Even though Seton Hall lost another heartbreaker today—84-83 to Marquette in OT—there is still a chance they are going to give the NCAA seeding Committee headaches when it comes time to chose the 65 teams for this years tournament.
It's going to come down to the last three, and possibly four or five, games of their season.
With an overall record of 16-11, and 7-9 in Big East play, one would say the chances of the Pirates of making the NCAA tournament are probably not good at all—that may not be true. If they win their last two games, and win at least one Big East tournament game, they could be sitting right on the bubble on selection Sunday.
The Hall's last two games are very winable, and winning one game in the Big East tournament is a good possibility also.
Rutgers and Providence, two Big East cellar dwellers, are Seton Hall's final two regular season opponents. Even though both games are on the road, they're games that Seton Hall should win.
If they win their final two, they will finish the regular season on a 6-2 run—the seeding committee likes to see teams finish strong.
This would bring their final regular season record to 18-11, but what would be more impressive would be a .500 record (9-9) in the Big East—It's not the ACC we're talking about!
They are going to get another cellar dweller in the first round of the Big East tournament. They should win this game, and if they can win one more games in the Big East tournament—which would not be that hard to do—then they could end up firmly on the bubble, or in the tournament.
It's about what they've done throughout the season: Unlike most teams from the other major conferences, Seton Hall doesn't have a "bad loss."
They have no bad losses and they have enough solid wins for the committee to take notice. They have good wins over Cornell, Louisville, Cincinnati, Pitt, and Notre Dame—all these teams are headed to the tournament or are currently on the bubble.
What could make Seton Hall's case valid, is not just the wins, but the close loses to good teams.
Seton Hall might have played more overtime games than any other team in the country. It's not good that they lost all of them, but they go down as what the seeding committee calls, "good losses."
Overtime losses to No. 7 West Virginia, Virginia Tech (21-7), Marquette (19-9, 10-6 in Big East), and South Florida (17-11, 7-9 in Big East) are all going to impress the seeding committee when their whole body of work is taken into consideration.
They also lost a close one to No. 14 Temple 71-65.
Two regular season wins and two conference tournament wins would bring the Pirates to that all important 20 win level (21-12), and a winning record in the Big East.
With so many Big East teams making a case to become tournament eligible, it's highly doubtful the committee will give consideration to another border-line team from this conference, but stranger things have happened on selection Sunday.