Five reasons you’ll love Seton Hall’s 2017-18 non-conference schedule

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Seton Hall’s non-conference schedule is now complete and there’s good reason to get excited about it.

You may have already known most of Seton Hall’s non-league schedule prior to the athletics department releasing a few pertinent details regarding the Preseason NIT Tip-Off last week, but the now full schedule has invoked another wave of nearly universal thumbs-up from Hall fans.

Seton Hall announced they will host Fairleigh Dickinson and Monmouth as part of the Preseason NIT while also revealing that Rhode Island awaits the Pirates in Brooklyn as their first opponent in the four-team bracketed main event.

With that in mind, Seton Hall’s full schedule now looks like this:
Nov. 10 – FDU (Preseason NIT)
Nov. 12 – Monmouth (Preseason NIT)
Nov. 15 – Indiana (Gavitt Games)
Nov. 18-  NJIT
Nov. 23 – Rhode Island (Preseason NIT; Brooklyn)
Nov. 24 – Virginia/Vanderbilt (Preseason NIT; Brooklyn)
Nov. 30 – Texas Tech (Under Armour Reunion; MSG)
Dec. 3 – at Louisville
Dec. 9 – VCU (Never Forget Games; Prudential Center)
Dec. 12 – Saint Peter’s (Walsh Gym)
Dec. 16 – at Rutgers
Dec. 20 – Wagner
Dec. 23 – Manhattan

Five reasons to love Seton Hall’s slate:

1- All of Seton Hall’s games are relatively easy to travel to (I say relatively because Brooklyn is a pain for most) except for their road test at Louisville. If you live in the New York/New Jersey area, you can reasonably attend games at five different venues before the Big East tips off: Prudential Center, Madison Square Garden, Barclays Center, Walsh Gym, and the RAC.

2- Depending on how you classify top shelf mid-majors like Rhode Island and VCU, Seton Hall has seven high-majors on their schedule: Indiana, URI, UVA/Vandy, Texas Tech, Louisville, VCU, and Rutgers. This is definitely a subjective take on it, since one can certainly argue that Monmouth, a traditional low-major, has been a stronger program than say — Texas Tech and/or Rutgers in recent years.

Seton Hall will take on four opponents from last year’s NCAA tournament (URI, UVA/Vandy, Louisville, VCU), two from the NIT (Monmouth, Indiana) and Saint Peter’s, which won the 2017 CIT after starting their season 12-12.

3- Seton Hall will be in the discussion as a pre-season top-25 team and they have scheduled as such. Aside from the aforementioned high-major count, the Hall will play six games that won’t be classified as ‘home’ when it comes to post-season consideration; this number includes the “semi-home” game against VCU at Prudential Center.

A road trip to a top-10 opponent in Louisville provides an excellent chance at a major resume-builder, while the two games at the Barclays Center are likely next-best as far as that goes. Winning away from home is the essence of the NCAA tournament and has become a focal point on Selection Sunday; the staff has set the team up to impress the committee in this respect.

4- There is plenty of local flavor in this non-league dish including the additions of Monmouth, NJIT, and long-standing rival Saint Peter’s, schools which had been absent from the slate in recent years. Add in Manhattan, Wagner (Donald Copeland promoted to asst. coach this off-season), Fairleigh Dickinson, and Rutgers and that’s pretty much every Division I in the area that one can realistically expect on a schedule at the same time. This is in stark contrast to last season, when Seton Hall racked up a ton of frequent flyer miles between Pearl Harbor and the AdvoCare Invitational.

5- A pair of coaching battles stick out on this schedule: Rick Pitino and Danny Hurley. Many Hall fans have been licking their chops since Dan Hurley took the Rhode Island job and they will finally get a chance to see Kevin Willard go up against someone many have desired to coach in South Orange. Elsewhere, the coaching bloodline connection between Pitino and Willard has been obvious since day one; Willard is 0-5 against Pitino at Seton Hall and 0-6 all-time, having lost to Louisville in 2007 while at Iona.