SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - Even with support up and down the east coast, the Seton Hall men’s basketball team failed to beat the Arkansas Razorbacks during their game on Friday, March 17.
The final score of 71 to 77 eliminated Seton Hall from the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament in the first round. A penalty call late in the game put Seton Hall at a disadvantage without a chance for recourse.
With 17 seconds remaining in the second half, Desi Rodriguez attempted an intentional foul to stop the clock. After further review, referees upgrades the call to a flagrant foul. While this did stop the clock as Seton Hall had intended, the escalated foul gave the Razorbacks two free-throws and possession of the ball following the shots.
The most recent Academic Progress Report from the NCAA, however, declared that all 14 varsity programs at Seton Hall achieved four-year scores higher than the national average. The report also said Seton Hall men's basketball was one of only 18 Division I programs to receive a multi-year score of 1000 – the highest score possible.
Crowds of Seton Hall fans watched the riveting game, which was down-to-the-wire, from local bars and restaurants. One fan watching at St. James's Gate in Maplewood said moments before the team's loss, "Seton Hall is the most amazing college in the northeast and really deserves to win the game and tournament."
"Seton hall played up to the last 2 minutes, but let Arkansas take over because of errors," said Alan Wofley, also watching the game at St. James's Gate. Tom Savvides agreed, "Arkansas played at the end. Seton Hall didn't."
The Pirates finished the season with a record of 21-12 and are currently ranked fifth in the Big East after Villanova, Butler, Providence, and Creighton.