Tray Hollowell, Michael Nzei, Matthew Pegram
(AP Photo/John Raoux)

Seton Hall and Syracuse join the growing list of area schools who are leaving the NCAA Tournament after brutal losses.

With 4:37 left, Seton Hall climbed to within one point when Myles Powell went 1-for-2 from the free throw line. It was what happened after that is more important.

Wofford went on a 17-0 run to bounce the Pirates. This game was a microcosm for pretty much the entire first day of the NCAA Tournament. It could have been great, but ultimately ended in anti-climactic fashion with the South Orange school losing 84-68.

Seton Hall was one of the few teams carrying the torch for the New York-New Jersey area. Unfortunately, add the Pirates to the list of area schools that have gone quietly this tournament. They join St. John’s, Syracuse and Fairleigh Dickinson—although FDU did win a First Four game, so there’s that.

Myles Powell did all he could for Seton Hall, scoring 27 points and singlehandedly keeping the Pirates’ ship afloat. But he didn’t have enough help. No other Pirate reached double figures and they couldn’t keep pace with Wofford.

Don’t be fooled by the Terriers. They aren’t your father’s mid-major squad. Wofford can bomb it from distance and on Thursday, they let it fly.

Wofford sunk 13 of their 28 threes, while Seton Hall could only net nine of their 27 attempts. Fletcher Magee finished the night 7-for-12 from deep and led the Terriers with 24 points. Not to mention, he broke the all-time record for three-pointers made in Division I history. That means he’s surpassed the likes of J.J. Redick and Stephen Curry.

Magee is a killer and he’s not the only dangerous player on Wofford. Nathan Hoover is marksman as well. He was 4-for-7 from deep and only one other Terrier hit a three all night. But when Magee and Hoover are unconscious, it doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing.

Head coach Kevin Willard’s squad lost to an experienced and talented team that will give Kentucky a difficult time in the Round of 32. Seton Hall shouldn’t hang their heads. It’s quite clear that Willard is the right man for the job and the program is on the ascent. It just wasn’t their night.

Syracuse Can't Close

While Syracuse’s collapse wasn’t nearly as dramatic as Seton Hall’s, it was just as frustrating. They had a chance to win late and only trailed by three points with 3:24 left in the game. In a one-possession game in the NCAA Tournament, you almost always bet on Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim in those situations.

Despite Boeheim’s presence on the bench, Syracuse couldn’t convert late. Silly fouls, head-scratching turnovers, and dubious shot selection doomed the Orange in the final few minutes. Baylor emerged with a 78-69 victory.

Elijah Hughes led the way for the Orange with 25 points, three rebounds, and three assists. Tyus Battle and Oshae Brissett combined for 30 points.

But it was more about who wasn’t on the floor for Syracuse. Starting point guard Frank Howard was suspended for failing a drug test according to The Daily Orange. Could he have made the difference in the game? Maybe. Maybe not, but he let his teammates down either way.

Makai Mason of Baylor is special. He led the way for the Bears with 22 points and made huge plays late. The senior showed off his poise on the big stage and it came at Syracuse’s expense.

It’s a disappointing end to the season for the Cuse who finish with a 20-14 record. Although we all know that Syracuse can retool quickly and they’ll likely be back to make some noise in the NCAA Tournament next year.

The Orange will return home to watch the rest of the tournament just like Seton Hall, St. John’s, and Fairleigh Dickinson. Left carrying the torch for the state of New York are Iona, Colgate, and Buffalo.

Iona and Colgate face North Carolina and Tennessee, respectively—sheesh. Buffalo represents the best chance for the states of New York and New Jersey to advance to the Round of 32. So we’re all pinning our hopes on sixth-seeded Buffalo to take down their former head coach Bobby Hurley and Arizona State on Friday.

Typing that felt weird. Anyway, go Bulls!

NY/NJ hoops reporter (NBA/NCAA) & sports betting writer for XL Media. Never had the makings of a varsity athlete.