Arizona State and St. John’s were able to sneak into the NCAA Tournament Field and will square off in the first round on Wednesday night. The Sun Devils finished the season with a ton of momentum, while St. John’s is limping into the tournament. Both teams are led by solid guard play, and this should be a high-scoring affair.
Arizona State finished the regular season with a 22-10 record and went 10-6 in the Pac-12. The Sun Devils have impressive wins over Kansas and Mississippi State this season. St. John’s lost five of their last seven games and finished the regular season with a 21-12 record. The Red Storm went just 8-10 in Big East Conference play. Arizona State is a 1.0 point favorite over St. John’s in this game.
St. John’s Needs To Make Shots
Finding consistent offense has been a struggle for the Red Storm this season, but they have the ability to make shots. St. John’s is shooting better than 36 percent from deep as a team, and they are going to have to get hot to win this game. The Red Storm are averaging 77.5 points per game this season but managed just 54 points in their last game against Marquette.
Point guard Shamorie Ponds has been the leader of the Red Storm offense this season. Ponds leads the team with 19.5 points and 5.2 assists per game and will look to push the pace against Arizona State. The St. John’s team doesn’t have a ton of height or inside play, but forward Marvin Clark II has a chance to have a big game. If Clark can establish himself down low, it should give their shooters more time to get their shots off.
Arizona State Has Depth
Arizona State has eight different players that play around 20 minutes a game, and all of them can score point. The Sun Devils don’t really have a true offensive star, but they have several players that are capable of having a big night. Romelo Edwards and Rob Edwards combined for 34 points in the Sun Devils last win, and give Arizona State plenty of scoring. Arizona State will look to try to wear down the St. John’s guards.
The Sun Devils are averaging 77.8 points per game this season, and they dish out close to 14 assists per game. Forward Zylan Cheatham is averaging a double-double this season, with 11.8 points and 10.4 rebounds per game. Arizona State might have had a slightly disappointing season by their own standards, but they have the pieces to make a deep run.
Sun Devils Advance To Field of 64
St. John’s has looked like a tournament team throughout the season, but they have been scuffling down the stretch. Arizona State got hot at the right time and was able to win enough games to get into the tournament. The Sun Devils just have too many weapons on offense, and they will win this game. Bet the Arizona State Sun Devils -1.0 over the St. John’s Red Storm.