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Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Freak. Out.

After Syracuse officially booked its ticket for an early-round NIT exit last night, I came to the conclusion that it would not be fair for me to pile onto the Orange. Let's face it, it takes a special group of guys to allow DePaul (a team whose makeup is equivalent to four Matt Glaude's and a heaping helping of cole slaw) to drop a 100-spot.

Why ruin the moment? It seems like only once every two or three years that Syracuse suffers its worst loss in the Boeheim era.

Thus, I'm letting a sampling of other disappointed writers express their horror over last night's nationally-televised display.

How does Gregg Doyel feel about the Orange? Well . . .

No. 4 Villanova at Syracuse: Syracuse, you're lousy. Not mediocre. Not struggling. Lousy. You're on the NCAA Tournament bubble, and you go into DePaul and not just lose -- losing would have been bad enough -- but you lose 108-69? Shameful. Lose by almost 40 to one of the worst teams in your league, and do so on March 2, and you fall out of the NCAA field. It's a rule. However, the rule comes with a corollary: Beat No. 4 Villanova on March 5, and all is forgiven. Pick: Unforgiven.
Even Ken Pomeroy was downright depressed with the Orange effort:

Nice job by Syracuse last night. With their tourney hopes still in limbo, they surrendered 108 points on 66 possessions against DePaul. Easily the worst defensive game in all the land this season. Morehead State did a better job containing UConn. And the Orange were 21st in adjDE entering the game.
Joe Lunardi weighs in:
Syracuse [19-9 (7-7), RPI: 28, SOS: 9]
Uhhh ... The Orange entered the pantheon of all-time most gruesome bubble losses Thursday night with a 39-point annihilation at DePaul. On the heels of a 15-point loss at Georgetown, the Orange may now be in some serious trouble with 'Nova coming to the Dome in the season finale. RPI and SOS look good, but the Orange have lost eight of 12 and are only 2-8 vs. RPI Top 50.

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