Dust off those dancing shoes and have your cell phone ready, Seton Hall. The Big Dance might have just added you to speed dial to request your presence in two weeks after a 73-64 win over No. 16 Marquette on Wednesday night.
Seton Hall trailed by six at half and by as many as 13 in the second half, but the Pirates, who entered the night among the First Four, according to CBS Sports' Jerry Palm -- dangerously close to the dreaded wrong side of the bubble -- closed like a tourney team. They faced the game-high deficit with just under 10 minutes remaining, only to fight back like a well conditioned boxer down the stretch, and close on a 24-9 run -- including an 18-0 sprint to the finish that polished off the Golden Eagles.
Fittingly, it was Seton Hall star Myles Powell who delivered the blow via distance. With 2:25 left tied at 64-all, the junior guard pulled up from downtown to deliver the Pirates their first lead of the second half and Marquette was held scoreless for the remainder of the game. Powell had a game-high 34 points on 11-of-25 shooting, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. Only one other Seton Hall player -- senior Michael Nzei with 10 -- reached double figures in scoring.
Powell outdueled one of the most lethal sharpshooters in the game in Marquette's Markus Howard. Howard scored just six points, his lowest scoring output this season in games he played more than five minutes, and went 2-of-10 from the floor and 2-of-9 from distance.
For Seton Hall, this win should be a breath of fresh air. It entered the week needing a win over Marquette or Villanova, and got the first before the matchup with the Wildcats on Saturday.
Marquette has to be kicking itself, though. Its implosion was a microcosm of its last two weeks. The Golden Eagles have now lost three straight in Big East play, and, after building a cushy lead in the conference standings, might be looking at not winning it at all depending upon what plays out Saturday between Seton Hall and Villanova.
Seton Hall clinching another huge win to add to its resume could be a win for the Big East as a whole as it looks to get as many teams as possible into the field of 68 come Selection Sunday. Now that the Pirates have another biggie on the dossier, they can enter the weekend with some confidence that it might be a seed-booster more than anything else.