Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
The last time Seton Hall was ranked in The Associated Press Top 25 poll, George W. Bush had just succeeded Bill Clinton as President, 9/11 hadn’t happened yet and the Yankees were the three-time defending World Series champions.
Now, for the first time since Jan. 30, 2001, the Pirates are ranked in the Top 25, although they are not ranked in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll.
Seton Hall checks in at No. 24 in the AP poll after compiling a 14-2 record that included last Tuesday’s 75-63 upset of then-No. 8 UConn. The Huskies fell to No. 17 in the poll.
“Seton Hall’s one of the better teams I think in the league and will be a very good [NCAA] Tournament team,” said UConn coach Jim Calhoun after his team lost at Rutgers Saturday. “They were a better team than us and they beat us. But it’s how they beat us that is disappointing.”
Syracuse (17-0), one of three unbeaten teams in Division I, remained No. 1 for the fifth straight week.
The Orange received 60 first-place votes from the 65-member national media panel. Kentucky, which got the other No. 1 votes, North Carolina and Baylor remained second through fourth.
Seton Hall entered the 2000-1 season ranked No. 10 and were 10-3, but a fight between teammates Ty Shine and late Eddie Griffin sealed their fate. They lost seven of eight and finished 16-15.
This year’s Pirates have exceeded expectations after being picked No. 13 in the Big East preseason poll.
Rutgers coach Mike Rice told SNY last week that Pirates coach Kevin Willard should be considered a favorite for Big East Coach of the Year honors.
Seniors Herb Pope and Jordan Theodore are both playing very well, and junior wing Fuquan Edwin had a career-high 24 points to go with five steals in Saturday’s win at Providence.
The Pirates return to action Tuesday at home against DePaul.
(The AP contributed)
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.