Seton Hall's first season of basketball occurred in 1903–04, but the school did not field a team again until 1908–09, the year in which the university achieved their first winning season. The school adopted the Pirate mascot in 1931, and the teams soon gained national prominence with the arrival of John "Honey" Russell in 1936. During an 18-year span, the Pirates racked up a 295–129 record that included an undefeated 19–0 record in 1939–40 as part of a 41-game unbeaten streak. Walsh Gymnasium was opened in 1941 to permanently house the basketball team and featured one of the best Seton Hall teams of all time, termed the "Wonder Five", which led by All-American Bob Davies, earned the school's first NIT bid in 1941. Following World War II, the Pirates were led by stars Frank Saul and Bobby Wanzer and regularly played games at Madison Square Garden. The peak of this era occurred in 1953 when Richie Regan and Walter Dukes defeated rival St. John's University for the NIT title. Perhaps the low point for the team occurred in 1961 when a point shaving scandal sullied the program, but the Pirates rebounded to return to the NIT in 1974 under coach Bill Raftery. Seton Hall became a charter member of the Big East Conference in 1979.
The 1908–09 Seton Hall basketball team recorded the school's first winning record in its second season of play
The high point of the Big East era for Seton Hall came when P. J. Carlesimo was hired in 1982 and the team began playing in the Meadowlands Arena. By 1988, Carlesimo led the Pirates to the school's first NCAA tournament appearance, and in 1989, he led the Hall to an unexpected tournament run to the NCAA Championship game, where they were defeated by Michigan in overtime. Success under Carlesimo continued with a Big East Tournament Championship and an Elite Eight appearance in 1991, a regular season Big East Championship and Sweet Sixteen appearance in 1992, and Big East Regular Season and Big East Tournament Championships in 1993. Carlesimo left to coach in the NBA following the 1993–94 season, but Seton Hall returned to the Sweet Sixteen in 2000 guided by coach Tommy Amaker, and appeared in the NCAA tournament in 2004 and 2006 coached by Louis Orr. In 2006–07, Bobby Gonzalez was hired to lead the Pirates, which moved its home games into the Prudential Center in 2007. Gonzalez amassed a 66–59 record at Seton Hall but was fired at the conclusion of the 2009–10 after a first-round NIT loss to Texas Tech. Concerns were raised in-house about the direction Gonzalez was taking the program, punctuated by several incidents, some involving Gonzalez and others involving student athletes. Shortly after his dismissal Gonzalez was arrested for shoplifting. Seton Hall hired current coach Kevin Willard for the 2010–11 season.
After struggling to maintain a .500 record through his first five seasons with the program, Willard's Pirates finally broke through in the 2015-16 season, as they won the Big East Tournament Championship over eventual national champion Villanova. With the win, Seton Hall secured the school's first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2006 and the first Big East Tournament Championship since 1993. However, the magic could not continue in the NCAA Tournament, as the team was defeated by the 11th seeded Gonzaga Bulldogs in the opening round of 64. In 2017, the Pirates made the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year for the first time since 1994. Unfortunately, another first round exit ensued, this time at the hands of the Arkansas Razorbacks.
National champion Postseason invitational champion Conference regular season champion Conference regular season and conference tournament champion Division regular season champion Division regular season and conference tournament champion Conference tournament champion