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Seton Hall Pirates (16-11, 7-9) @ Rutgers Scarlet Knights (15-14, 5-11) 7:00PM Open Game Thread

Seton Hall @ Rutgers, 7:00PM
Louis Brown Athletic Center, Piscataway, NJ
Television: ESPN
Radio: 770 WABC 

Online: Seton Hall v. Rutgers Coverage, Twitter @GonzoBall @thecycle

Projected Starting Five: G-Harvey, G-Theodore, G-Hazell, F-Robinson, F/C-Pope

The rematch tonight at the RAC.  Seton Hall knows what's at stake, win and cling to the thread of the bubble.  Lose and they'll continue fighting for an NIT berth.  Should the Pirates lose out, they'll finish at 7-11 for the third consecutive year.  Which team wants it more?  Pope's last second foul has surely fired up the Scarlet Knights who already want to bring home a victory for Hamady Ndiaye's senior night. 

SHU Athletics preview:

Each of the last seven games in this series have either gone to overtime or been decided by six points or less. Most recently, Seton Hall defeated Rutgers, 76-70, on Feb. 23.

From the RU preview:

A "Senior Night Block Party" for Rutgers students in honor of team co-captain Hamady Ndiaye (Dakar, Senegal), who will be playing his final game on the RAC hardwood, will supplement the evening. Ndiaye leads the BIG EAST and ranks third nationally in blocks with 4.6 rejections-per-contest. He also ranks second among active NCAA players in career blocks with 346, which is nine rejections shy of the Rutgers career mark (355) set by All-American and NBA veteran Roy Hinson (1979-83).

Mike Rosario responds to Herb Pope's hard foul at the end of game one. Courtesy of J.P. Pelzman:

"There's nothing to say about that. That's just the way they are and we carry ourselves the way we are. The biggest thing right now for Rutgers University basketball is to get this win. You're going to see a team that's going to come out from the beginning to the end with so much energy and passion."

Jerry Carino has the quotes from Gonzo in preparation of tonight's action:

"It's revenge game," Gonzalez said. "We've beaten them two times in a row in their building. It's hard to go on the road and win in a rivalry game three years in a row. So we've got a lot going against us in that game."

Hamady has a ton to play for in his final game at the RAC, as reported by Brendan Prunty:

Instead, he's focused on playing well in front of his parents, who he has only seen sparingly since leaving Senegal. Mazide Ndiaye, his father, has been to two games, but Thursday night will be most special because his mother, Henriette, has only ever seen him play pick-up games.

"I can't imagine what that's going to be like for her," Hamady said. "I really can't imagine. It's going to be probably the most amazing thing she's ever seen."

Jerry Carino adds how special the game will be senior from Senegal:

"My mom and my dad are going to be here, it's Senior Night, last game here, playing Seton Hall, the rival. It's going to be extremely hard for me, knowing myself, being so emotional. It's going to be a challenge blocking everything out and going and playing."

Great story and great career for H.  We wish him the best of luck in his future and basketball career.  After tonight, of course. 

As always, Let's Go Hall!