Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Morning News: Seton Hall Loses A Must-Win, Temple Routs Cincinnati, And Wes Clark Is Done

Keith Hornsby had a chance to topple Kentucky at the buzzer

Seton Hall Loses A Must-Win Stuck on the bubble, Seton Hall had suffered two straight bad losses coming into this one, and had just this one home game before heading on the road for three tough games (Providence, Villanova and St. John's). They really needed to get the win here. But instead of showing up playing well, they trailed 22-4 at one point. They closed the gap late in the first half, but it ballooned again in the second half. Georgetown dominated inside, collecting a 40-to-22 advantage in paint points and holding Seton Hall to 34% two-point shooting.

Now 5-7 in Big East play, Seton Hall has no choice but to win at least one of these three upcoming road games. They're just 10-9 against the RPI Top 200 and their RPI has slid all the way out of the Top 60. It won't be impossible for them to earn an at-large bid at 8-10 in Big East play, but they need to reach 9-9 to have a good chance on Selection Sunday.

Georgetown snapped their own two game losing streak here, though their losses were both against Top 50 teams. They're back to 8-5 in Big East play and their RPI is up to 21st, despite the fact that they're just 3-8 against the RPI Top 50. They shouldn't be worried about anything on Selection Sunday but their tourney draw.

Temple Routs Cincinnati Jesse Morgan was more of a distributor than a scorer in this game, but Temple got big performances out of Jaylen Bond and Will Cummings to cruise to their sixth straight victory. They are now 12-3 since Morgan and Devin Coleman became eligible to play midseason. The games played before they became eligible still count, of course, but conference play matters much more than what happened in November.

Temple's RPI is up to 33rd and they're 6-6 against the RPI Top 100. If they can get to 13-5 in AAC play (a 4-2 finish) they will actually be pretty safe for an at-large bid. If they go 3-3 or 2-4 down the stretch then they'll have work to do in AAC play. Considering where things were when Jesse Morgan became eligible (outside the Top 100 in basically every computer rating), it's amazing what Temple has achieved.

Cincinnati is 8-4 in AAC play, meaning that this loss probably will cost them a real chance for the AAC regular season title. They'd have to win out to have a good chance. But with four RPI Top 50 wins and an RPI inside the Top 30, they're certainly on pace for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. They'd need a pretty bad collapse down the stretch to lose out.

Wes Clark Done For The Season It's been a bleak season for Missouri fans, and it got even worse last night with an ugly, painful injury to Wes Clark that is going to end his season. The silver lining for Missouri, I guess, is that this season wasn't going anywhere anyway. It's not like this injury will cost them something. The goal is going to be with some reasoning talented young players that they'll be more competitive next season.

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