An extended essay may be necessary, but Connecticut head coach Jim Calhoun and Syracuse legend Jim Boeheim summed up the next four days perfectly:
Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim made history in the 2006 tournament when the Orange won it all as the ninth seed behind a remarkable week for senior guard Gerry McNamara. It was the first time a team took the title by winning four games, and it was Syracuse's fifth Big East championship and second in a row.It is the greatest four consecutive days of the year. And it all begins today.
"New York is a crap shoot," Boeheim said. "Anyone can win there. We proved it last year as a No. 9 seed. Any of the 12 teams can conceivably win the tournament and I wouldn't put it past anybody. We did it last year and came in playing horribly. It's a tough tournament."
Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun is looking at the tournament as a chance for the inexperienced Huskies to salvage a tough season that started with a Top 25 ranking.
"Hopefully there's some toughness from the scar tissue we've built up and we'll have a chance to show that," he said. "Syracuse did it last year. They had four great days led by one of the best performances in Big East history and we need someone to do that. It's nice to have a fresh start."