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Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated
Karl Rasmussen

Rick Pitino Voices Disappointment Over Lack of Big East Representation in NCAA Tournament

Only three Big East teams will be among the field of 68 at this year’s NCAA tournament after the surprising omission of Seton Hall, in addition to the absences of other hopefuls such as Providence and St. John’s.

On Monday, Red Storm coach Rick Pitino weighed in on the Big East’s lack of representation at the tournament and specifically mentioned the absence of Seton Hall as being particularly disappointing.

“I believe in getting better not bitter. I totally believe that six teams from the Big East belonged in the field. I know our players along with Providence are totally disappointed with the decisions made. But not having Seton Hall at 13–7 in BE play with wins over the top teams is flat out wrong!” wrote Pitino on X on Monday evening.

The Pirates were among the “first four out” from the tournament, according to the selection committee, yet there were many, including Pitino, who were confused what more the team could’ve done to earn their place. Seton Hall won 13 games in a stacked Big East conference and won 20 games on the year, though they were bounced in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament by St. John’s.

Pitino addressed the Red Storm missing the tournament on Sunday, and he seemed equally fired up about the team’s conference rival also not receiving an invite to the big dance. Unlike St. John’s, however, Seton Hall plans to continue its season in the NIT. Pitino was quick to turn down a potential invite to the tournament, saying that the Red Storm would focus on preparations for next season instead. 

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