The Best Damn Month In N.J. Hoops History: March Madness 1989 Had It All


Michigan’s ball! They’ve got an opportunity here now to win it. They’ve got to hurry. Five seconds! Robinson and … there’s a foul call with three seconds. A foul against Seton Hall with three seconds left! 

Hold it. Right there.

Find a way to stop Brent Musburger from finishing his call on CBS that night. Find a way to freeze Michigan guard Rumeal Robinson as he drives into the paint. Find the way — most of all — to smash the whistle that referee John Clougherty is about to blow and forever change the course of New Jersey basketball history. 

If we could just stop time right there, maybe even rewind that tape a just a few seconds, we would be looking at something beautiful. Maybe, given all the dominoes that had to fall to get to that point, something that will never happen again. 

March Madness in 1989, the NCAA Tournament and the moments that led up to it, is the greatest month in New Jersey basketball history. Thirty years ago, the Garden State nearly saw one of its teams bring home the national championship for the first time with that brilliant Seton Hall team suffering a painful defeat in the national title game. 

But that month was more than one moment.

More here.

Posted in Pirate Highlights and tagged , , , , , .


  1. Before reading this article, I had never previously known how crazy of a year 1989 was for college basketball in New Jersey. Having 3 teams from New Jersey make the NCAA tournament is an accomplishment of its own, but to have those teams make headlines is not what anyone would have imagined. To have Princeton go head to head with the Georgetown, who are known for their basketball talent, is the probably the closest Princeton will ever come to accomplishing anything in college basketball, but still a great a story that could have been. Rutgers as well was one of the last teams anyone had suspected to make a run in the tournament, and even they began drawing attention. With Seton Hall heading to the championship game, New Jersey’s legacy in college basketball had been uplifted to its greatest heights. Even high school basketball was pooling in fans like never before all thanks to the season St. Anthony’s was having. Personally, I have never seen a high school game of any sort sell out like the one between Elizabeth and St. Anthony’s for the tournament of champions final. To think that there was a total of 8,514 fans is absurd especially since Elizabeth alone, haled in 14 buses full of supporters. Since those years, we have yet to see another year where New Jersey teams have made a bigger impact in the NCAA tournament, and basketball in general. Despite losing this year’s Big East championship, Seton Hall still has the potential to do some serious damage in this year’s tournament. Coming off a successful season and ending it off strong will help our team make that big run we all desire. March madness is by far the most exciting time in college basketball, if not all of basketball, and if Seton Hall or any other New Jersey team wins it then that could possibly overtake 1989 as being the best year for college basketball in New Jersey. What surprises me the most about this article is that despite the robust year of 1989, we have yet to see another year come even close for New Jersey basketball. New Jersey should have used that opportunity to revitalize basketball in the garden state and bring it to new levels so that 1989 is no longer the single year we have to look back on, but instead a beginning for something greater.

  2. I will say this as a definite fact: March Madness is one of the best sporting events that I look forward to every year. A lot of things can go up or down for many teams like the 1989 Seton Hall Pirates. Before reading the article, I knew a little bit of information about that basketball team like who the coach was (PJ Carlesimo), and the fact that they were able to make it to the National Championship game. However, they lost a heartbreaker to the Michigan Wolverines. I never heard about Rutgers or Princeton having good seasons, because usually those teams are never that good. Seton Hall definitely has the best college basketball team in the state of New Jersey. That was one of the reasons why I wanted to attend Seton Hall for school. Mainly it was because of the fact that I wanted to enjoy the basketball atmosphere and to really enjoy it. Seton Hall has up to today made four straight appearances in the NCAA tournament, and I believe Fairleigh Dickinson made it to the tournament for the first time in school history. Along with March Madness happening, millions of brackets are made by millions of people from all over the world. Yet, there has not been one single perfect bracket to this current day. Maybe that will change. Maybe that one person that gets a perfect bracket (do not count on this at all). Generally speaking, I think one of the best parts about March Madness is that anything can happen. Last year as an example, the Virginia Cavaliers came into the tournament as one of the favorites to win it all, but they lose to the Retrievers of UMBC in the biggest upsets in the NCAA. I looked up some statistics about the tournament and saw that #1 seeds in the NCAA tournament are 128-1 up to this day. The loss being Virginia to UMBC. Another shocker was Loyola-Chicago making it all the way to the final four, beating Miami (FL), Tennessee, Nevada, and Kansas State. These were some of the best teams in the country last year. This year will be a lot of the same. I personally have not made a bracket yet, but expect a lot of upsets and surprises to happen, just like some of the New Jersey schools like Rutgers, Seton Hall, and Princeton back in 1989.

  3. I feel as though a lot of people doubt New Jersey teams every year and we always come out on top and show them different. March Madness is personally one of my favorite sporting event that occurs each year. I also love watching Seton Hall play and I have been a fan before even stepping foot onto this campus so this article was a great read. I feel as though even now, when the score is tied or close in a Seton Hall game, the refs always seem to call a foul on us for the smallest thing and costs us the game. Even before looking closely at this article, I knew about some of the facts that were mentioned. I actually watched the video at least three times to see what had occurred that the refs called a foul. I definitely did not see a foul anywhere. To continue, I never heard about the Rutgers game and the how their season was not looking so great. I kind of enjoyed reading the fact that came back and shocked everyone. This year is looking pretty good as well and I can not wait to see who comes out on top!

  4. March Madness is one of the best sporting events in the modern era, to me at least. Sixty-four teams enter the tournament, and all have their sight at one thing, a championship. The huge upsets make the tournament that much more intense and entertaining. UMBC, a sixteen seed, upset Virginia, a one seed, for the first every sixteen seed upsetting a one seed. It gets more entertaining when your in college and your school is in it. Although Seton Hall lost this year to Wofford, having a team to root for that means something to me made this year’s March Madness that much better.
    One of the reasons that March Madness is entertaining is because college basketball offers a much different environment than the NBA. College basketball shows a more fundamental basketball environment. The NBA nowadays relies on isolation basketball. Isolation basketball is when it is a one on one basketball with the other eight people on the court staying out of the way. College basketball represents more team basketball. There are more fundaments in college. Teams, such as Gonzaga and Seton Hall, never have a first-round pick on their team, but they have systems that allow the team as a whole to thrive. Overall, March Madness is one of the greatest sporting events because college basketball offers a sounder game of basketball.
    March Madness also appeals to anyone in America. The bracketology for predicting all the winners of each game and the following rounds. There has never been a perfect bracket and when someone does get lucky enough, they will be paid very handsomely. The brackets allow for anyone, even those who know nothing, to make a bracket and enjoy watching the tournament.
    Lastly, the article talks about the heartbreaking loss of Seton Hall to Michigan in 1969. Seton Hall made an improbably March Madness run. Even though they lost in the championship game, the madness of Seton Hall continually winning against historically good teams made it fun to watch. The “Cinderella Stories”, such as Seton Hall and last years Loyola, make the tournament so interesting. Seeing a team from out of nowhere and making a huge run is extremely entertaining to witness. The stories of small programs making runs are the most fascinating part of March Madness.

  5. Being a Seton Hall cheerleader, I’ve been right in the middle of some of the greatest Pirate moments over the last season. March is no exception to that rule. Being up close and personal with both the Marquette wins and watching Seton Hall take down Nova are two memories that will stick in my mind for a while for sure. March brings magic to South Orange year after year, even with the ending we had last night against Wofford. I always say that the first day of the Round of 64 should be a National Holiday or warrant an excused absence if Seton Hall is playing in the tournament.
    1989 signifies the year that Seton Hall solidified its legitimacy in Division I Basketball in my opinion in the first era of the Big East. The Pirates have established legitimacy through the Big East realignment in 2013, but 1989 had the Pirates dancing for the longest time in school history. This team is commemorated in Walsh Gymnasium even today with a championship banner and an induction into the Seton Hall Hall of Fame.
    But NJ basketball as a while was thriving in 1989, not just here in South Orange. Even high school basketball was doing well. It was the golden age of the Hurley family, Princeton was alive and well, and even Rutgers was good dancing for the penultimate tournament. The Meadowlands Arena (RIP) was packed with fans from the high school TOC and Seton Hall’s fans after the Pirates’ magical season in 1988. Three decades later and the façade of NJ basketball looks drastically different. FDU has held on as the “other” tournament team and Rutgers and Princeton are nowhere to be found in the mix. High school teams for the first time are playing the TOC at the RAC as opposed to the Pine Belt in Arena in Toms River. But, things are looking up for basketball in the greatest state in the union.
    But goes its without saying, anything can happen in March. And just maybe the Pirates will come back in 2020 with a little taste of what a championship feels like. We need a little magic here in South Orange and it can all start at tip off.

  6. The primary reason I knew about Seton Hall living in Los Angeles was watching the basketball team play in the NCAA tournament over the past three years. In my senior year, when I was looking at possible University choices, my college advisor recommended Seton Hall, knowing my affinity for the game of basketball and the great programs the school offered. Of course, I had not been so well versed on how Seton Hall became such a successful basketball program, but after becoming more indoctrinated in the college basketball scene and watching the games, I have become more knowledgeable than I ever thought I would be. Growing up in Los Angeles, the primary college basketball team was UCLA, with the plethora of championships they had under John Wooden and the winning culture the school established over the years. After reading Steve Politi’s article, it was fascinating to see how historic college basketball is in New Jersey, despite the lack of championship success. That has not impeded my incredible fandom for the team, as I have shelved through hundreds of articles, videos, and tweets related to Seton Hall basketball, increasing my excitement for the NCAA tournament as I finally had a “dog in the fight”. March Madness in itself draws the masses because of the uncertainty factor that it carries, as even the lowest seeded of teams could defeat college basketball powerhouse schools, the most notable being the 16 seeded UMBC victory over the overall number 1 seed Virginia in last years tournament. Fans are also drawn to the underdog stories like the 1989 Princeton team who almost defeated Georgetown and even the Loyola Chicago team of last year that went to the final four. Additionally, with sports betting becoming legal in more and more states around the country, people will be compelled to bet their money on these smaller schools, increasing the NCAA’s audience count as well as increasing some form of tax revenue that comes with the state regulation of betting. I myself have placed a bet(by virtue of my father) on some games in the tournament, and while they have not looked so good so far, I am sure that I will be on the edge of my seat as the tournament continues.

  7. March Madness is arguably the best time of year for sports fans. Painstakingly filling out brackets just to have them busted in the first round seems to never deter fans from tuning in. Everyone loves a good Cinderella story, and we can all thank Princeton for preserving that. One can only imagine the mayhem that would have ensued if the mighty Georgetown was knocked off by a puny Ivy League School. Finally we had our first 16 seed beat a 1 seed when UMBC shocked Virginia in last year’s round of 64. Rutgers basketball finally gave that school a sport to root for when they made a magical run to march. Nowadays, Rutgers is the laughing stock of NJ sports. To be frank, they are honestly an embarrassment to the state of New Jersey. Joining the Big 10 was a huge mistake sports wise for them, because they are multiple recruiting classes behind their main competitors. Nonetheless, 1989 proved that Jersey basketball was back, especially when little old Seton Hall returned to the tourney.
    Seton Hall cruised into the Final Four, as PJ Carlesimo outcoached legends including the likes of Coach K himself in the Final Four. The season ended on the last day, as the powerful Wolverines ousted the Pirates in overtime, but it was an amazing accomplishment for this school and it gives me a lot of pride to go to a school with rich basketball history. In all honesty, that may have been our best chance for a National Championship, but the unexpected does happen in March.
    I am an avid basketball fan, and I have always known that New Jersey pumps out athletes for such a small state. St. Anythony’s and Elizabeth embodied that in 1989, as both schools had very talented division 1 athletes in training. Bobby Hurley, future Duke guard who played alongside the great Christian Laettner, was on that historic St. Anthony’s team to name one star. When a stadium has 8,000 plus for a high school basketball game you know the state has major pride in their local talent.
    I really hope that Seton Hall makes another run in the near future. Unfortunately, Wofford ended up being a force to be reckoned with, and honestly I think they have a chance to upset Kentucky. This year’s tournament seems pretty top heavy, but so far some upsets have been extremely entertaining to watch. Duke is the powerhouse and no one can beat them besides themselves if they are healthy. It is going to take a lot to top the national championship of 1989, but I fell like it would be quite poetic to have a UNC vs. Duke final. Now that game would be one for the history books.

  8. The year of 1989 is one of the best years the state of New Jersey has ever had in collegiate sports. More importantly, the only appearance Seton Hall University has had in the NCAA Tournament. The month of March in 1989 is most known for New Jersey college basketball fans as the year Seton Hall almost won the championship, but the month of March included much more than that. Not only did Seton Hall succeed, but so did Princeton and Rutgers. Princeton, a solid team in the Ivy League was a 16 seed that year, taking a once basketball powerhouse Georgetown down to the final shot. Even though Princeton ultimately lost that game, they absolutely made their presence felt as they almost became the first 16 seed to knock a 1 seed out of the tournament. In addition, Rutgers University, a program that was historically unsuccessful turned their program around earning a conference title and a guaranteed bid into the tournament. The complete turnaround of the program coming into March and then shocking the entire Atlantic 10 Conference with a victory over Temple gave Rutgers fans new hope. This brought an entire new feeling into the RAC and completely made the place electric for the rest of their home games. Every fan is attracted to winning, as this is what drawered a once empty RAC to a full house. To add to this crazy month of basketball, something I did not know was the rising of St. Anthony’s and Saint Elizabeth High Schools, as some of the greatest high school teams. The quality of basketball that New Jersey was able to watch was unreal. While all of this was happening, Seton Hall kept on winning, making there way to only their second NCAA Tournament appearance, and taking full advantage. Seton Hall made it all the way to the championship game, knocking off the Duke Blue Devils in the final four. Seton Hall ultimately went on to lose the championship game in the final seconds to Michigan on an extremely questionable call, leaving the hearts of every Seton Hall fan broken and devastated. Seton Hall has not been back to that level of play, but after proving many people wrong this season and winning with such a young team, the future for the program looks bright, with hope in the hearts of every fan.

  9. March madness and New Jersey go hand in hand. New jersey loves basketball and in particular March madness. The thrill and excitement of the games are unmatched. While I was not born yet, many people have told me of the year 1989 and what it meant for New Jersey College Basketball. Rutgers and Seaton Hall where the highlights of this year for New Jersey. Before this New Jersey was not a huge contender in the college basketball environment. Living with in thirty minutes of each of these schools I have had many friends and family that have attended the colleges. My uncle was there at Seaton Hall the time of this glorious year and is something he says he will never forget. 1989 set the standard for New Jersey College basketball and has not been beaten since. In the article, it states “Still: No team in New Jersey college basketball history had gotten that far. And none has even come close since”. This is still the standard for teams to beat in New Jersey because on one has gone father then Seaton hall.
    Bringing this in to modern day there are so many factors for the tournament. The March madness tournament has become a huge phenomenon around the county. People now fill out brackets, bet, and hang on the edge of their seats for the weeks of March madness to see what team will take home the championship. This year two teams from New jersey will participate in the madness this year. Seaton Hall and Fairleigh Dickinson will try their best the bet the other 64 teams to become the champion. Along with this, many players from New Jersey are participating around the country for their college teams as well. Also, a new factor this year to New Jerseys March madness is sports betting. This brings a whole new aspect to sports and the engagement in the series and games. While many are opposed to sports betting and especially college sports betting it is something that is going to play a huge factor in New Jersey. I personally love watching the March madness tournament and every factor of it. Many people feel the same it gives people something to look forward to and excitement for a short time. Without the year 1989 and what it did for New Jersey college basketball we might not have all we do now fro this great state in the NCAA college basketball.

  10. The spring of 1989 fall filled with excitement out the wazzo for New Jersey Basketball fans. Not only were three colleges providing last second drama in the NCAA tournament, but high school ball was also a highly coveted news story. In New Jersey, the high school basketball season all comes down to tournament to end all tournament. Where all the group champions face off with each other b=and the winners are “Lucky” enough to face the power house private schools. It was called the tournament of Champions. We have seen some of the most recognizable faces in the NBA compete for and some win a TOC Crown. Karl Anthony Towns, Kyrie Irving, J.R. Smith and Tristan Thompson have all been on the biggest stage in NJ basketball. The tournament was created in 1989 and has been dominated by private schools since its conception. The last public schools to win a TOC crown was Camden in 2000 led by one of the greatest high school players ever, Dejuan Wagner, how scored 100 points in a game that season. Since 2000 St. Anthony’s, the Patrick School, Roselle Catholic, and Seton Hall Prep are some of the schools who have captured the TOC crown. This past year’s winner, Ranney was led by two McDonald’s All-Americans, Scottie Lewis and Bryan Antoine. They were the first school from the Shore Conference to win the TOC ever. Grabbing the TOC crown in the highest honor in the state on New Jersey and was started by St. Anthony’s, being led by Bobby Hurley and Bobby Hurley. One was the coach and one was the star point guard. While Bobby Hurley Jr. is seen as a NJ hoops legend, he is most famous for being a two time NCAA National Champion with his buddy and college hoops mega star, Christian Laettner. Hurley’s pro career was cut short due to a car accident his rookie year, just like another NJ star, St. Joes’ star guard Jay Williams, who also had a stellar career at Duke, also cut his career short with a motorcycle accident. Two of NJ tops recruits of all time, both being shut down by traffic accidents. In college hoops Seton Hall lost in the final to a Michigan team which had future NBA GM Rob Pelinka on it. While it may have been heart breaking for the Pirates, it was the start of something new for Michigan. The following summer Michigan had one of the greatest recruiting classes of all time. They had five of the top 50 players and created the “Fab Five” which dominated national headlines for the years that they were together. While the 1989 basketball season may have been sad for Seton Hall it was the beginning of something for the state of New Jersey and basketball fans across the nation.

  11. In my opinion, the inevitable thing that connects humans from all over is sports. From your first game with your family to watching a big game with your best friends, sports connect us and bring lasting memories. Unfortunately there are highs and lows that come with sports and I have experienced both. The highs include the Cleveland cavaliers NBA finals championship and the Indians American League pennant but the lows are anything from living through the Browns 0-16 season or watching my favorite school lose in the final seconds of the college basketball championships due to a phantom call as the article says. Shocked, I think, is the only way to describe it. Being the underdog, taking down the mighty Duke, and sending the game to overtime, it seemed like something right out of a movie. But even being called Cinderella doesn’t make March Madness a fantasy. The refs still make bad calls, Seton Hall still missed shots, and powerhouse Michigan University won the big game. Of course I was not alive for the 1989 tournament run by the Pirates so I only hear stories of where my dad was or what my professor was doing the night of the game. But the pride from that night extends much farther than just South Orange and much longer than one night in March. The events that occurred around all of New Jersey on basketball courts is something I’ve never heard of before this article. A 16 beating a 1 seed in March madness is something I thought I’d never see before Virginia lost last year to UMBC. Learning today that Princeton almost upset the hot shot Georgetown Hoyas is amazing to me. Known as more of a hockey school, Princeton rarely makes March Madness so it must have been a very big deal to people in the area. You love to hear stories of the comeback teams. Rutgers was just that in the 1989 season. With just 23 wins in the previous seasons combined Rutgers managed to make a run at the big dance. Come March 1989, people from every corner of the state of New Jersey had a reason to tune into the games. Normally fans of the Pirates and Scarlet Knights find each other at one another’s throats when it comes to their school’s basketball. But when it’s a national level, all that competition seems to disappear. Rather than only rooting for your school, the state seems to be the base of pride. When upset minded Princeton came into the final minute tied with Georgetown, there is no doubt that all of New Jersey was ready to call themselves a Tigers fan. And rightfully so as New Jersey has not had much luck historically on the court. Just as with Princeton, the basketball fans in this state could not turn away from the 1989 championship game. Whether you came from Atlantic City or Newark, pirate blue was your color that night. It was surely a remarkable journey for the pirates and created memories that will last a lifetime in the minds of basketball fans across the state. I found this article to be very interesting and eye opening. I knew of the Pirates Cinderella story but Rutgers and Princeton’s month was just as exciting. Of course all the stats and facts about sports that are logged in my mind are nonetheless pointless. But knowing now what I know of March 1989 in this state could be some interesting talking points in the future.

  12. For a lot of sports fans, March is their favorite part of the year due to March Madness. I think what really draws people in are the underdog stories. The underdogs are the ones that make the tournament so interesting. Every year there is always an underdog team that comes in and ruins everyone’s bracket. For example, just last year, the #16 seed UMBC (University of Maryland – Baltimore County) defeated the #1 seed, Virginia. Virginia had only lost 2 games over the entire season which goes to show just how slim the chances were for them to lose. An underdog story like this is why so many people love watching this tournament. The lower seeded teams go into the tournament playing their hardest so they can prove they belong. They really don’t have much to lose because no one expects them to make it that far. The higher seeded teams on the other hand have everything to lose because everyone expects them to make it far. In the year 1989, 3 teams made it from New Jersey and they were all underdogs. Rutgers, Princeton, and Seton Hall had everything to gain and nothing to lose from March Madness. Despite no one believing in them, these three teams gave the state of New Jersey their most successful year in tournament history. First of all, three teams from New Jersey making it in the same year is rare alone, but for them to make it as far as they did is unbelievable. Princeton may not have beaten the #1 seed Georgetown but they definitely gave them a run for their money. They were in the lead at halftime but ended up just falling short with a final score of 50-49 Georgetown. Rutgers was never expected to make it in the tournament but after a huge turnaround season they managed to secure a 13th seed spot in the tournament. Not too bad for a team who wasn’t supposed to make it at all. Last but certainly not least, Seton Hall made it the furthest out of the three New Jersey schools. They made it all the way to the final and came just short of history. Unfortunately, Seton Hall had suffered a painful overtime defeat to Michigan. A New Jersey college basketball team has never won the national championship and since Seton Hall in 1989, no other NJ team has even come close. I can see why people love this time of year so much because there is always the chance of something crazy happening. People want to witness history and that is always possible during March Madness.

  13. Even though I was not yet born during this incredible time in 1989; I can understand the appreciation for what is considered the best year in New Jersey basketball history. Personally I am more of a fan of the NBA (National Basketball Association) than I am of college basketball. With that being said I do enjoy watching March Madness. March Madness is the most exciting time of year for college basketball fans from around the entire country. I can only imagine all of the heartbreak that occurred that year in the Garden State. Rutgers, Princeton and Seton Hall made all of New Jersey proud in 1989. Making the tournament itself was a large accomplishment for both Rutgers and Princeton. Just sixty-four teams get selected from the entire country. I do not believe there have been any NJ teams to win the Division one national basketball championship. This shows just how hard it is to win the national championship.
    There is only one thing harder than winning the division one national championship, having a perfect bracket. According to Forbes there is a one in 9.2 quintillion chance that someone can fill out a perfect bracket. Year after year I have tried to fill out the perfect bracket but it has yet to happen. All things considered many people consider march madness to be one of the most exciting times of the year in all of sports.
    This year march madness started on March 19th and it ends on April 8th. That is about twenty days of nonstop basketball from the best teams in the country. Some things many people will look for is the cinderella team. A cinderella team is typically a smaller sized school that was given a lower seed in the tournament. A good example of a cinderella team is the Princeton Tigers back in 1989 in the March Madness tournament. Unfortunately for them they lost in the first round, but all the makings of a cinderella team were there for them. They nearly beat the number one seeded Georgetown.
    Another thing that makes March Madness so much fun is the competition and the comraddarre it brings to work places around the country. Many jobs have a competition within the company to try and see who can have the best bracket. Often times prizes or awards may be given out. For example, I work at a car dealership, if someone were to predict the first two rounds perfectly they would win a brand new truck. Also, the person with the most wins in the bracket wins two hundred dollars, the runner-up wins one hundred dollars. Before this March Madness tournament there was a lot of stress at my current job. Since the tournament has started everyone just seems to be in a much better mood. I do not know whether it’s the spirit of competition or simply being a part of something much bigger than just basketball.
    Another year has gone by without a college from New Jersey winning the division one championship, but the tournament itself has created something much bigger than basketball.

  14. I am a huge basketball fan, so there was no way I could pass up on reading this article. Although I have to admit that I prefer NBA basketball more the rest of the year, there is an undeniable magic to a 64 team, single elimination tournament, so I join everyone else in the month of March by living and dying with the success of a mid-major conference champion full of players I have never heard of before. Even last weekend, with less upsets than usual, rooting for Wofford and Central Florida to take down Kentucky and Duke, two of the most powerful and historic programs in the sport, felt like an experience that only comes around in this time of the year and in college basketball. And all of that only took place in the first weekend. For Seton Hall’s run in 1989, that feeling must have been compounded five or six times as they continued to win games over three of the best coaches in the history of NCAA basketball in Bobby Knight, Jerry Tarkanian, and Mike Krzyzewski. That is a historic stretch of wins for any team, but is especially so for a team from New Jersey, where there has not been a lot of team success despite a fair amount of local talented players. I live in the Philadelphia area, so I do have a similar type of experience in dealing with the Big Five city schools that have most gotten worse in my lifetime. A national championship run can jumpstart any program whether it has had previous success or not. Seton Hall itself had only made a single NCAA tournament appearance in school history before the ’89 run, but has qualified for the postseason tournament eleven times since. The pirates may not have jumped into the blue blood category, but at the very least it is a respectable program that regularly contends in the new Big East. Even in Princeton’s case, they were unable to topple Georgetown in that game in ’89, but simply staying competitive in that game had a long lasting impact. Without winning a game, they were able to prove that small conference schools really do belong in the tournament, which was a real point of contention at the time. By giving Georgetown a game, they ensured that enough unheralded schools would get a fair chance against the giants of the sport, and gave them the hope that led to one of the greatest upsets in the history of sports when UMBC shocked Virginia in 2018, become the first 16 seed to ever defeat a 1 seed. Loyola-Chicago was able to reach the Final Four that same season, and the popularity of that team re-affirms what Seton Hall experienced in 1989. This country will always have a soft spot for underdogs who are not supposed to accomplish much but are able to find a way upset the established order. That type of story will always resonate with Americans, whether they are sports fans or not, which why this is such a great event.

  15. With a doubt, March Madness is very entertaining sporting event that happens every year in the month of March. Sixty-four teams competing for nothing less but for the title of being “national champions”. With numerous of NBA scouts looking for the best talent throughout the tournament, it makes every player leave it all on the court. Meaning every player will play with passion and competitively to not only win, but to get recruited to hopefully play in the NBA. This single elimination tournament is what also makes this sporting event thrilling to watch because anything could happen in a game. “A tight close game with a one-point lead”, those situations itself is what gives March Madness all the hype. Growing up in the tri-state area, it would be nice to see at least one school in the area bring the title home. Unfortunately, since I was alive it has never happen, but after reading this article our very own school almost did in 1989. Being a huge basketball fan in the tri-state area Seton Hall was very known to me. In fact my uncle always talked to me about the year when Seton Hall almost brought the title home. However, before reading this article I didn’t know it was only Seton Hall but other local teams too were in the race. Having three teams from the Tri-States area make the NCAA tournament is an accomplishment that really has not happen since. Not only did they make the tournament but they were huge contesters in taking the title home. With both Princeton and Rutgers making huge impacts in defeating their odds in the tournament, and of course Seton Hall being in the finals; it gave the state of New Jersey an uplift of the basketball culture. I believe that uplift is what made basketball in the tri-state area even more popular than before. Growing up in the tri-state area of New York City and North Jersey, we have high school basketball programs that are the best in the nations. If you go to a top high school in this area, which they are multiple, you’ll see hundreds of people in the stance just for a game. This is because in this area of the country we have a lot of top players in the country. In just my high school we have huge reputation of our basketball program, players like J.R. Smith came out of and of course numerous of D1 players. Personally, I know lots of my friends who are either going to play or already are playing division 1 basketball. Therefore,= basketball in this area of the country has really grown, compared to how it was just decades ago, as my uncle says. Hopefully, in the years to come we could have more tri-state areas teams reach the NCAA tournament; but most importantly hopefully Seton Hall could one day bring the title home.

  16. Seton Hall is an attractive school for a number of reasons. Its close proximity to New York City
    draws in students from around the world who have never experienced the city that never sleeps. The prestigious Stillman School of Business presents endless opportunities for various disciplines under the umbrella of business. Some college prospects enjoy a small campus and become fond of the quaint yet bustling town of South Orange. However the most exciting attraction is undeniably the division one basketball program.

    I will proudly say that, despite how immature or foolish I may sound, I would not be at Seton Hall if it weren’t for the basketball team. Anyone who knows me can recognize my allurement for college basketball. Collegiate basketball is simply the most entertaining sport.

    The general spectacle of a college basketball game is what entices audiences. The pep-band fills the arena with familiar songs that accompany chants and generate enthusiasm. Proudful alumni and students alike boast these chants at dedicated points in the game. For the students, the best part is unequivocally the craze of the student section. Situated behind the basket is a zoo of fans that share a common love for their team. The rowdiness and general chaos that ensues during an upset is unparalleled.

    Besides the spectacle, why would someone want to attend a college game over a professional game? Let’s start with the pace of play. Basketball at the college level is generally faster, partially due to the fact that the game is 8 minutes shorter that an NBA game. One might also point to the inexperience of the players which leads to more turnovers, but who doesn’t like more transition dunks? That brings up another point. Because college basketball players are not paid, (wink wink) they play with more passion. In their short four years players leaves their blood, sweat and tears on the floor with the hopes of hearing their name called on draft night.

    The lack of a salary also makes the game more of a team sport. Unlike the NBA, which garners most of its attention from superstars like Lebron James and Kevin Durant, college basketball attracts fans with historic teams. There will always be fans of UCLA, Duke, Kentucky etc., because of the multiple championships won in the past. Additionally, less drama occurs off the court which focuses more attention on the game itself.

    There are other benefits to limiting players to four year stints. Superstars are prevented from dominating the league for a decade and each team completely changes over every four years. In theory, this should prevent dynasties and increase competition because every year seniors leave and new freshman join the team. The absence of a draft model is closely related to the idea of constantly revamped rosters. Without a draft to decide which teams get the best players, teams are dissuaded from an activity that is ruining the NBA: tanking. Teams at the professional level have the best chance at acquiring the top picks in a lottery system. NBA teams abuse this system by voluntarily losing games to get their hands on the top picks in the draft. To a degree, the regular season becomes meaningless as the integrity of the game is compromised by the teams at the bottom. A shorter season, combined with a league deficient of “tanking” teams creates a more exciting regular season.

    To end any argument against college basketball, I’d like to close with one simple fact: college games are cheaper than the NBA.

  17. The best thing to look forward to when spring approaches is March Madness. It’s just three straight weekends of college basketball. If there’s one thing that’s true it’s that the basketball certainly lives up to the madness. Most of my family is Rutgers Alum’s so I certainly know about the 1989 college basketball season. That was the mecca season for NJ college basketball teams. Three teams in Princeton, Rutgers, and Seton Hall all made appearances.
    Every March Madness, I root for all the Jersey teams to go far. Going in the tournament, all NJ teams are frowned upon because we don’t have any true powerhouses. That was the same storyline in the 1989 season, no one thought anything of the Jersey teams going in. They weren’t high seeds, so people didn’t pay much attention. Right away, Princeton makes noise by almost knocking out a legendary Georgetown team and losing by one point. Rutgers wasn’t expected to make noise after a rough start to their season, yet they turned around and made a short run. Then last was Seton Hall, minutes away from bringing the national championship back to NJ until they were robbed. A last second horrendous foul call from the refs gave Michigan free throws to win the game and down Seton Hall.
    In summary, NJ hasn’t seen a season like 1989 in a long time and probably won’t for awhile. I don’t think the NCAA wanted to see an underdog win the championship, and that bias is still shown today. The NCAA loves upsets in the beginning rounds but not any later. Nonetheless, the tournament is still great and easy to love.

  18. If you attend a basketball college, you’re probably very familiar with March Madness. March Madness is essentially one of the biggest tournaments in all of college sports, maybe even sports altogether. Reading the article, I can feel the pain of the 1989 SHU class. When I was a senior in high school, for example, my school’s basketball team made it all the way to the state Conference game. The team played their hearts out for the entire game, which was a close one. In the last 2 seconds of the game, my school was up by 2, only to be met with a huge upset when a player on the other team hit a buzzer beater 3 pointer to put the other team in the lead and end the game. Defeat is something very hard to deal with, especially when you put your all into whatever it is you are doing. But, nevertheless, life is designed to incorporate failure, for it is how you grow and be better.

  19. March Madness is one of the most viewed sporting events that take place every year. About a month of back-to-back televised basketball games taking place throughout the nation. Fans trying to create a perfect bracket, which has never been done before, college students showing their school pride, and communities being united after signature wins. It is a time when all the hard work and practice student-athletes have been putting in over the past 9 months has the chance to finally pay off. Being a huge college basketball fan, the upsets and nail-biting wins that take place in March arguably make up some of the most iconic moments in sports history, second to no other sporting event that takes place. I think the aspect that makes March Madness so great is the unpredictability. No team can be counted out at any time regardless of their seeding because there is always an underdog team that finds its identity at the perfect time of the season.
    1989 was an important year in history for New Jersey basketball, especially for the Seton Hall Pirates. This is the year that Seton Hall first entered the conversation of bringing home a national title among other top schools such as Duke, Michigan, UNLV, and Illinois. Although the pirates came up short in an overtime loss against Michigan, it was the farthest the school has ever made it in the postseason. Exactly 30 years after this historic run, Seton Hall has a very good chance of making a deep run in the postseason in March of 2020. Being ranked twelfth in the nation, pirates’ fans have very high hopes for the upcoming season. Not to mention they bring to the table Seton Hall’s first-ever preseason All-American who has also been named a candidate for the Wooden Award, Naismith Award, and Jerry West award. Seton Hall’s first opponent in the 2019-2020 season is versus the number one ranked school in the nation, Michigan State. There has been a lot of focus on this game since it was first scheduled, and this is when we will see what each team is really made of. Regardless of how the season plays out, New Jersey basketball has another very strong chance of making a statement this year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *