|(18-8, 7-7)||(18-8, 8-5)|
|February 18th, 2012|
|Fifth Third Arena, Cincinnati, OH
|Jordan Theodore||PG||Cashmere Wright|
|Aaron Cosby||SG||Dion Dixon|
|Fuquan Edwin||SF||Jaquan Parker|
|Brandon Mobley||PF||Sean Kilpatrick|
|Herb Pope||C||Yancy Gates|
Opening Line Cincinnati (-6)
After a season saving win at Rutgers, the Pirates held serve at home with must-have wins over Pittsburgh and St. John's to even their conference record at 7-7 and in doing so, improved their NCAA chances from, 'hopeful' to 'realistic.'
The Pirates and Bearcats are so evenly matched -- on paper. Kenpom currently has Seton Hall at 45th, while Cincinnati holds the 41st ranking. UC holds a 108-103 advantage in adjusted offensive efficiency, while the Pirates have a 3 point (87-90) advantage in adjusted defensive efficiency.
The glaring difference between the two teams is their respective resumes and that currently separates them on opposite side of the bubble, today. Despite holding a two game advantage in the conference, the Bearcats have their share of bad losses this season (vs PRE, vs MRSH, vs SJU, @ RU), however they do hold quality wins @ Georgetown and @ Connecticut (maybe?).
Both teams need this game and it has all the makings for a rememberable one. The Bearcats probably need it more, but the Pirates realize how close their are to their first bid since 2006. I've been hearing a lot of fans calling the tilt, a, "win and in" for the Pirates. That's correct, assuming the Pirates take care of business at home against Rutgers, (which is never easy regardless of time or place), and on the road at DePaul. There really aren't any safe assumptions when it comes to Big East basketball. We'll have plenty of time to analyze Seton Hall's tournament chances later, but for now, it's one game at a time.
As always, Let's Go Hall!