Providence Preview: Seton Hall has chance to gain steam, improve NCAA seeding

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A chance to string their first winning streak together in several weeks looms as Seton Hall heads to Providence on Wednesday night.

In search of their third straight win and fifth victory in six games against the Friars, the Hall is up against what comes off as an inconsistent opponent.

Providence of course knocked off Villanova at the Dunk on Valentine’s Day, which came just days after getting blown out by DePaul on the very same court. Go figure.

As a whole, Ed Cooley’s group is NCAA tournament safe (for now), but they will definitely be eying this matchup as their last realistic chance of another resume win before post-season play, as the Friars still have St. John’s, Georgetown, and a trip to Xavier on their slate.

If the first contest between these two schools is worth anything, wing Alpha Diallo (12.3 ppg, 6.5 rpg) is a huge focal point after he dropped 25 points and ten boards on the Hall in Newark — Desi Rodriguez and/or Ish Sanogo will have their hands full again.

One major reason for concern should be Kyron Cartwright’s (10.8 ppg, 5.8 apg) health, as the point guard wasn’t 100-percent last month and it showed via his meager 0-point, two-assist, four-turnover, four-foul showing.

After earning KenPom MVP honors in that game, Khadeen Carrington has been susceptible to fouls since, averaging 4.4 per game. This bodes keeping an eye on, as Cartwright will surely be more effective on Wednesday night.

Bracketology Watch

It’s that time of year again! While I am open to individual articles on tracking bubble teams and projecting seeds, I will be adding in a bracketology blurb for each game preview for the rest of the season. Should Seton Hall continue to slide, things will become more detailed if they edge closer to the bubble.

Big picture: Seton Hall is ahead of Providence seed-wise, but not by much. The Pirates are almost certainly locked into the 8/9 game as the fifth of six Big East schols, while the Friars are likely a 10-seed and a few spots closer to the bubble; consensus says Seton Hall is about 12-15 spots from the cut.

Short term: This game and the St. John’s clash at the Garden are KenPom toss-ups, but if you had to pick just one win, this is the one you would want, as a road win at Providence outweighs a “worse” loss at St. John’s. Splitting the two in this fashion would even boost their resume slightly, as opposed to the alternative.

Series history (since 1950): 41-47 SH

KenPom says: No. 69 Providence 75, No. 40 Seton Hall 74 (49%)

Projected Providence starters
PG – Kyron Cartwright
G – Jalen Lindsey
F – Alpha Diallo
F – Rodney Bullock
F – Kalif Young

Projected Seton Hall starters
PG – Khadeen Carrington
G – Myles Powell
F – Desi Rodriguez
F – Ish Sanogo
F – Angel Delgado

TV: 6:30pm, FSN Regional
Radio: AM570
Opening line: SH +1.5

Please use this post for all in-game and immediate post-game discussion.