2010 NCAA Tournament: Four Reasons Seton Hall May Smile This Sunday
Seton Hall came up short in their biggest game in four years last night, in the second round of the Big East tournament.
What was most likely a "play in" game, the Seton Hall Pirates did not get the win over other fellow bubble team Notre Dame, losing 68-56.
Their current resume has them at 19-12 (9-9) with a 58 RPI and an SOS of 30.
Some experts feel that the loss in the second round to Notre Dame may have them out of the NCAA tournament field, but here are four reasons the selection committee may still select the pirates for their first NCAA bid in four years.
No Bad Losses
The Seton Hall Pirates have not lost to a team with an RPI lower than 64 this season. Their current resume has them listed with no "bad losses," something that all of the other bubble teams cannot brag about.
Seton Hall is 13-0 against teams with a 100+ RPI, and seven of their 12 losses have come to top 25 RPI teams, most of which were in overtime or very close.
Three of Seton Hall's four OT losses have come to NCAA Tournament teams that include West Virginia, Marquette, and Virginia Tech.
They have played the beasts of the Big East though, losing to West Virginia in overtime, leading at Villanova in the second half, and losing to Syracuse by only seven.
Five Top 60 RPI Wins: The Most Of Any Other Bubble Team
Seton Hall has wins against Pittsburgh, Louisville, Cornell, Notre Dame, and Cincinnati.
That's four tournament teams and one team in the quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament.
All the other bubble teams have at most only three top 60 RPI wins. Memphis has two; UAB has three; Rhode Island has two; Washington has three; Dayton has three; Arizona State has two; and Mississippi has two.
Seton Hall Plays In The Best Conference in College Basketball
This year the Big East is in contention for a career high nine tournament bids. No other conference comes close to that, with the Big 12 coming in second with six or sevven.
On selection Sunday, the selection committee will be comparing this Seton Hall team, who had a 9-9 record in the best conference, to teams who played slightly above .500 in weaker conferences.
How will a 12-6 record in the weak Pac-10 look for Arizona State compared to a 9-9 record in the top Big East conference? Not so good for Arizona State.
How will a 10-7 record in the A-10 look for Rhode Island compared to a 9-9 record in the top Big East conference? Same story.
These will be tough choices for the selection committee on Sunday, but overall Seton Hall will probably be favored.
Strength of Schedule
Seton Hall's SOS is currently listed at 30th in the country.
With that 30 toughest schedule, they were still able to go 19-12.
Think San Diego deserves to make it over Seton Hall? They have an SOS of 68 and have only one more win on the season than the Pirates.
Same applies to the 23-7 UAB Blazers who have an SOS of 94.
The only bubble team with a comparable SOS to Seton Hall is Dayton and they sport a similar record of 20-11.