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Wednesday, March 10, 2010
TMA: Transitional edition

By Eamonn Brennan

The Morning After is our semi-daily recap of the night's best basketball action. Before we jump into today's insanity, here's an abbreviated look back on Tuesday night's almost-quiet affair. Oh, yeah: Try not to make it awkward. Catchphrase!

Seton Hall 109, Providence 106: Note to self: Don't turn off games that feature Seton Hall and Providence, even if one of the teams is up 76-47 with 13:36 left to play. Yes, Seton Hall led the Friars by 29 points with the final quarter or so of the game left, and it didn't really matter: Providence came back anyway, cutting the lead to three on Vincent Council's pull-up jumper with eight seconds remaining. The Pirates then missed two free throws, giving Providence a chance to tie; freshman Duke Mondy launched a bad three that hit the bottom of the rim as time expired. Seton Hall survived. Good thing, too, as the Friars are in desperate need of at least one more win -- tonight vs. Notre Dame could do the trick -- to get themselves off the bad side of the bubble and back, finally, into NCAA tournament consideration.

But anyway, to review: 109-106 after 76-47. Providence's Jamine Peterson scored 38 points and grabbed 16 rebounds. Seton Hall's Herb Pope had 27 and 11. Every starter on both teams scored at least 12 points. I want to play pickup basketball with Seton Hall and Providence. That looks like a lot of fun.

Everywhere else, quickly: Butler handled business in the Horizon League final, walloping Wright State 70-45 and completing the ever-rare perfect conference-plus-conference-tournament season. At 20 wins, the Bulldogs also retained the country's longest winning streak ... You've by now read all about UConn's ugly loss yesterday; Matt Norlander summed up the Huskies' season pretty well at The Dagger last night: "Anybody got a theory as to what this team was for the past five months?" I'm still stumped ... The College Basketball Nation blog (say it five times fast) warmly welcomes two more teams to the NCAA tournament: the Oakland Golden Grizzles and the North Texas Mean Green, two tremendous mid-majors with two tremendous mascot names ... In the A-10, Dayton and Rhode Island both preserved their fading tournament hopes with first round wins; Charlotte did not ... and Cincinnati barely squeaked past Rutgers to advance to the second day of the tournament, a day I'm greatly looking forward to.