Seton Hall Pirates vs. UNLV Runnin’ Rebels Pick & Prediction MARCH 27th 2024

While the Big East Conference got a mere three teams into the NCAA Tournament (and all three advanced to the Sweet 16), the conference’s fourth-best squad has started 2-0 in the NIT.

Seton Hall, an NCAA snub and a No. 1 seed in the NIT, will host UNLV in the quarterfinals on Wednesday in South Orange, N.J. The winner heads to Indianapolis next week for the tournament’s semifinals and championship game.

Coach Shaheen Holloway was “shocked” by Seton Hall (22-12) being excluded from the Big Dance, but after beating North Texas 72-58 in the second round of the NIT on Saturday, he made it clear he was not dwelling on it.

“Whatever happened, happened. We can’t cry over spilled milk,” Holloway said. “It is what it is. We were just focused on North Texas and trying to win this game. What happened, it’s over with.”

After point guard Kadary Richmond, the Pirates’ leading scorer, put up just seven points in a first-round overtime win over Saint Joseph’s, Holloway deployed him in a different role for the North Texas matchup. Richmond collected 11 points, 15 rebounds and six assists.

“I used him more as a post-up,” Holloway said. “They were doubling, so we could get some movement off it, and he made the right plays. He impacted the game different and that’s what good players do, right? Whether it was rebounding, whether it was assists, scoring, he impacted the game different and I thought not just him, I thought everybody did.”

UNLV (21-12) knocked off No. 2 seed Princeton and Boston College in its first two rounds. The Runnin’ Rebels played at Princeton last week, and after a chance to host the game against Boston College, they will fly cross-country to New Jersey for the second time in a week.

UNLV shot 49.1 percent from the floor and committed just one turnover in its 79-70 win over Boston College on Sunday. Keylan Boone had 19 points and eight rebounds and Dedan Thomas Jr. added 17 points and five assists.

“There’s a lot of teams that wish they could be playing right now,” Thomas said, per the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “We’re blessed to be doing it and not taking it for granted. I love playing with these dudes and I’m going to miss them when they’re gone, so we’re trying to make the most of it.”

–Field Level Media

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