DENVER (AP) — Maybe the most telling part of Derrick Gordon's story is that it hasn't really been a story this season.

When sixth-seeded Seton Hall (25-8) takes the court Thursday against Gonzaga (26-7), Gordon will become the first openly gay player to play in the NCAA Tournament.

That news is nothing more than a tidbit for most of the Pirates, who got over whatever initial awkwardness existed when Gordon joined the team this season, and have thrived because he's there.

The guard from Plainfield, New Jersey — only a half-hour from Seton Hall's campus — is coming off the bench, averaging 7.9 points and 3.2 assists a game. More than that, the team's lone senior has served as the beacon of maturity and experience that Seton Hall desperately needed after five seasons without an NCAA trip under Kevin Willard.