Get to know the team Arkansas plays in the first round of the NCAA Tournament: Seton Hall.
Arkansas opens up play in the NCAA Tournament Friday afternoon against Seton Hall.
The Pirates went 21-11 overall and 10-8 in conference play. They finished in a tie for third in the basketball-rich Big East conference and made it to the semifinals of the conference tournament before being eliminated by reigning national champion and overall No. 1 seed Villanova.
Seton Hall is a private Roman Catholic university in South Orange, N.J., which is less than an hour away from New York City. Its enrollment is roughly one-third the size of the University of Arkansas.
Head coach Kevin Willard is in his seventh season with the Pirates, who are 128-101 (.630) under his guidance. Before coaching at Seton Hall, he spent three seasons as Iona’s head coach and 10 seasons as an assistant under Rick Pitino at Louiville and with the Boston Celtics.
Here are five other things you should know about the Pirates before the Razorbacks play them in Greenville, S.C., on Friday:
1 - Common Opponents
While Arkansas didn’t play any Big East teams this season, Seton Hall played a pair of SEC schools. The Pirates lost to Florida 81-76 at the AdvoCare Invitational in Kissimmee, Fla., on Nov. 24 and beat South Carolina 67-64 at the Under Armour Reunion at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Dec. 12.
The Razorbacks were swept by the Gators – 81-72 in Fayetteville and 78-65 in Gainesville, Fla. – and beat the Gamecocks 83-76 in their lone meeting in Columbia, S.C.
2 - Playing Away From Home
During nonconference play, Seton Hall played one road game and six neutral site games, compiling a 4-2 record. In addition to the aforementioned SEC opponents, the Pirates beat Iowa (road game), Quinnipiac, Hawaii and California and lost to Stanford.
Once they hit conference play, the Pirates went 3-6 on the road. They won their final two road games, including a six-point win over No. 13 Butler. In the conference tournament at Madison Square Garden, Seton Hall went 1-1. That gives it a 8-9 overall record away from home.
Arkansas, on the other hand, played really well outside of Arkansas. In nonconference play, the Razorbacks lost their only two true road games – at Minnesota and Oklahoma State – but beat Texas in Houston.
In the SEC, they went 6-3 on the road and 2-1 in the conference tournament. That comes out to a 9-6 overall record in games not played in the Natural State.
Friday’s game will be played at Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, S.C. It is the same location as this year’s SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament.
3 - Studs
Seton Hall has a trio of juniors scoring at least 15 points per game each. The Pirates are led by 6-foot-10 forward Angel Delgado, a unanimous first-team All-Big East selection. He averages 15.3 points on 54.8 percent shooting and an NCAA-best 13.1 rebounds.
Khadeen Carrington, a 6-foot-4 guard, earned second-team all-conference honors after leading the Pirates in scoring at 16.9 points per game. He is also second on the team in assists (3.0) and steals (1.2) and is Seton Hall’s top three-point shooter at 37.7 percent on 159 attempts.
Although the Big East didn’t recognize him, 6-foot-6 forward Desi Rodriguez has also been solid for the Pirates, averaging 15.9 points and 5.1 rebounds and shooting 36.0 percent from three-point range on 136 attempts.
4 - Depth
All three players in that three-headed monster play more than 30 minutes per game, with Carrington and Delgado averaging more than 33 minutes. A fourth player, senior guard Madison Jones, plays 29.3 minutes per game.
Those four guys have started at least 30 of Seton Hall’s 32 games. Beyond them, freshman guard Myles Powell (23.8), junior forward Ismael Sanogo (22.6) and sophomore forward Michael Nzei (18.0) are the only other Pirates who average 10 or more minutes per game.
That means Seton Hall really only goes seven players deep, while Arkansas has nine players averaging between 11.6 and 27.4 minutes per game. That group doesn’t even include freshman Adrio Bailey, who averages only seven minutes but has given the Razorbacks extended minutes a few times this season.
5 - Basketball History
Seton Hall may not have the cache of other big-time college basketball programs, but it is certainly a basketball school. The Pirates’ lone appearance in the Final Four was in 1989, when they finished runner-up to Michigan.
They were led by future NBA coach P.J. Carlesimo that season, as well as in 1991, their only other trip to the Elite Eight. Carlesimo coached the Pirates to six of their 11 all-time NCAA Tournament appearances.
Other names associated with Seton Hall you may recognize include Bill Raftery, who coached 11 seasons at the school before becoming a well-known broadcaster, and Tommy Amaker, who was a well-known player and assistant coach at Duke before coaching four seasons with the Pirates.
Three Seton Hall players are in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame: Bob Davies, John “Honey” Russell and Bobby Wanzer.
Here's a statistical comparison of the two teams:
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