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.
NEWARK — Before a sold-out crowd at the Prudential Center on Saturday afternoon, Seton Hall added fuel to its NCAA Tournament bid and crashed a rival’s celebration party.
The Pirates beat No. 23 Villanova, 79-75, to add to their NCAA Tournament resume and momentarily prevented Villanova from winning their fifth outright Big East regular-season title in six years. The Wildcats did win the Big East crown several hours later when Marquette failed to take care of business at home and lost to Georgetown, 86-84.
Seton Hall is now all but assured of heading to its fourth straight NCAA Tournament under coach Kevin Willard.
“Amazing,” said junior guard Myles Powell, who had 20 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists. “I have no words right now. I want to call the seniors [from last year], I told them I was going to hold it down for them. I knew what it would take and we played with our hearts today.”
(AP) — What could go down as LSU’s most successful basketball season in about four decades also has been tarnished by the suspension of coach Will Wade amid concerns about the recruiting tactics he used to build his team.
LSU Chancellor F. King Alexander and athletic director Joe Alleva announced on Friday that they suspended Wade indefinitely and appointed assistant Tony Benford interim head coach. Benford’s first game in his new role comes Saturday, when No. 10 LSU (25-5, 15-2 Southeastern Conference) hosts Vanderbilt (9-21, 0-17) with an opportunity to win at least a share of the SEC regular season championship.
The suspension came a day after reports that an FBI wire-tap captured Wade’s telephone conversations with a person convicted last year of funneling money to the families of basketball recruits. In a joint statement, Alexander and Alleva said the suspension will continue until LSU can ensure that Wade’s recruiting tactics have been in full compliance with NCAA and university policies.