Seton Hall Pirates Win NCAA Tournament
With the COVID19 outbreak, we have lost out on many sporting events. Right now, the worst of it is the loss of the NCAA Tournament. The NCAA Tournament is one of the biggest sporting events of the year with everyone filling out their brackets, entering pools, and trying to find ways to watch the games played on the Thursday and Friday afternoons.
For different fan bases, this means the loss of the opportunity of seeing your team and/or alma mater make a run. This year, things were presumably wide open enough for teams to make a run they had not previously made, had not made in a long time, and for some, may never make again.
For example, Dayton was projected to be a possible one seed, and they had last made the Final Four in 1967, which was well before the current field of 64 (or 68). This experience wasn’t just limited to mid-major schools. Baylor, a team from the Big 12, has not been to the Final Four since 1950. They too were projected to be a Final Four team.
Gonzaga could have returned to the Final Four and maybe this time won the championship. Maybe UCLA basketball could have been rejuvenated with a Cinderella run under Mick Cronin. The possibilities were endless for many teams.
That include Seton Hall.
Seton Hall was having its best season since P.J. Carlesimo left the school for the NBA in 1994. Since that time, Seton Hall had gone from perennial tournament team with a Hall of Fame caliber coach to a team with just seven tournament appearances over the subsequent 25 years. Over that time frame, they have only been the Final Four once, and they had never been above a six seed in the tournament.
That was all about to change. Seton Hall was projected to be a three seed with their getting a favorable draw, at least in terms of travel. They would have played the first two rounds in Albany, and with some luck, they would have played the regional final in MSG.
This was a team with Myles Powell, who was the team’s first First Team All-American since Walter Dukes in 1953, and the third Pirate to ever achieve that honor. He was also the Big East Player of the Year making him the first Pirate to accomplish that since Terry Dehere in 1993. He also could have been the first ever Pirate to be the Naismith Men’s College Basketball Player of the Year.
Between Powell, and other players like Quincy McKnight, Sandro Mamukelashvili, Romaro Gill, Myles Cale, and others plus Kevin Willard having his best season as a coach, Seton Hall fans are wondering what if?
To a certain extent, this just shows how special a team this was. After all, this was a team with one of the best players in the country and the second most quad one wins in the nation. Seton Hall winning a simulated tournament is something to celebrate.
But, in the end, this is bittersweet because we didn’t get to see it or celebrate it. To a certain extent, this is once again John Clougherty with a horrendous foul call on Rumeal Robinson helping give Michigan the National Title. Put another way, Seton Hall fans were once again cheated of experiencing and enjoying seeing the Pirates win a the NCAA National Championship.
Irrespective of that, this should be enough for Seton Hall to raise the banner in Walsh Gymnasium they couldn’t raise in 1989. After all, Seton Hall won the National Championship in this simulation. Let us all enjoy this to the extent we can.
Onward Setonia, finally, we are bound for victory.