February 2017 | Page 9 of 26 | Zagsblog
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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.
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Monday / July 13.

    NEWARK — In front of a sell-out crowd of 16,733 on Saturday against the reigning national champions, Seton Hall didn’t do any favors to its NCAA tournament résumé.

    Instead, following the 92-70 beatdown they received from No. 2 Villanova at Prudential Center, the Pirates laid out the crystal clear path they need to take in order to have a shot at returning to the Big Dance.

    As it stands, Seton Hall (16-10, 6-8) is sixth in the Big East with four games remaining on their schedule. Conventional wisdom says the Pirates need to finish at the very worst 9-9 in conference play – anything below an even record wouldn’t warrant a tournament invite.

    Up next for the Pirates is their second meeting with Xavier, this time at home on Feb. 22. By all indications, the last game of their current three-game home stand is a must-win.

    Khadeen Carrington and his Seton Hall teammates made the NCAA Tournament a year ago after stunning Villanova in the Big East Tournament championship game at Madison Square Garden.

    Now, with another huge game against the No. 2 Wildcats on tap on Saturday, Carrington says the season will be a failure if the Pirates don’t go dancing again.

    “I would consider it a failure,” Carrington, who is coming off a career-best 41-point outing in Wednesday’s win over Creighton, told me Friday. “I think we definitely have enough strength, enough players. We’re a good team. I think we definitely are a tournament team and we’re just focused on making this last home stretch a good one and making a run to the NCAA.”