Brendan Prunty was lucky enough to get out of covering the Hall/Pitt mess on Saturday, but he and The Shootaround are back, looking at the crossroads that currently face the team:
Only two weeks after beating Louisville and Pitt to get into the NCAA conversation, Seton Hall has lost three straight and is very likely staring at an NIT bid instead. But what has to send a red flag is how Hazell responded to Bobby Gonzalez's benching.
Are we looking at the NIT? I don't think it's as outright as most are making it out to be, you've got to consider the CBI for this team as well.
Speaking of which, The Bracket Project, predicts the Pirates will receive a #4 seed in the NIT, facing off with Virginia in the first round.
Should the Pirates not make the NIT or CBI, there's also the CIT or College Insider(dot com) Tournament. At least if the Pirates make the CIT, we'll have a football-esque feel, as playing a "dot com" postseason would be quite similar to an obscure bowl game. Should be fun.
Pat Forde of ESPN provides his best and worst college towns for each conference and of course, South Orange checked in with an honorable mention:
Worst Town: Storrs (13)
Comment: "Only college town I've ever seen that reminds you of a retirement community, and LIKES it that way."
Also receiving votes: Morgantown, South Bend, South Orange/Newark.
I forwarded Forde's article to a friend of mine, a Connecticut alumnus, with the intention of firing him up over the honors bestowed upon Storrs. Not to mention, Syracuse was also anointed as the, "best basketball town." The following emails arrived in my inbox:
2:18PM: I would love further explanation of that statement.
2:44PM: I don't get it. Unless he likens old people (in CT) rooting for the UConn WOMEN to a retirement home or it could also be in reference to Storrs having more drugs than a retirement center.
Excellent analysis. Taking Forde's capitalization of, "LIKES," into consideration, I'll go with the latter.
After winning consecutive games against two other bubble teams, Notre Dame is firmly back on the bubble as they prepare for battle with Seton Hall. CW of Rakes of Mallow begins to break down the Pirates:
They're led by the inside-outside combination of Jeremy Hazell and Herb Pope, a talented duo that's going to give the Irish all kinds of trouble. Hazell's a rangy 6'5" guard scoring 22 a game, while Pope's averaging a double-double and two blocks, meaning that securing the paint is going to be incredibly important.
I think Seton Hall fans are more concerned with containing Luke Harangody than the their Irish faithful counterparts who may be worrying about the Hazell/Pope combo. We'll be looking for JRob to slow down Harrangody, tough task, good luck.
Coming close is not an option, writes Tom Noie, in regards to Notre Dame stealing one in Newark:
The Pirates once fashioned themselves NCAA tournament material but are on a three-game losing streak. The Hall has to be wondering right now, which leaves the door open for Notre Dame. A veteran team goes into downtown Newark and wrestles this one away. Coming close cannot be an option. Time for that "Road Dawg" attitude, once a staple of Brey's tourney teams at Notre Dame, to return.
I sure hope The Hall is, "wondering," right now. They've got a ton on their minds to wonder about. First on their mind should be focusing on making an NIT push.