Seton Hall basketball’s Big East schedule is finalized, and it heats up quick.
The Pirates open at home against defending national champion UConn Dec. 20 and three days later ship out to Xavier, which is coming off a Sweet 16 appearance. Four their first six contests are on the road.
Here is the Hall’s entire 2023-24 slate, followed by three takeaways.
Monday, Nov. 6 vs. Saint Peter’s
Saturday, Nov. 11 vs. FDU at Walsh Gym
Wednesday, Nov. 15 vs. Albany
Saturday, Nov. 18 vs. Wagner
Thursday, Nov. 23 vs. USC in San Diego, 5:30 p.m. (FS1)
Friday, Nov. 24 vs. Oklahoma/Iowa in San Diego, 3:30 or 6 p.m. (Fox)
Wednesday, Nov. 29 vs. Northeastern
Tuesday, Dec. 5 at Baylor (Big East-Big 12 Battle)
Saturday, Dec. 9 vs. Rutgers
Tuesday, Dec. 12 vs. Monmouth
Wednesday, Dec. 20 vs. UConn
Saturday, Dec. 23 at Xavier
Wednesday, Jan. 3 at Providence
Saturday, Jan. 6 vs. Marquette
Tuesday, Jan. 9 at Georgetown
Saturday, Jan. 13 at Butler
Tuesday, Jan. 16 vs. St. John’s
Saturday, Jan. 20 vs. Creighton
Wednesday, Jan. 24 vs. Providence
Saturday, Jan. 27 at Marquette
Tuesday, Jan. 30 at DePaul
Wednesday, Feb. 7 vs. Georgetown
Sunday, Feb. 11 at Villanova (Wells Fargo Center)
Wednesday, Feb. 14 vs. Xavier
Sunday, Feb. 18 at St. John’s (UBS Arena)
Saturday, Feb. 24 vs. Butler
Wednesday, Feb. 28 at Creighton
Sunday, March 3 at UConn (site TBA)
Wednesday, March 6 vs. Villanova
Saturday, March 9 vs. DePaul
1. Sizzling Big East opener
The conference opener is always a game of outsized importance, and what better way to raise the curtain than by having the defending national champions in your building? Yes, students will be on winter break (Seton Hall’s final exam period ends the day before, on Dec. 19), but the Rock has been rocking for games over break before – 11,000 fans were deafening as the Hall edged UConn on New Year’s Day in 2022. This isn’t DePaul. If you can’t pack the house for UConn, check your pulse.
2. Key homestand
You don’t get three straight at home in league play too often, so St. John’s, Creighton and Providence in Newark Jan. 16-24 is a stretch of resume-building gold. The first two projects to be in the preseason Top 25 polls, and Providence should be an NCAA Tournament contender.
3. It’s a long December
Is there reason to believe maybe this year will be better than the last? The final page on the calendar could tell the tale as the Hall faces Baylor, Rutgers, Missouri, UConn and Xavier – and just two of those at home. Win three of those five, and the Pirates will head into 2024 with a bounce in their step. To quote The Shawshank Redemption: “Get busy living or get busy dying.”
Jerry Carino has covered the New Jersey sports scene since 1996 and the college basketball beat since 2003. He is an Associated Press Top 25 voter. Contact him at email@example.com.
This article originally appeared on Asbury Park Press: Seton Hall basketball schedule: Big East opener vs UConn