to go.
The defeat featured familiar issues: Problems taking care of the ball, lack of a structured half-court offense and an inability to get key stops.
The 63–year-old Anderson, who never has had a losing season, will have failed to win 20 games in any season at the Queens school barring an unexpected NIT invite.
St. John’s was up 10 at halftime, but Marquette turned up the defensive pressure, and the Johnnies’ disjointed offense was lost in the second half.
It shot 24 percent from the field and committed 22 turnovers altogether.
St. John’s was projected to at least compete for an NCAA Tournament bid each of the last two years, but didn’t come close.
It went 3-22 in Quad 1 games the last two years and 2-14 against ranked opponents.
It finished eighth in the Big East this season, and the program’s top players – David Jones, Andre Curbelo and Alexander – took a step back.
There have been disciplinary issues.
Curbelo was suspended for a number of games and Rafael Pinzon has finished the season on an indefinite suspension.
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