NEW YORK (Ticker) -- Mike Sweetney will try to lead Georgetown to its first National Invitation Tournament title on Wednesday, when they face Big East Conference rival St. John's for the first time in the postseason since the 1985 NCAA Tournament.
Sweetney scored 32 points Tuesday to lead Georgetown to an 88-74 victory over Minnesota. The 6-8, 250-pound Sweetney made 16-of-18 free throws as Georgetown (19-14) avenged a loss to Minnesota in the 1993 championship game.
In 1985, Patrick Ewing led Georgetown to a victory over Chris Mullin and St. John's in the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament. Two days later, Georgetown was stunned by another Big East school, Villanova, in one of the biggest upsets ever in the championship game of the NCAA Tournament.
Sweetney scored 22 points in Georgetown's 77-72 home loss to St. John's on January 18. The Hoyas have won eight of their last nine games away from home and are 12-9 all time in the NIT.
St. John's (20-13) is seeking its sixth NIT championship and edged Texas Tech, 64-63, in the semifinals on Tuesday. Marcus Hatten came up with a steal and a layup with 16 seconds left to lift the Red Storm to their ninth appearance in the NIT final.
Hatten poured in 34 points in the January 18 win over Georgetown.
The Red Storm have won nine of their last 10 games. They are 39-21 all time in NIT games at Madison Square Garden, which serves as their primary home court. Thursday marks just the second ever that a pair of Big East schools are meeting. Seton Hall defeated St. John's in the 1953 final, nearly 30 years before the formation of the Big East.