After falling in the second round of the BIG EAST Tournament to ND 68-56, the Pirates ensured that they wouldn't play their way into the Big Dance. Although, they're likely headed to the NIT, it's still possible for The Hall to back their way in to the NCAA Tournament. So you're saying there's a chance? Well. There is a chance, however, we need to wait and see how the conference tournaments play out to know just how much of a chance they have. Once a Cinderella (or two) upsets a tournament lock in a conference championship, the Pirates can begin planning for the NIT. Not only are the conference favorites required to win their respective tournaments, but the bubble must also implode in a similar fashion as the Pirate's interior defense last night. If all the cards fall right, Seton Hall may wake up Sunday morning with a fighter's chance at 6PM. Will the chance come easy? No, but what has this season?
Let's get to the reactions:
GB's Post Game Thoughts reflects on the season that was:
The season was long and contained plenty of ups and downs. It was frustrating, but entertaining, hopeful, but underachieving. Progress was made, but the NCAA tournament was not. Was it enough progress? That depends on the opinion of each individual fan, I suppose. In Bobby Gonzalez's fourth year, he set expectations of making the NCAA Tournament, yet delivered a .500 conference record.
The Fighting Irish Plunder the Pirates, writes Rakes of Mallow:
After a really rough start to the game where Notre Dame couldn't hit a shot, were turning the ball over and looked generally lost, Luke Harangody came in and helped get the Irish a lead they never relinquished. Harangody looked great, scoring out of the post, crashing the offensive boards and keeping the offense moving while putting up a double-double. Tory Jackson had another big second half and Carleton Scott continued his stellar play, although he was limited by foul trouble.
Seton Hall will wait until Sunday to find out if they will make the NCAA Tournament or settle for an NIT bid, which would be a first in the Bobby Gonzalez era.
"The microwave was ready to go tonight," Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said about the instant offense Harangody provided as a reserve. "It was not anything anybody in this room hasn't seen."
Tory Jackson added 13 points and six assists for the Fighting Irish (22-10) in a game with significant NCAA implications. Notre Dame, riding a five-game winning streak at just the right time, plays second-seeded and No. 16 Pittsburgh in the quarterfinals Thursday night.
The Pirates are holding onto hope, but are realistic of their chances come Sunday night, writes Brendan Prunty:
Even still, the Pirates know their chances are slim. But if you see them stocking up on four-leaf clovers, rabbits' feet, horseshoes and cashing in every favor they have, don't be surprised. They're still holding out hope - no matter how faint it may be.
"We haven't lost hope," Garcia said. "But at the same time, we're realistic. We know the situation. We know what guys are saying about this being a big game for us and if we won, we probably would have cemented ourselves into the tournament. But at the same time, we're realistic."
Prunty also has the Pirates currently out of the field of 64:
Seton Hall still has a solid profile and no bad losses on their resume, but 12 losses is a lot to stomach for a team that has only one quality road win to its name. They will need the conference tournaments to go according to plan and for some fellow bubble-sitters to get bounced in their tournaments early to make the field.
West Virginia must defeat Cincinnati tonight. I don't know if Cincinnati will receive serious consideration should they win tonight, but if they defeat WVU and win on Friday, I think it's safe to say the Bearcats will officially steal any consideration that we had remaining. Oh, that thing about the number of bids not playing a factor with the committee? Yeah, don't believe it.
Jerry Carino praises the job done by Mike Brey:
-Take a bow, Mike Brey. This was a transformed Notre Dame team from when we saw them last. Instead of trying outrun the Pirates-which no one in the league can do aside from Villanova-the Irish slowed things to a crawl. It clearly frustrated the guys in blue. Outstanding, superb coaching job and the execution was patient and discplined. SHU was unable to respond. The Pirates are not built to grind out possessions.
Eamonn Brennan breaks down the loss and Seton Hall's Tournament hopes with a bit of programming speak:
Big East Tournament (four games yesterday): The biggest bubble issue of the day was resolved: If Seton Hall beat Notre Dame, did the Pirates belong in the NCAA tournament? The value for that function is null.
Gonzo spoke with MSG.com's Fooch in regards to tournament chances following the loss.
Jerry Palm, College RPI & CBS Sports: Seton Hall In.
Joe Lunardi, ESPN: Seton Hall First Four Out (#4).
Fox Sports: Seton Hall First Four Out (#4).
Lastly, as we posted in a Fan Shot earlier this afternoon, Stix had some choice words for Bobby Gonzalez as reported by J.P. Pelzman:
Mitchell, who repeated the earlier comment about Gonzalez not being "consistent" for emphasis, also said, "there are people three rows behind the bench who are coaching the team."
Well, for all the detractors of the NYT articles, I'd like to hear your reactions. There was a lot of chatter about how the NYT only spoke to irrelevant Manhattan players who hardly played for Gonzo. Well, I guess you can say Mitchell's minutes were significantly reduced once conference games rolled around as he was unfairly relegated to the bench. Last season? He saw 36mpg and 15ppg. This year? 21mpg and much of that came during non-conference play when the transfers weren't available. He's been an absolute warrior on the court, a true leader both vocally and by example.
There's a reason why I lobbied for an increase in his playing time all season long. On the floor, you'll NEVER see him give less than 100%, ever. Yes, he's not without his faults and he's taken his share of bad shots recently, but on this squad, who hasn't? For what reason did he receive 14 minutes TOTAL in the first TWO conference games? Seriously, 3 minutes against SYR? A team he dominated in two games last year? It still doesn't make sense and it never will. Stix was shafted this season. Don't forget, last year he played his ass off for Gonzalez as an undersized four and was rewarded this season by catching the short end of the stick when it came to divvying up the minutes. You don't like to see a player call out his coach, or vice versa, but in this situation, I can't blame the man.