The St. John's men's basketball team is 27-30 all-time in 28 NCAA Tournament appearances. In that span, St. John's reached the Final Four twice but have yet to win a title. (St. John's did win six NIT titles, including several back when that was considered the more prestigious tournament.) Take a look back at a year-by-year breakdown of the Johnnies in the NCAA tourney.
1951: Under head coach Frank McGuire, St. John's went 26-5 in the regular season. In the first round of the tournament, the Johnnies topped UConn, 63-52, led by 18 points from Bob Zawoluk. St. John's ended up falling to Kentucky, the eventual national champion, in the regional semifinal but went on to beat North Carolina State in the regional third-place game, which the NCAA did away with in 1981.
1952: In McGuire's final year at the helm, the Johnnies faced familiar foes in the tournament. They beat North Carolina State in the East regional semifinal before getting revenge against Kentucky in the East regional final. St. John's knocked off Illinois in a 61-59 battle in the national semifinal. Zawulok again led the way with 24 points. But in the national title game, the Johnnies were no match for Kansas. The Jayhawks' Clyde Lovellette dropped 33 points as Kansas won 80-63.
1961: The Joe Lapchick era didn't have quite as much success. In his only NCAA Tournament appearance with the team, St. John's was eliminated by Wake Forest in the first round, 97-74.
1967: St. John's advanced to the East regional semifinal against Boston College after sliding past Temple, 57-53, in the opening round. Rudy Bogad scored a game-high 21 points against BC, but St. John's lost, 63-62. In Lou Carnesecca's first stint as head coach, St. John's played in the regional third-place game, this time falling to Princeton, 78-58.
1968: John Warren led the way with 24 points, but St. John's fell to Davidson, 79-70, in the first round.
1969: After getting revenge over Princeton with a 72-63 first-round win, St. John's was eliminated by Davidson for the second straight year in a 79-69 loss in the regional semifinal. The Johnnies lost to Duquesne, 75-72, in the regional third-place game.
1973: In Frank Mulzoff's last of three years as head coach, the Johnnies made it back to the tournament, only to lose in a 62-61 heartbreaker to UPenn in the first round.
1976: With Carnesecca back as head coach, 1976 marked the beginning of a remarkable stretch of tournament appearances for St. John's. The Johnnies appeared in the tournament 18 times in a 20-year span. This time around, however, they fell to Indiana, 90-70, in the first round.
1977: It didn't get much better for the Johnnies in 1977. Greg Deane scored a game-high 25, but the Johnnies were bounced from the tournament by Utah in the opening round, 72-68.
1978: St. John's once again was eliminated in the first round, falling to Louisville, 76-68.
1979: As a No. 10 seed in the East, they knocked of No. 7 Temple, 75-70, as Wayne McKoy led the way with 22 points. St. John's pulled off an even bigger upset in the second round, squeaking past No. 2 Duke, 80-78, then beat Rutgers, 67-65, in the regional semifinal. But much like six years earlier, St. John's fell to No. 9 UPenn in another heartbreaker, 64-62, in the regional final.
1980: After finishing in a three-way tie with Georgetown and Syracuse for the regular-season Big East title in the conference's first year, St. John's landed a No. 3 seed and a bye in the Mideast region. It didn't help, though.St. John's lost to No. 6 Purdue, 87-72, in the second round.
1982: St. John's finished third in the Big East but still landed an at-large bid. With a No. 5 seed, St. John's knocked off No. 12 UPenn, 66-56, in the first round before falling to No. 4 Alabama, 69-68.
1983: The Red Storm won the Big East Tournament to land a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. After a bye, St. John's defeated Rutgers, 66-55, as Chris Mullin dropped 24 points. No. 4 seed Georgia upset the Johnnies in the regional semifinal, 70-67.
1984: St. John's earned an at-large bid and No. 8 seed after finishing fifth in the Big East. Chris Mullin scored a game-high 21, but Temple eliminated St. John's, 65-63.
1985: In one of their best seasons ever, St. John's finished with a 31-4 overall record (15-1 in conference) to grab the No. 1 seed in the West. This was the first year the NCAA Tournament featured 64 teams instead of 48. The Johnnies easily advanced past No. 16 Southern, 83-59, in the first round. They battled with Arkansas for a 68-65 win in the second round after Mullin put up 26 points. Mullin again led the way with 30 points as St. John's cruised past No. 12 Kentucky, 86-70, in the regional semifinal before beating Spud Webb and No. 3 North Carolina State, 69-60, in the regional final. In its first Final Four appearance since 1952, St. John's ran up against Big East rival Georgetown, led by Patrick Ewing. The Hoyas won, 77-59.
1986: St. John's nearly matched its regular-season success from the previous season, finishing 31-5 overall (14-2 in conference) and once again snagged the No. 1 seed in the West. The Johnnies topped No. 16 Montana State, 83-74, in the first round but were upset by No. 8 Auburn, 81-65, in the second round.
1987: After getting bounced from the Big East Tournament in the first round by Providence, the Johnnies managed to land an at-large bid as the No. 6 seed in the Midwest. They squeaked past No. 11 Wichita State with a 57-55 win in the first round before getting eliminated by No. 3 DePaul, 83-75, in the second round.
1988: St. John's again managed to get into the NCAA Tournament with an at-large bid after a first-round lost in the conference tournament. This time, it was as an 11-seed and brought about a loss to No. 6 Florida, 62-59, in the first round.
1990: After a one-year absence from the Tournament, Carnesecca's squad bounced back with a fourth-place finish in the Big East, good for a No. 6 seed in the East. Despite 32 points from No. 11 Temple's Mark Macon, the Johnnies advanced with an 81-65 win in the first round. Next up: Christian Laettner, Duke and a 76-72 loss in the second round.
1991: St. John's entered the tournament as a No. 4 seed and easily beat No. 13 Northern Illinois, 75-68, in the first round. All five starters scored in double digits in the second round as the Johnnies eliminated No. 5 Texas, despite a 32-point effort from Joey Wright. In a big-time upset, all five starters once again reached double-digit points as St. John's knocked off No. 1 Ohio State, 91-74. But Laettner, Grant Hill and Duke once again proved to be too much for the Red Storm as the Blue Devils beat the Johnnies, 78-61, in the Elite Eight before winning the title.
1992: It was a disappointing finish to Carnesecca's final year as head coach. St. John's landed a No. 7 seed in the Midwest but suffered a 61-57 upset at the hands of No. 10 Tulane.
1993: New coach Brian Mahoney kept the streak going with the Johnnies' fourth straight Tournament appearance. As the No. 5 seed in the East, St. John's beat No. 12 Texas Tech, 85-67, before falling to No. 4 Arkansas, 80-74, in the second round.
1998: In Fran Fraschilla's second and final season as head coach, the Red Storm made it back to the tournament for the first time in five years. The 7-seeded Johnnies got upset by No. 10 Detroit Mercy, 66-64, in the first round.
1999: After falling to UConn in the Big East Tournament championship, St. John's earned the No. 3 seed in the South. In Mike Jarvis' first year at the helm, the Red Storm beat No. 14 Samford, 69-43, in the first round then eliminated No. 6 Indiana, 86-61, in the second round. Erick Barkley led the Johnnies past No. 2 Maryland with 24 points in a 76-62 win in the regional semifinal. but they couldn't get past No. 4 Ohio State in the Elite Eight, falling 77-74.
2000: The Red Storm finished third in the Big East in the regular season, but beat Villanova, Miami and UConn, respectively, in the conference tournament to land the No. 2 seed in the West. Bootsy Thornton led the Johnnies past No. 15 Northern Arizona with 20 points in a 61-56 first-round win, but No. 10 Gonzaga pulled off the upset in the second round.
2002: St. John's made it back to the tournament a year after its first sub-.500 season since 1996-97. As the No. 9 seed, the Red Storm lost to No. 8 Wisconsin, 80-70, in the first round, despite 28 points from Marcus Hatten.
2011: After a down stretch, coach Steve Lavin brought the Johnnies back to the tournament in his first season. The Red Storm finished third in the Big East in the regular season and earned a No. 6 seed in the Southeast region but fell to No. 11 Gonzaga, 86-71.
While St. John's has never won an NCAA Tournament, the school did win a record six NIT championships:
1943: St. John's 48, Toledo 27
1944: St. John's 47, DePaul 39
1959: St. John's 76, Bradley 71 (OT)
1965: St. John's 55, Villanova 51
1989: St. John's 73, St. Louis 65
2003: St. John's 70, Georgetown 67