How to Watch:
Date: Saturday, February 26th, 2022
Time: 3:30pm EST
Venue: Cintas Center - Cincinnati, OH
TV: FOX (Brandon Gaudin & Nick Bahe)
The Musketeers left Cincinnati earlier this week with a chance to put a cherry on top of their resume. They return home empty-handed to face Seton Hall on Saturday.
“We gotta be able to turn the page very quickly,” said head coach Travis Steele late Wednesday night after the Xavier Musketeers (17-10, 7-9) fell in triple-overtime at Providence. The loss was his team’s third straight and fifth in six games.
The visiting Seton Hall Pirates (17-9, 8-8) will enter the Cintas Center looking for their third consecutive win after beating DePaul and Butler at home. Kevin Willard has coached his team back to .500 in the Big East, winning five of their last seven, after ending the month of January at 3-6.
One of those five wins came against Xavier at the Prudential Center in the second week of February. Seton Hall dominated the glass in that one, pulling down more offensive rebounds than any other Xavier opponent. Jared Rhoden scored 25 points, tied for his second-highest mark this season. The Pirates led for most of the game, including the entire second half, and held off a late Xavier run.
In their bid to split the series with the Pirates, Xavier may be without Nate Johnson for the fourth consecutive game due to a knee injury. Johnson worked out on Friday, but his status for the game is to be determined.
Both teams have had up-and-down seasons, and both are safely within the bracket for the NCAA tournament. However, this game has serious implications for seeding for March Madness and for the Big East tournament at Madison Square Garden in less than two weeks. Seton Hall and Xavier, currently at sixth and seventh in the conference respectively, would play on Wednesday of the tournament if the season ended today. The winner of Saturday’s game may find a spot among the top five seeds, earning a bye to Thursday. The loser will have an uphill climb to avoid playing on the first day of the Big East tournament.