The Seton Hall Pirates continued their winning ways upsetting the fourth-ranked Michigan Wolverines in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The come-from-behind victory made national headlines as Seton Hall won over the Preseason Big Ten favorite. Seton Hall relied on its experience, defense, and depth to surprise the Wolverines on their home floor. This is a monumental win for Kevin Willard’s squad as they showed their grit after being down by eleven points in the second half. This early-season win will go a long way come March for Kevin Willard’s squad.
Seton Hall came into the game as a decisive underdog and relied on their mental toughness to overcome a team loaded with future professionals. Seton Hall was able to overcome Hunter Dickinson's 18 points by slowing him down and holding him to one field goal in the final fifteen minutes of play. The Pirates also contained the Wolverines heralded freshman class and the rabid fans at Crisler Arena.
Seton Hall was led by a balanced scoring attack from Tray Jackson, Jared Rhoden, and Bryce Aiken that combined for 42 points on the night. Jackson went three for three from downtown and continues to flourish in his second year as a Pirate. Bryce Aiken scored eleven of his thirteen points in the second half including some clutch free throws during crunch time. 37 of the Pirates points came from players off the bench.
Many observers felt this game would be trouble for Seton Hall, except for Kevin Willard’s squad that had an aura of confidence heading into the game. “I expected us to win this game. This wasn’t a shock for me,” said Coach Kevin Willard. Seton Hall showed their internal toughness as they battled back to take the lead with 1:15 seconds remaining in the game. It was their first lead since late in the first half.
Seton Hall limited Michigan to three of fifteen from three-point range and overall shot 42% from the field. The Pirates continued to tinker with the rotation and had contributions from nine players. This helped them keep players fresh for crunch time based on their depth. This is the first time the Pirates have won a road game against a non-conference AP top-five team in university history. They were 0-5 heading into last night. This was Seton Hall’s first win over a top-five nonconference team since beating Temple in the 2000 NCAA Tournament. This year’s Pirates hope to build on this enormous victory as they move into the next part of their challenging non-conference schedule.
Notes- This was a rematch of the 1989 National Championship Game and the first meeting between the two squads since December 1989. The all-time series is 2-1 in favor of Michigan. Seton Hall is 3-0 to start the season for the first time since 2017-2018. The Pirates' next test will be versus Ohio State on Monday in the Fort Myers tip-off in Southwest Florida. This could be a battle of Top 25 teams after the rankings are released on Monday.