Matchups This Season
1/22: Rutgers 66 - Seton Hall 60 // at Seton Hall
2/12: Seton Hall 69 - Rutgers 64 // at Rutgers
PPG: Jeremy Hazell, 19.4
RPG: Herb Pope, 8.0
APG: Jordan Theodore, 4.4
PPG: Jonathan Mitchell, 14.2
RPG: Dane Miller, 6.0
APG: Mike Coburn, 4.0
The two New Jersey schools in the Big East split their season series with both teams winning on the road. The rubber game will take place in the conference tournament, with the winner earning a date with hometown favorites St. John's.
Seton Hall (13-17, 7-11) is led by senior guard Jeremy Hazell, who made the All-Big East third team. Hazell averages just under 20 points a game in just under 35 minutes a game and is the key player for the Pirates. He reached 2,000 points in his college career earlier in the season.
On the inside, Jeff Robinson and Herb Pope provide some undersized force at 6'6" and 6'8" respectively, but combine to bring down 14.4 rebounds per game. Rutgers might be worrying too much about Hazell and leave Robinson and Pope unguarded at time.
On the Rutgers (14-16, 5-13) side of things, Gilvydas Biruta, an All-Big East rookie of the year, has provided the Scarlet Knights with 53 percent shooting and 9.5 points per game in only 22 minutes per game. Jonathan Mitchell leads the way for this team, however, as was evidenced by his 25 points in Rutgers' upset of then No. 10 Villanova on February 9. Mitchell against (most likely) Herb Pope will be an interesting matchup to watch in the low block, as both 6'8" forwards will hustle for points and tough rebounds.
While Rutgers has its lone signature win over Villanova, Seton Hall can point to wins against Syracuse, St. John's and Marquette to show why they'll move on to round two.
Winner: Seton Hall