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Seton Hall Basketball: Open Game Thread - Seton Hall Pirates (8-9, 2-3) @ Pittsburgh Panthers (16-1, 4-0) - 7PM (SNY/ESPN3.com)

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Seton Hall @ Pittsburgh, 7:00PM EST
Petersen Event Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Opening Line: Seton Hall -13.5 (SHU 7-8ATS)
Television: SNY
Radio: WSOU 89.5 FM
Twitter @SOrangeJuice @JPGuerette @JohnLopiano @The_Bracket_Man

Seton Hall Pirates, Big East, Record: 8-9 (2-3), KenPom: 72, RPI: 103, SOS: 24

Projected Starting Lineup: G Jordan Theodore, G Jeremy Hazell, G/F Fuquan Edwin, F Jeff Robinson, F Herb Pope

If you told a non-basketball fan watching the game against Depaul that Jeremy Hazell was coming back from nearly two months of non-basketball activity, a gun shot wound, and a broken wrist with only one practice under his belt, they would have told you that you're crazy. Not only did he play, but he played 30 minutes, which tied Keon Lawrence for most on the team. Okay, so what, he played 30 minutes, big deal! Well Hazell scored 23 points on 10-17 shooting, knocked down 2 treys and threw down an alley-oop for good measure. The next highest scorer for the Pirates was Herb Pope, with 15.

Gun shot wound? The newspapers must be lying. Broken wrist? The clunky brace was probably just a fashion statement.

I bet Pittsburgh head coach Jamie Dixon is pulling a Tom Izzo game plan for Penn State's Talor Battle: move back the three point line several feet in practice and make sure Jeremy Hazell is accounted for at all times. Do that, and the game should be much more comfortable for the Panthers.

Pittsburgh Panthers, Big East, Record: 16-1 (4-0), KenPom: 5, RPI: 5 , SOS: 31

Projected Starting Lineup: G Ashton Gibbs, G Brad Wanamaker, F Gilbert Brown, F Nasir Robinson, C Gary McGhee

This team is impressive. Fresh off a beat down of Georgetown, the Panthers come home to take on our Pirates before they host #4 Syracuse. Many Pirate fans are pointing towards a trap game, which is optimistic and not too crazy to think about for a few seconds.

Okay back to reality. Pittsburgh leads the nation in assists per game, they are 6th in rebounds per game and 10th in rebounds per game. If that doesn't scare you, they are an extremely deep team. They have guard Travon Woodall off the bench who will play 15-20 minutes. In the front court, they have a bunch of weapons off the bench. Lamar Patterson, Talib Zanna, Dante Taylor and JJ Richardson will all play a few minutes to spell the three bruisers Gilbert Brown, Nasir Robinson and Gary McGhee.

Seton Hall is already undermanned up front - Herb Pope and Jeff Robinson will need to play like they did against Syracuse. If they don't, expect a lot of Aaron Geramipoor and Anali Okoloji, because the starters will be in major foul trouble. Even if they play well, I still don't think they will be able to stay out of foul trouble.

KenPom Prediction: Pittsburgh 77, Seton Hall 61

Seton Hall Athletics:

Seton Hall snapped a three-game losing streak with a convincing 78-67 victory at DePaul on Wednesday. The game also marked the return of senior sharp-shooter Jeremy Hazell who led all scorers with 23 points off the bench. The win was the Pirates' first BIG EAST road victory of the season and improves their conference record to 2-3. Three players are averaging in double-figures in scoring for the Pirates. Freshman Patrik Auda missed his third game with an injured right foot.

Pittsburgh Athletics

A win would give Pitt a perfect 5-0 start to a Big East regular season play for only the fourth time in school history (2002-03, 2006-07 and 2009-10). Pitt has never began a Big East regular season with six consecutive wins. Pitt is off to a 4-0 start in Big East play for the seventh time in school history and for the seventh time in the last 10 years. So far, Pitt has won at No. 22 Georgetown, claimed home wins vs. Marquette (89-81) and No. 4 Connecticut (78-63) and won at Providence (83-79).:

Go Pirates!