Two teams that are currently on the NCAA Tournament bubble can goose their chances when the Georgetown Hoyas and Seton Hall Pirates meet in a Big East Quarterfinal at Madison Square Garden on Thursday night. This will be the first Big East Tournament game for both teams, and although Seton Hall is the No. 3 seed and Georgetown is the No. 6 seed, both teams finished up 9-9 in conference play.
There are no injuries or suspensions to report for either team coming into the last Big East Quarterfinal on Thursday night.
This isn’t a home game for either team, but you can expect more Seton Hall fans to be in attendance than Georgetown fans due to the proximity of their campus. That has affected the line a little bit, and the Pirates are 2.5-point favorites against the Hoyas tonight. The total has been lined at 152.
What’s at Stake?
Seton Hall might have a good enough resume to earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Pirates have big non-conference wins over Kentucky and Maryland to their credit, and they knocked off the Big East’s two best teams in Marquette and Villanova to end the season.
A win over Georgetown would essentially seal a bid. That would move them to 19-12 on the year, and they would dispatch of another bubble team with the victory. It would likely push their NET ranking into the top 60, and make it very difficult for the Selection Committee to turn them down.
Georgetown is another story. The Hoyas played a very soft non-conference schedule, and losses to Loyola Marymount and SMU coupled with being taken to overtime by South Florida and Little Rock don’t help their cause. Their resume is probably the weakest of the five Big East teams on the bubble, and a loss would surely send them to the NIT.
The Hoyas probably need two wins to feel good about their chances of getting an at-large bid from the Selection Committee. They did finish strong with wins over Villanova and Marquette, but this team has lost its last three games away from D.C. by double digits.
These teams split their two regular season meetings with each side winning once at home. Seton Hall cruised to a 90-75 win where they led by double digits most of the way in mid-February, while the Hoyas outlasted the Pirates 77-71 in double overtime in D.C. two weeks ago.
The winner of this game will go on to play the winner of Marquette and St. John’s in the second Big East Semifinal on Friday night.
Jessie Govan is the key for Georgetown. The senior center has been a lot two better the past two seasons under Patrick Ewing’s mentorship, and he needs to come up big. He has not performed well in three straight games, and Georgetown can’t continue to win with him hitting under a third of his baskets. Govan is just 10-33 from the floor over the last three games, and he turned the ball over six times against Seton Hall in their last meeting.
Myles Powell is not afraid to shoot the ball. Powell has been one of the Big East’s top scorers this season, and he has gone off against Georgetown. He has topped 30 points in both games against the Hoyas, hitting 46.8 percent of his field goals over the two meetings.
If you’re a believer in advanced metrics, you probably like Seton Hall here. The Pirates are ranked 28 spots ahead of the Hoyas according to Ken Pomeroy’s ratings, and they have been much better on defense. Even though Georgetown has Govan, they have really struggled on defense, with the perimeter defense allowing opponents to hit an average of nine triples a game.
This is where Georgetown’s dreams end. Kudos to the Hoyas for winning with Govan underperforming, but their blowout loss to DePaul is more indicative of this team’s current state than the recent win over Seton Hall. Powell is going to have a big game, and the Pirates will win this one by double digits to advance.