Seton Hall will face Arkansas in a first round matchup in the NCAA Tournament on Friday afternoon. Going into this game, Seton Hall is coming off of winning four of their last five games and a close loss to No. 1 seed Villanova in the Big East Tournament. Arkansas won eight of their last ten games in the SEC so both teams are coming into this game feeling good about their chances of advancing.
There are several keys to the game going into this No. 8 vs. No. 9 game. Let’s look at the keys to victory for Seton Hall.
Get Angel Delgado Involved Early
The double-double machine Delgado must get the ball in the low post early and often. Yes many of his points come on offensive rebounds and hustle points but Delgado has a pretty good post game as well. You want to test the Arkansas interior defense and the best way to do that is to feed the big man and see if he can score and wear down the Razorback defense. Seton Hall scores 47 percent of their points in the paint and there is no reason for the Pirates to deviate from that formula.
Pirates Must Hit Free Throws
Seton Hall shoots 64 percent from the line (333rd in the country) and that is unacceptable. In order for The Hall to win this game, they must take advantage of the opportunities they have at the foul line for the entire game. If the game is close down the stretch and the game becomes a free throw shooting contest, Seton Hall will need to hit the foul shots that they earn. If Northwestern’s game on Thursday was any indication, games can be closer than it should be when you miss your free throws.
Carrington Needs To Shoot Smart Shots
After his 41 point game against Creighton on Feb. 15, Khadeen Carrington struggled during the final games of the season. Carrington does not have to score 41 points for Seton Hall to win but the Pirates do need Carrington to shoot smart, high percentage shots and give his team at least 17 to 20 points. Delgado can not carry the entire Pirate team and while Desi Rodriguez has come on in recent weeks, Carrington is still the straw that stirs the drink and the way Khadeen goes, Seton Hall may go as well.
The big battle for Seton Hall will be breaking Arkansas pressure defense. Mike Anderson is a disciple of former Razorbacks’ head coach Nolan Richardson and uses Richardson’s “40 Minutes of Hell” full court pressure defense. If the Pirates are able to break the press and run their offense normally, then Seton Hall has a chance to win the game. If Arkansas’ defense manages to throw Seton Hall’s offense into disarray, then the game could get away from the Pirates early.
Seton Hall vs. Arkansas should be a great game that will feature some great players such as Delgado for Seton Hall and guard Dusty Hannahs from Arkansas. Many have Seton Hall moving forward to face North Carolina in the second round but the Pirates will need to put the work in on Friday afternoon against the Razorbacks.