By James Prumos, Trending Writer
Date: April 3, 1989. Place: The Kingdome, Seattle, Washington. On that fateful night, referee John Clougherty denied the Seton Hall Pirates the right of being called National Champions. 2 years later, the Pirates reemerged to win the Big East Championship, and again in 1993. Fast-forward 2016, with the demise of two nationally-ranked top 5 teams, the Pirates claimed their rightful place as Big East champions once more. Under the leadership of co-Big East Coach of the Year, Kevin Willard, the players had a great game. Sophomore phenomenon, Isaiah Whitehead, scored a game high of 26 points, with a last-minute layup and free throw. Angel Delgado scored a last second free throw. The Pirates were restored back to their glory days. However, the credit does not stop there. Without the efforts of Khadeen Carrington, Desi Rodriguez, Ismael Sanogo, plus the senior leadership of 6th-man and first openly gay player in March Madness history Derrick Gordon, and excellent play by big-men Rashed Anthony and Michael Nzei, the Pirates would never have been able to achieve this feat.
The Pirates are not just a basketball team; they are a family. Occasionally, seeing them in the dining hall, having lunch together, or watching them on social media, it is evident that, genuinely, their comrade runs deeper than the hardwood. They are also model students; according to Inside Higher Ed, the basketball team made the “final four” of academic performance among NCAA tournament teams.
Despite their astounding resume, the Pirates have been underestimated by analysts throughout the season. Although the Pirates beat Xavier and Villanova in the Big East Tournament, with the latter two teams receiving 2 seeds in the NCAA Tournament, Seton Hall only received a 6 seed, and the betting odds have them losing to 11-seed Gonzaga in the first round, according to the New York Post. In a phone interview with the New York Post, Khadeen Carrington commented on this, saying that’s “…when the team plays best…we’ve been going through that all year. It doesn’t really faze us at all. We like to prove things on the court.”
The Pirates may have disappointed in the first round of the tournament, but given how young the team is, with many of the best players being sophomores, there’s plenty of room for improvement. Hopefully, next season will produce even more impressive results from this great team.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, March 22nd print edition.
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