Greenville, S.C. — Seton Hall is eyeing their first NCAA tournament win since 2004 to mark yet another step up in program stature over the last two seasons under Kevin Willard.
As made clear over the last few days, the team seems infinitely more focused ahead of a favorable first round draw compared to last season.
A date with North Carolina — or perhaps the first 16-seed to pull off the feat in Texas Southern — awaits in what will be a semi-home environment but not quite as raucous if the tournament site had been located in Greensboro, N.C. instead of Greenville.
Vegas and KenPom both like the high-flying Razorbacks by a point, but pre-game buzz from Seton Hall’s side of the tracks remains skeptical of the SEC team when compared to the outlook on Gonzaga a year ago.
My scouting report of Arkansas and three keys to Seton Hall victory can be found here. I have also rounded up all of the recent feature stories published by other beat writers below — let me know if I missed any.
SHUHoops prediction: Seton Hall 82, Arkansas 71
KenPom says: No. 39 Arkansas 74, No. 51 Seton Hall 73 (46%)
Series history (SH 0-1)
Dec. 8, 2010 – Arkansas 71, Seton Hall 62 — Louisville, Ky.
Projected Arkansas starters:
G – Jaylen Barford
G – Dusty Hannahs
G/F – Manuale Watkins
F – Dustin Thomas
F – Moses Kingsley
Projected Seton Hall starters
G – Madison Jones
G – Khadeen Carrington
F – Desi Rodriguez
F – Mike Nzei
F – Angel Delgado
TV: 1:30 ET, TNT
Radio: AM 970 (Gary Cohen & Dave Popkin)
Opening Line: Seton Hall +1