As the brackets were revealed, Seton Hall kept its fingers crossed as they held hope they would be included in the big dance.
Region after region, no Seton Hall.
The Tournament Selection Committee decided that the 20-12 Pirates were not worthy to contend for the National Championship.
Winning only five of their last 15 games, the Pirates disappointing stretch led to their demise. Early in the season, the Pirates went 15-2, on the verge of a breakout season.
As always in the Big East, the tough conference schedule seemed to expose the Pirates.
In their final regular season game, the Pirates dropped a 86-58 decision to lowly DePaul. This loss was a terrible way to make an impression with the committee. Being that Seton Hall did not make a deep run in the Big East Tournament, the loss to DePaul was essentially the final mark on their resume.
Although they were able to beat Providence and play Louisville tough in the conference tournament, the committee wanted to ensure that the teams selected were playing their best at this point in the season. This was certainly not the case for the Pirates. For the sixth-straight season, Seton Hall is nowhere to be found on the bracket.
The Big East led all conferences with nine included in the tournament.
He averaged 15.2 points per game, while leading the team in rebounding with 10.3 per game.
Next up, Seton Hall will accept their invitation to the NIT. Although disappointed about missing out on the big dance, a successful showing in the NIT is always a great way to cap off a season (especially for seniors).
With Seniors Jordan Theodore and Herb Pope leaving this year, the Pirates will need to find leadership on their roster going forward.
Theodore, the Paterson Catholic product, was a crafty point guard who's knowledge of the offense and ability to see the court will be sorely missed. He led the team in points (16) and assists (6.7) per game during his senior year.
Pope, the New Mexico State transfer, was an emotional leader on and off the court for the Pirates. His feel-good comeback story inspired the Pirates to perform well, with Pope's talent always shining on the court. His strength and aggressiveness on both ends of the court will be tough to immediately replace.
Head Coach Kevin Willard will look to a strong recruiting class to help a strong core of young players next season. Willard showed flashes of brilliance this year, something he looks to get back to after a productive off-season.
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