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New York metro area women's basketball roundup: How many 2015 NCAA Tournament bids does the Big East deserve?

As the regular season came to a close, people around the New York metro area have already been reflection on the 2014-15 season and looking ahead to the postseason. Of particular interest moving forward is chatter about how many 2015 NCAA Tournament bids the Big East will get.

Coach Tony Bozzella has been widely recognized for the job he's done in turning Seton Hall into a Big East contender.
Coach Tony Bozzella has been widely recognized for the job he's done in turning Seton Hall into a Big East contender.
Photo by Ray Floriani.

There was late season talk of the Big East being a one bid league. That probably will not happen but in the estimation of Villanova coach Harry Perretta, you can chalk the questions up to parity.

"People want parity in a conference," Perretta said following the recent setback at Seton Hall. "Ultimate parity is everyone goes 9-9 and you get one bid to the NCAA -- the conference tournament winner. That's really not what you want."

Perretta feels the Big East's lower division is responsible is responsible for the conundrum

"You have some really good teams on top of the Big East," Perretta said. "The problem is the lower teams in the standings can knock off the top teams. That gives you a competitive league and parity but it can cost you on Selection Sunday."

Seton Hall sends seniors off on a high note

Among those really good teams at the top of the conference is Seton Hall, who has drawn national attention for

Seton Hall's Senior Day celebration last Sunday epitomized all there is about this great event. Honored were four Seton Hall Seniors: Chizoba Ekedigwe, Janee Johnson, Daisha Simmons and Ka-Deidre Simmons. Seton Hall senior band members, cheerleaders and dance team members were also honored as were visiting Villanova seniors.

There was joy in celebrating the wonderful careers, contributions and growth into wonderful young women of the Seton Hall seniors. There was the bittersweet emotion, knowing this is their last home game at Walsh Gymnasium.

The game proved to be a thriller. Seton Hall erased a 10-point first half deficit to earn a 64-62 victory over the Wildcats. Appropriately, a Daisha Simmons penetration in the final seconds decided the contest.

The won-loss record can do an injustice. Are your players improving? Is your team playing hard and better in February  than they were in December? If the answers are in the affirmative you have a good coach, doing his or her job, as a couple cases in point.

"I have known (coach) Tony (Bozzella) since his days at LIU," said former women's basketball coach Lynn Chiavaro during a recent interview with Swish Appeal. "He's a great coach has been a rebuilder at every stop and his kids all love playing for him. He's doing a great job at Seton Hall."

Young Manhattan team showing signs of improvement

John Olenowski of Manhattan brought his Jaspers into St. Peter's for a MAAC meeting last Saturday. Down 11 at the half, Manhattan rallied the final 20 minutes for a 69-66 victory.

Entering the contest at 1-15 in conference, Manhattan could have mailed in at the half. They didn't and came out aggressively, getting right back in the game. A few nights later they battled Quinnipiac, undefeated in the MAAC, before finally falling in a valiant effort 82-71.

Manhattan is a very young club and Olenowski makes no excuses but accurately points out that, "The MAAC is a tough conference for first year players to ‘learn on the job'." To his credit, those young players are improving. Despite that won-lost ledger.

St. Peter's shocks Marist on Senior Night

St. Peter's was 3-14 entering Senior Night against Marist on Thursday. They pulled off a shocker defeating the Red Foxes, 66-58. In a similar situation as Manhattan, Pat Coyle at St. Peter's has a young group (interestingly both teams start three freshmen) of players. It's a group that is learning and has shown marked improvement since the season tipped off in November. And, as is the case with Manhattan, the record does not do justice.

Daily improvement, playing hard and growing. That is the mark of good coaching.

Just a thought...think that was a tough bus ride back to Poughkeepsie for Marist given coach Brian Giorgis' ultra competitive nature?