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Seton Hall's NCAA Tournament fate in committee's hands

Sports Editor

Published: Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, September 12, 2012 14:09

Following a loss to Louisville in the second round of the Big East Championship, the Pirates' NCAA Tournament fate lies in the hands of the NCAA Tournament selection committee.

"I believe this team deserves to be playing and hearing its name called on Sunday," head coach Kevin Willard said. "Again, I've always been under the belief that it's the total year, it's not just two games that you have played bad maybe at the end of the year or a tough stretch. Our total resume is as good as anyone's out there."

The Hall ends the season with a 20-12 overall record and 9-11 in the Big East, including tournament play. With an RPI ranking of 61 and overall strength of schedule rated as the 51st toughest in the nation, the team sits right on the NCAA Tournament bubble.

"From day one until now, I think we've done a pretty good job of winning games and beating the teams we had to beat," senior Jordan Theodore said. "We had some tough losses, but I think we did enough to get in. But I just can't say that; it's up to the selection committee, so we're just going to see what happens on Sunday."

One number that is in favor of the Pirates is their 7-9 record against teams with a top 100 RPI. Top 50 RPI wins over Georgetown, Connecticut, VCU help the Hall's chances but recent bad losses to Rutgers and DePaul could be fresh on the committee's mind along with a loss to Villanova earlier in the season.

"I see our non-conference and we got a lot of good wins lot of road game," sophomore Fuquan Edwin said. "We just didn't finish out strong but it comes with the season."

With 16 conference tournaments still being played, including the Big East, the NCAA Tournament landscape can still change but as of right now ESPN's Joe Lunardi has Seton Hall as one of his first four teams out.

Three days of basketball will be played before the brackets come out on Sunday but checking the latest bracketology rankings will not be among the things the team will be doing.

 "I'm just going to get in the gym, get better and just pray," Theodore said. "That's all we can do. That's all I'm going to do is just get better. I'm not going to watch TV, I'm just going to get better, go to school and live my life."

Theodore's fellow senior Herb Pope also echoed his statement.

"Pretty much we are just going to sit back and lean on each other how we have been the entire season," Pope said. "We went through a tough stretch in the middle of the year and I thought that hurt us but we learned how to get through that. It's going to be a tough 48 hours for us and we just have to hope and pray."

Pope also stated that the team will be at Willard's house during the NCAA Tournament selection show, Sunday at 6 p.m.

Stephen Valenti can be reached at Stephen.valenti@student.shu.edu

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