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3.4 Around The Big East

The hell happened here?

Brian Oliver had 20 points to lead Seton Hall.
Brian Oliver had 20 points to lead Seton Hall.
Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

Seton Hall 71, Xavier 62 - Earth to Xavier, please come in Xavier. All due respect to Seton Hall, but the Musketeers took all of the NCAA tournament goodwill that they earned on Saturday by beating Creighton and flushed it down the toilet here. Maybe it won't end up costing them - SB Nation's own Chris Dobbertean had Xavier as a 10 seed before the game - but this is definitely a bad result for Xavier.

Now, there is the issue of Matt Stainbrook leaving this game with a knee injury midway through the first half. Yes, Stainbrook is an important cog for Xavier, but the score was 16-12 at the time he was injured and he only had two points and three rebounds at the time. On top of that, Isaiah Philmore hit two free throws coming out of the media timeout when Stainbrook was hurt, so it was really just a two point game when he left. Xavier then only made three baskets the rest of the half and was down 12 at the break. All of Seton Hall's points on that run came from either Gene Teague or Brian Oliver, so it's not like it was hard to figure out who to guard better.

In the second half, Semaj Christon picked up the pace. He scored 24 of his game high 28 points after intermission, but Seton Hall answered all of his challenges. Twice the lead dipped to just five points - once on a Christon layup with 17 minutes left and once on a pair of FTs from Christon with 5:24 left - but Seton Hall answered the call both times. First it was a 6-0 run split down the middle by Fuquan Edwin and Brandon Mobley to boost it back to double digits, then it was five points from Edwin powering the way to a 9-2 run to push the lead back to 12.

Things did get interesting as Seton Hall committed three turnovers in the final two minutes to give Xavier some chances, but it never came together for the Musketeers.

You can check out South Orange Juice or Banners on the Parkway for more on this game.