Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

NCAAB

After tough tourney opener, Seton Hall takes on UConn in Big East

After tough tourney opener, Seton Hall takes on UConn in Big East

played a taxing first-round game in the Big East tournament that finished past midnight on the East Coast. Now, after a quick turnaround, the sixth-seeded Pirates will be back in action Thursday night against third-seeded in the tournament quarterfinals in New York City.

The Pirates (21-9) staved off an upset bid from Georgetown and won 57-53 in the final first-round game of the night at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday. The Hoyas, in an effort to erase the infamy of their winless Big East campaign, led Seton Hall for much of the game.

But Seton Hall closed on an 11-3 run. Jamir Harris’ deep 3-pointer with 40 seconds to go flipped the score in favor of the Pirates for good.

“Give Pat (Ewing) a lot of credit for the way his teams have played all year. They’ve been so unlucky,” Pirates coach Kevin Willard said postgame on FS1. “What’s great about this (Seton Hall) group is they never get rattled.”

The Hoyas were able to give the Pirates a scare due to their rebounding advantage, something Willard hopes will be corrected against UConn. Georgetown had a plus-14 rebounding margin and controlled the offensive glass 21-9.

“In the first half they kicked our butt on the boards and that was the biggest difference,” the coach said. “Going to play against a very physical UConn team, we’re going to have to rebound the basketball.”

The Huskies (22-8) won six of their past seven games to secure the third seed in the tournament. They are playing their strongest basketball since returning to the Big East before the 2020-21 season, but to take the next step under fourth-year coach Dan Hurley, they will need to find some postseason success. The program last won an NCAA Tournament game in 2016.

The #20 team in the nation, UConn ranked second in the Big East season in scoring offense (76.1 points per game) and scoring defense (65.7). To Hurley, it’s the latter that will help his team unlock its potential down the stretch.

“The games we have failed in, we haven’t played the elite defense it takes to advance in March,” Hurley said. “If we don’t play elite defense, the way this team is built, we won’t advance in either tournament.”

UConn’s Jordan Hawkins missed the regular-season finale with a concussion and doesn’t appear likely to be ready for Thursday’s game. The freshman averages 5.8 points and 2.0 rebounds in 14.7 minutes per game, mostly off the bench.

Tyrese Martin might be playing with something personal to prove. The senior wing is UConn’s third-leading scorer (13.4 ppg) and second-leading rebounder (7.6) while shooting 43.9 percent from 3-point ranger, but he was left off the All-Big East team — a snub in the eyes of his coach and teammates.

“If you don’t like being left off,” Hurley recommended, “go get MVP or go get all-tournament.”

UConn and Seton Hall split their season series, each winning at home. The Pirates took a 90-87 overtime win on Jan. 8 behind a career-high 27 points from Kadary Richmond, who shot 10 of 13 that day.

But Richmond is playing through a sprained thumb and sat most of the second half against Georgetown, so it’s unclear how involved he will be on Thursday.

The Huskies got revenge with a 70-65 win Feb. 16 in Storrs, Conn. Adama Sanogo had 20 points and 16 rebounds to guide UConn.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

PlayAction Podcast

SGPN | Thursday Night Football Prop Bets | Week 7

NFL

The @GamblingPodcast guys are joined by @ReallyRell__to go over their favorite Thursday Night Football prop bets.

Inside Pack Sports | IPS LIVE | ACC Football Week 7 Rewind
Inside Pack Sports | IPS LIVE | ACC Football Week 7 Rewind

NCAAF

On this IPS Live episode, the @InsidePackSport staff talks ACC Football, previews the week’s games, who's improved, who could struggle & more

SGPN | NFL Gambling Podcast | Week 6 Recap & Week 8 Look Ahead
SGPN | NFL Gambling Podcast | Week 6 Recap & Week 8 Look Ahead

PlayAction Pods

SGPN's @rjvillagomez and @Moneyline_Mac dive into the Week 6 results and discuss which teams to back and fade going forward.

SGPN | College Football Experience | Dantabase Top 25
SGPN | College Football Experience | Dantabase Top 25

NCAAF

SGPN's @TheColbyD reveals his brand new Top 25 and keys in on why. Is Tennessee really the top team in the land?

Inside Pack Sports | FSU Postgame Review With IPS Analyst Phillip Danford
Inside Pack Sports | FSU Postgame Review With IPS Analyst Phillip Danford

NCAAF

The gang at @InsidePackSport talks about the Wolfpack’s win over Florida State with IPS Analyst Phillip Danford.

SGPN | College Football Experience | Dantabase Top 25
SGPN | College Football Experience | Dantabase Top 25

NCAAF

SGPN's @TCEonSGPN releases this weeks current Dantabase Top 25 rankings and @TheColbyD & @PattyC831 break it all down

SGPN | Week NFL 5 Recap & Early Week 7 Look Ahead
SGPN | Week NFL 5 Recap & Early Week 7 Look Ahead

PlayAction Pods

SGPN's NFL Gambling Podcast recaps Week 5 & looks ahead to favorable lines for Week 7 w/ @rjvillagomez & @Moneyline_Mac

JetNation | After Big Win in Pittsburgh; Dolphins Up Next For Jets
JetNation | After Big Win in Pittsburgh; Dolphins Up Next For Jets

NFL

Hosts Dylan and Glenn break down the Jets’ win in Pittsburgh and preview this week's game against the Miami Dolphins for @JetNation

SGPN | The College Football Experience | Week 6 Picks
SGPN | The College Football Experience | Week 6 Picks

NCAAF

SGPN's @TCEonSGPN previews CFB Week 6. @TheColbyD, @PattyC831 & @NC__NicK break down each and every game & key in on their favorite bets