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Back in the saddle: Seton Hall is rolling again in February

(photo: Assosciated Press)

I tweeted this when Seton Hall was up 2 with 18 seconds left and refused to foul a Xaiver player which almost caused the Pirates to lose the lead on a wide-open three-pointer that was missed by Colby Jones.

It's the kind of thing that when you cover this team on a game-by-game basis you get used to. It's always a soap opera in South Orange and that's why I'm hopelessly hooked on covering the Pirates. Tonight's game was a microcosm of what the Seton Hall experience is. Some crazy highs, some head-scratching decisions by players and coaches, some physical drama .....

In the end, as the Jamir Harris free throw revolved around the rim and didn't fall with 1.9 seconds left, I fully expected Paul Scruggs full-court heave at the buzzer to go in and give the Musketeers the win. Tonight though the basketball Gods spared the Seton Hall team and fans from another heartbreak. What looked like a spiraling Seton Hall team at the end of January has looked more and more like the team that beat Texas and Michigan in December. After Covid pauses, a concussion for Bryce Aiken on a foul "that he committed" in the final moments against Marquette that Aiken is still unable to recover from

Add on the embarrassment of playing an on-campus students-only game against your rival and getting your doors blown off. That happened against St. John's in January. Yet here we sit in February with these same Pirates on a three-game winning streak. Of course, the next two games are at Villanova and UConn but with these players and this program, any result is possible.

What's not to love about covering this program. The drama on a night-to-night, from will Bryce Aiken play tonight to will Kevin Willard leave for Maryland? The glimpses of brilliance from Kadray Richmond, the shot-blocking prowess of Ike Obiagu, Rhoden's intensity. The madness that comes from an absolute no-show performance like against St. John's. Willard's humor when he tells reporters like Zach Braziller from the NY Post that he wishes he could switch jobs with him so "I could ask you about your subway ride to the game."

I'm so thankful that I get to cover Seton Hall. From laughing with Angel Delgado to Myles Powell's thoughtful answers to my questions and Willard forever being the foil I could never walk away from this gig. I'm hooked to covering Seton Hall. There's no 12 step program back from this. This team will forever be the underdog, the runt of the litter but man do they have their moments. This year's Pirates team has every intangible to make a run at the sweet sixteen. They also could lose in the quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament. Like any good drama, it will keep you guessing until the end. Lucky for us fans and reporters, we're nowhere close to that here in February. Buckle up, it's about to get really interesting.


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