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See Eric, it feels pretty good to win no matter where you are.
NIT Fever is sweeping the Orange Faithful. Setting the NIT Attendance record for the second round, 26,752 people were in the Dome for the Orange’s win over San Diego State (insert Anchorman reference here). I wish I could have watched it, but it was actually pretty cool listening to it on the radio as you could really hear and feel the crowd in the Carrier Dome excited about still seeing the team play.

Same great Syracuse taste as the turnovers were a problem for the Orange. 14 total spread evenly among the team were costly for the Orange in the first half. This was pretty much the status quo for a team that has had turnover problems all year. With a tough game against Clemson tomorrow night jumping off to a hot start and limiting turnovers will be keys for the Orange squad hoping to reach the garden again.

Except for turnovers the game seemed to be coming up Orange in every other category. Shooting, three point percentage, free throws, rebounding, assists all favored the Orange. This was not the key to the game however. The true key to the game was a 17 to 4 run to start the second half sparked by the record setting crowd in the Dome. This was monumental for a few reasons.

We (we being the members of this blog, other blogs, the student population, and the more educated fans of Syracuse) often criticize the fans of Syracuse for being too fair-weather, only caring about the team when they are good. I have always had a problem with fans, especially students, leaving games early for pretty much any reason. If you are a fan, win or lose, blowout or nail biter, I believe you should stay until the time expires. I have always believed “real fans stay the game”. My feelings on this have not changed. And in years of late I have had a real issue with fans bashing on the teams Syracuse has fielded. You are not always going to have a national championship. I realize this but it seems most Syracuse fans do not. That being said, it put my faith back in the people of Syracuse that a record crowd came out to see the Orange play in a game that could be easily labeled “just an NIT game”.

I penned a postgame reaction earlier this season in which I asked what was worse, losing in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, or not even making the tournament. Having run the stretch of emotions from not being included in the field of 65 I have concluded that it is definitely not being included. That being said, however, I am actually just fine with the NIT Tournament. Yeah, it is the Not Invited Tournament. So what. The fans in the Dome did not care one bit, and I really did not listening on the radio either. I was excited by the calls, they plays, and just enjoying the fact we were still playing this late into March, despite the forum. If we can take but one thing away from this game, it is that the Orange faithful are still very present, and still very much a part of Orange Basketball.

I know my postgame reactions are usually fact and statistic driven, but I had to take this opportunity to reflect on a fan base that has seemed to do so much wrong this year do something that was so right. This is what makes college basketball, and college sports in general, a special thing.
The game against Clemson should be a great match. It is also nice to actually be able to watch it on a real network. Clemson’s postgame coverage will be reported live from New Mexico as I am heading for a little spring break getaway. Please don’t blame me if a couple words are unintelligible. I may be drunk/hung over. Now, if lacrosse could right the ship that would be great.
PS - Seriously, I haven't heard from Matt in over a week now. Even I'm getting worried. Somebody hold me.

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2 Responses to “San Diego State - Syracuse Postgame Reactions OR The Feel Good Story of the NIT”

  1. # Blogger ryan

    Take that NCAA!!!  

  2. # Blogger Jim

    I have to say, as nice as it was being at the game and seeing how excited everyone was.. it was an absolute twilight zone experience for me. Each time out seemed like it was 20 minutes long (and there were a lot of them), and during these timeouts, no one would say anything.

    The Dome would turn on some hick-nasty song, and everyone in the crowd (especially Mr. Shiny Glove Usher) would dance like crazy to the song, while clapping in time. Even the "students" seemed to get into the mood.

    I never thought I'd miss the cheesy Dome promos for Lacrosse, or even.. the... advertisements, but having a whopping 8 cheerleaders, 30 band members, and 27,000 hick-faithful.. it was an odd experience.  

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