Seton Hall knocks off No. 5 Xavier, boosts tournament profile with upset

Xavier just beat Villanova a few days ago. It was a monumental win for the Musketeers in that series and certainly one that fans will remember for a long time. It’s the kind of spot that traditionally puts you on alert for a little bit of a letdown the next time out. Running into Seton Hall, a team desperate to take down a quality team and enhance its tournament chances, in this spot was unfortunate for Xavier.

Seton Hall was locked in on defense and Xavier couldn’t hit a shot in the first half. It was one of those games where you could tell early on that it was going to be a good day for the Pirates. They held off every charge from Xavier from never trailed and won 90-81.

Everything was falling for the Pirates. Even this Isaiah Whitehead shot “from Curry range.”

Seton Hall was able to get out and run a bit, scoring 14 points in transition and getting opportunities at the line to extend the lead. Those chances, often thanks to a good defensive effort, provided the points needed to hold off Xavier when the shots started to fall. Since Xavier is a great offensive team, there is always the feeling those shots are going to start falling soon. Seton Hall had great answers in the second half, securing a great win for its NCAA tournament profile.

Transition buckets like this Desi Rodriguez dunk kept the Prudential Center rocking in the second half, powering the Pirates to the upset.

Seton Hall has now won eight of its last nine, and should be sitting on the right side of the bubble with this huge home win.

Seton Hall never trailed against Xavier on Sunday. (USATSI)

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