Rankings: Syracuse (2/3), St. John's (UNR)
Day & Time: Sunday, December 15, 12:00 p.m. EST
Arena: Madison Square Garden, NY, NY
Line: -3.5, Syracuse
TV: Fox Sports 1
Announcers: Gus Johnson, Bill Raftery
Radio: Syracuse IMG Network
St. John's News: Rumble In The Garden
Streak: 8, Syracuse (14 of the last 15)
First Meeting: On February 8, 1912, the Orangemen established that they were New York's Old Timey College Team with a 25-19 win at St. John's.
Last Meeting: In his first game back from academic ineligibility, Southerland shook off some early rust to score 13 in a 77-58 win in the Dome.
Head Coaches: SU: Jim Boeheim (38th Year, 929-314); St. John's: Steve Lapin (4th Year, 46-30)
Last Year: The Johnnies started off fairly well, getting to 14-7 through the mid-way point of Big East play. Then the floor dropped out, they lost seven out of nine and lost in the first round of the Big East Tournament. A 16-15 record was good enough for the NIT, where they won their first game but lost to top-seed Virginia in the 2nd round.
Last Game: The Johnnies made seventeen-consecutive shots at one point, leading to a massive first-half and eventual 104-58 drubbing of Fordham. D`Angelo Harrison (13 points), JaKarr Sampson (12), Sir`Dominic Pointer (12) andPhil Greene IV (11) all had lots of fun.
Head Coach Bio: After a solid seven-year run with UCLA (six NCAA appearances, four Sweet Sixteens), Lavin took a break from coaching and worked at ESPN for a bit. He returned to coaching in 2010 to try and rebuild St. John's. It's been an ongoing process and one that may or may not ever pan out, depending on what your expectations are for St. John's basketball. Lavin took the team to the NCAAs in his first season and took them to the NIT last year.
"Fear Me, I've Killed Hundreds Of Timelords": As a team, St. John’s led all of NCAA Division I in blocked shots in 2012-13 with an average of 7.3 per contest. Chris Obekpa, a National Defensive Player of the Year candidate, has blocked 44 shots in eight games for a national-leading average of 5.5 rejections per contest. He's very good.
If Syracuse Wins…: The Orange will remain No. 2 in the AP Poll and possibly pick up a couple more votes (Hi Dick Vitale, put your money where your mouth is…)
If Syracuse Loses…: It'll reboot the St. John's rivalry (better late than never) and give this Orange team a wake-up call that their not as good as Dick Vitale thinks they are.
Fun Fact: The highest-ranked opponent of the four-year Steve Lavin Era? No. 2/2 Syracuse on Feb. 10, 2012.
Fun Fact 2: This is the first time SU and SJU will play as something other than conference rivals since 1978.