How to Watch
Time: 6:30 p.m. ET
Streaming: FOX Sports Go
Location: Prudential Center
Records: UConn 12-6 (9-6) | Seton Hall 13-10 (10-7)
KenPom Rankings: UConn – 29 |Seton Hall – 42
Seton Hall got the best of UConn in their first matchup of the season. UConn, of course, was without their star and leading scorer, James Bouknight. UConn fell behind early and was playing catchup for most of the game, but never quite caught up. Will Seton Hall pull off the sweep and get a much-needed win to stay in contention for the NCAA tournament? Or will UConn get yet another road win under their belt (UConn is 5-3 in true road games this season in Big East play).
Seton Hall is trending downward at about the worst time possible, heading into March. The Pirates have dropped their last two games on the road at Georgetown and at Butler. Give Butler and Georgetown credit though, these losses aren’t as bad as they seem, both teams have come on late in the season and they can’t be overlooked. Still though, these are not games you can afford to lose for a Seton Hall team hovering around the bubble. A win over UConn would go a long way to help them out.
This game has plenty of story lines for a game that should already be full of intrigue. Danny Hurley is returning to coach against his alma mater. Seton Hall will be allowing limited fans for the first time all year, which of course nicely coincides with senior night. A home crowd (however small) and sending the seniors off with a win should be motivation enough for Seton Hall. Have I mentioned this is a must win game for Seton Hall unless they can make some noise in the Big East tournament? The Huskies had no answers for Mamukelashvili and Myles Cale during their last game. Jared Rhoden also had a solid performance. Can they return to form and replicate this with their season on the line in front of a home crowd?
As for UConn, the Huskies are coming off one of their most complete performances of the season. Dan Hurley said that he didn’t want to lose anymore at home and the team heard him loud and clear. UConn beat Marquette convincingly in a game that never really felt all that close. This was the type of performance UConn needed. Great defense, impressive offense. James Bouknight and RJ Cole are becoming the dynamic backcourt duo that Hurley had envisioned all along. Bouknight’s return has elevated the team’s performance, particularly on the offensive end of the floor. It took a few games for the team to adjust, but they were firing on all cylinders against Marquette. However, I’m sure UConn fans would like to see this kind of performance on a more consistent basis. There’s no time like March to get things rolling for UConn.
Speaking of March, UConn is still a bubble team of sorts. They seem to be almost a lock for the tournament, and you have to think a win over Seton Hall will push them towards firmly in. You never know what the committee is think though (or if they are thinking at all). Winning is always a safe bet though. Can UConn help clinch a spot in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2016?
Really there is one question here that each team is facing. Can Seton Hall bounce back and break out of their two-game skid? For UConn, was that offensive showing against Marquette a replicable recipe for success? Both teams should be desperate for a win. UConn to solidify their place in the NCAA tournament, and Seton Hall to get on the right side of the bubble, who wants it more?