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Seton Hall Basketball: Open Game Thread - Rutgers Scarlet Knights (14-16, 5-13) vs. Seton Hall Pirates (13-17, 7-11)

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Big East Tournament - First Round

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vs.

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14-16 (5-13 in BE)
13-17 (7-11 in BE)
Madison Square Garden - New York, NY
March 8th, 2011, approx 2:00 PM EST
TV: ESPN2 Radio: 89.5 FM WSOU
Probable starters:
Mike Coburn PG Jordan Theodore
James Beatty SG Jeremy Hazell
Dane Miller SF Fuquan Edwin
Jonathan Mitchell PF Jeff Robinson
Gilvydas Biruta C Herb Pope

Preview courtesy of Brendan Prunty at The Star-Ledger:

Seton Hall will have the advantage if ... Its secondary scoring continues.

Hazell is beginning to heat up which is having a major impact on how teams play the Pirates, but Seton Hall is getting a big boost from its secondary options. In Saturday’s win over Marquette, the Pirates got 14 bench points from Patrik Auda, to go with 11 points from Eniel Polynice. If that keeps up, it’s going to be quite difficult to stop Seton Hall.

Rutgers will have the advantage if ... Biruta is the offensive focal point.

First, because he’s a load down low and if he starts scoring early, he’s difficult to stop. Second, because touches in the post mean that Pope and/or Robinson have to collapse in and defend him. That can lead to foul problems, which Pope has had plenty of the last few games. With no reliable option after Pope, Biruta could be able to go wild.

The savvy fan will notice ... Which bench blinks first.

Seton Hall goes eight deep. Rutgers goes eight deep. The name of the game this afternoon will be fouls. Whoever can keep its head above water the longest will advance to play St. John’s tomorrow afternoon. It’s that simple.

Historical: Seton Hall leads series, 34-25
Last meeting: Seton Hall, 69-64, on Feb. 12, 2011

In the Big East Tournament: Rutgers, 1-0
Last meeting: Rutgers, 61-48, on March 8, 2006