Seton Hall will look to complete a three-game season sweep of Butler in the quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament just days after hosting the Bulldogs for Senior Night.
Potentially still shorthanded with senior starters Desi Rodriguez and Ish Sanogo questionable due to ankle injuries which kept both out of the Pirates’ win on Saturday, Seton Hall (21-10, 10-8) is eyeing a battle with the winner of Villanova-Marquette in the semifinals should they pull off the rare three-game sweep.
It took true senior performances from Khadeen Carrington and Angel Delgado to will the Hall over the finish line in the last meeting, and one would think tonight’s neutral court clash will be even more of a toss-up should Rodriguez and Sanogo sit out again.
Butler (19-12, 9-9), will need to do more offensively than the 27 points they mustered in the first half at Prudential Center while the center combination of Tyler Wideman and Nate Fowler failed to keep Delgado in check for most of the night.
Conversely, Seton Hall has done well of late after their defense was notoriously bad during their losing streak, particularly in first halves; the Pirates have allowed just 31 points per first half over their last five games after allowing close to 50 during the slump.
It appears that Kevin Willard’s strategy with Butler is to let Kelan Martin (35, 27 points) go off, and try to dominate at the other four spots, and it has worked so far this year, although Seton Hall’s seniors have carried more than usual when facing Butler.
Butler has slightly more pressure to perform, but the Bulldogs appear safely in the NCAA tournament field regardless of the result, although they can potentially slip from the 8-9 game into a 10- or 11-seed spot.
As for Seton Hall, they look to have played their way off the 8-9 game as a 7-seed in most brackets, but a loss would obviously raise the odds of falling into that dreaded game, while a win would surely prevent that from happening and may even bump them up to a 6-seed.
KenPom says: No. 24 Butler 76, No. 27 Seton Hall 75 (48%)
Series History: 4-7 SH
Projected Butler starters
PG – Kamar Baldwin
G – Aaron Thompson
G/F – Sean McDermott
F – Kelan Martin
F – Tyler Wideman
Projected Seton Hall starters
PG – Khadeen Carrington
G – Myles Powell
F – Myles Cale
F – Mike Nzei
F – Angel Delgado
TV: 930pm, FS1
Radio: AM970 / SIRIUS 83 / XM 83
Opening line: Seton Hall +1
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