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Johnnies basketball to begin NCAA play on the road

The Saint John’s University basketball team will be making its fourth-straight trip to the NCAA Division III tournament.

But unlike the past three, this time the Johnnies will be starting on the road.

The tournament pairings were announced Monday morning and SJU (23-4), which beat Macalester 75-71 in the MIAC Tournament championship game this past Sunday (Feb. 27) at Sexton Arena, is part of a four-team pod at Wisconsin-Platteville.

The Johnnies take on Calvin (Michigan) in one first-round matchup Friday (March 4). Marian (Wisconsin) faces the host Pioneers (this season’s runner-up in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) in the other.

The two winners Friday advance to play in the second round Saturday (March 5).

Calvin finished second in the regular-season Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Conference standings this season, then fell to conference champion Hope 76-68 in the conference championship game last Saturday (Feb. 26).

Guard/forward Luke Morrison leads his team with an average of 18.6 points per game.

The Johnnies hosted a pod for the first and second rounds in 2018, 2019 and 2020 (there was no tournament played during the COVID-19 abbreviated season a year ago).

You can find out more by clicking this link to be directed to the full story on the Johnnies’ NCAA berth at

Meanwhile, the Johnnies track and field team is celebrating the first MIAC indoor championship in school history. SJU won the meet – held Feb. 24-26 at Carleton’s Recreation Center in Northfield – with a total of 185 points.

Junior Maguire Petersen won both the heptathlon and the high jump. Junior Elijah Wade won the triple jump. The distance medley relay team of freshman Jorge Hernandez and sophomores Thomas Nemanich, Nathan Clausing and Lloyd Young won their event in a time of 10:25.88.

The Johnnies compiled a total of 15 top-eight finishes at the meet.

The College of Saint Benedict finished fifth in the women’s competition. The Bennies were led by sophomore Fiona Smith, who won conference titles in both the three and five-kilometer runs. Her time of 9:34.60 in the 3K race broke a 35-year-old conference record by 12 seconds. It also broke her own school record in the event.

SJU Basketball Team

Saint John’s University basketball team

SJU Track and Field Team

Saint John’s University track and field team

Fiona Smith

Fiona Smith