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Seton Hall Upsets Villanova In Big East Title Game

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NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. – The Seton Hall Pirates were looking to win their third Big East Conference Title in school history Saturday. The Villanova Wildcats on the other hand, were looking to win back-to-back Big East Titles. To do so, both teams would need to lean on their stand out guards.

Isaiah Whitehead has been the heart and soul of this Pirate team all season long. Coming into the Big East Conference Championship Game against the WildcatsWhitehead averaged 22.0 points per game in two tournament games. His teammates feed off of his energy, and have full confidence in him with the ball in his hands.

Ryan Arcidiacono has been the embodiment of what it means to play for Villanova since he put on a Wildcats jersey. Arcidiacono throughout his career has always made opportunities for his teammates, and always plays hard. The guard has averaged 17.0 points per game in two tournament games.

The battle between Seton Hall’s sophmore guard and Villanova’s senior guard would be a key match-up, and would determine the outcome of the game.

(Photo Credit: Barry Holmes/PureSportsNY) Whitehead was the Big East Tournament MVP with 26 points Saturday night.

(Photo Credit: Barry Holmes/PureSportsNY) Whitehead was the Big East Tournament MVP with 26 points Saturday night.

Whitehead all game long pressed the issue offensively, and got to the paint often against the Wildcats. The Pirates as a team really hurt Villanova in the paint. Whether it was on a hi-lo pass or from penetration, Seton Hall converted on their opportunities.

Villanova had to work for everything they got. Easy opportunities were hard to come by, as Seton Hall played great defense. Every Pirate starter had a steal, and Desi Rodriguez tallied four steals. Arcidiacono struggled during this game, and never really seemed to find a rhythm to the game. Kris Jenkins (23 points) and Josh Hart (17 points) did their part to try and will the Wildcats to a victory.

(Photo Credit: Barry Holmes) Jenkins hit five three pointers for the Wildcats Saturday night.

(Photo Credit: Barry Holmes) Jenkins hit five three pointers for the Wildcats Saturday night.

However, Whitehead would not be denied and Seton Hall pulled off the upset 69-67. Whitehead finished with 26 points and would be named the tournament MVP. Seton Hall won its last Big East Title back in 1993. The Pirates will be a team to watch in the NCAA Tournament, and could make a deep run.

Stats Of The Game:

  • Derrick Gordon scored 10 points off the bench, and scored Seton Hall’s only bench points.
  • Whitehead had eight turnovers despite his stellar performance.
  • Arcidiacono tallied just five points on 2 of 10 shooting from the field.

Barry Holmes is a Senior Writer for PureSportsNY.com. Follow him on Twitter @BHO732

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