The Seton Hall Pirates were one of four Big East teams in the final AP men’s basketball poll, which was released on Wednesday.
The 2019-20 college basketball season came to an unceremonious end, but there was time for one more accolade for the revitalized Seton Hall men’s program.
Seton Hall placed 15th in the final Associated Press top-25 poll released on Wednesday. It marks the first time that the Pirates have appeared in the season-ending AP poll since 2016.
Though a fifth-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance was not to be, the Pirates (21-9, 13-5 Big East) reached the 20-win plateau for the fifth-straight year, extending a program record. Seton Hall also won a share of the Big East‘s regular-season title for the first time since 1993. Their fellow champions Creighton and Villanova respectively ranked seventh and 10th in the final rankings.
The cancellation of both of the NCAA Tournament and Big East Tournament denies several senior Pirates one final chance of glory in blue. Accomplished guard Myles Powell put up 21 points per game in his final tours of East Orange and Newark, good for second in the Big East. Fellow guard Quincy McKnight also reached double figures in scoring (11.9 PPG) while center Romaro Gill finished third in the nation in blocks per game (3.2).
Seton Hall was seeded third in the Big East Tournament held annually at Madison Square Garden. They were slated to take on No. 6 Marquette before the tournament’s cancellation in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. ESPN’s Joe Lunardi slotted the Pirates third in the West portion of his “Bracketology” projections. Such a game would’ve situated them at Times Union Center in Albany, NY.
In another local connection, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights earned six votes in the final AP poll. Despite failing to return to the pool after appearing in two late January editions, the Scarlet Knights (20-11, 11-9 Big Ten) earned their first winning record since the 2003-04 campaign. Rutgers was also poised to reach their first NCAA Tournament since 1991. Lunardi had them placed in a nine seed in his South region.
The Kansas Jayhawks wound up topping the final AP poll with a 28-3 record. Gonzaga, Dayton, Florida State, and Baylor rounded out the top five.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags