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Vito agrees, UConn... U SUCK!
There are moments that make being a fan outstanding. They are few and far between, which is why they are so special. They make you feel it was worth spending the money on a ticket. It is a moment you could remember for the rest of your life, or even tell your kids about. More often than not though, it is a snide comment you say to an opposing fan after a win, or a hearty better luck next time if you take the high road, which can also reward you as a fan. It can even be just a close game you enjoyed watching. Either way, I had a moment on the New York City Subway this past weekend. I was wearing my Syracuse hat, when about 60 feet down the platform I hear “U… C… O… N… N… UConn UConn UConn.” I look up, and see a guy smiling at me. His buddy asked if I attended Syracuse, to which I nodded. I then heard the first guy say “Go UConn!” All I said was “We’ll see on Wednesday.” We had a close one with a lot of thrills, but mostly disappointment as Syracuse loses a close one, 61 to 63.

Paul Harris was the lead scorer for the Orange, earning 24 points, 11 rebounds, and he made seven out of eight free throws. He had some outstanding plays on the day. One of which was, during one of his four steals, going the length of the court and slamming the ball with authority. Paul has easily been the best thing the Orange has got going for them the last two games, and there does not seem to be an end for him in the near future.

Jonny Flynn was the second leading scorer with 20 points, and seemingly the only one that could shoot the ball. Flynn made four out of seven from three point land, and also dished the ball five times. Jonny again played all 40 minutes of the contest, and when you earn a point every two minutes you are not doing too bad at all. He continued to look energized and ready to play despite playing so much. Flynn easily is the most important player currently on the team and will continue to be as long as he is the only true guard Syracuse plays.

Donte Greene had eight points, but really if there was ever a game to show why he should stay in college another year, this was that game. Greene shot two for 15 from the floor and one for eight from long range. While the vast majority of these shots were not bad to take, they still did not find the bottom of the hoop. This would have been an average game for Harris or Onuaku, and a fantastic game for Jackson or Ongenaet, but for Greene it was a terrible game.

Onuaku contributed six points and six rebounds. Initially the game plan needed to be penetrating, going right at Thabeet, and making him pick up fouls. This plan quickly had to change after penetration proved really ineffective. Onuaku generally was ineffective in every aspect of the game. Unlike Villanova where he drew defenders and rebounded, as well as made some great outlet passes, he simply was a big non-factor in this contest.

Kristof! Ongenaet earned three points, four rebounds, and three assists. He also was a pretty big non-factor in this game. His scrappy play just earned him one steal. He also seemed to be really afraid of shooting and seemed to have lost that confidence he earned at Villanova. Sad to say, but I did not like Kristof!’s performance in this game.

Syracuse, for the first time in a few games, committed less turnovers that the competition. Syracuse had eight, while UConn had 12. Kristof! was the big winner with 3. If you would have told me that Syracuse was going to have less turnovers than the competition and earn eight points in the last two minutes I would have assumed they were going to win. I would have been wrong, but this is a good sign for the Orange in the future.

Syracuse shot the ball very well from the charity stripe. They made 11 of 14 for 77% success. This will be very important as Syraucse needs every point they can get.

Aaaaaaaaand the highlights end. Scoop Jardine came in, and as Jay-Z would say, “grand opening, grand closing”. In one minutes of play he earned one rebound and committed one turnover, then he sat on the bench again.

Syracuse lost the rebounding battle. Connecticut had 35 rebounds and 9 offensive rebounds, while Syracuse had 30 and 9. Connecticut on the season was not a great rebounding team, but since their Indiana game they have really crashed the boards well, and second chance points and rebounds helped Connecticut win the game. Syracuse will have to recover and get back on the right track in Tampa if they hope to have a strong finish in the conference.

Syracuse shot the ball extremely poor in this game. While I thought one team was going to have a poor shooting night, I did not think it would be the home team. Syracuse only earned 22 out of 59 field goal attempts, for a total of 37%. This is the worst performance for the team in a while. Syracuse in the second half, from the 8:30 mark until 3:48, did not earn a single point. This allowed UConn to not only take the lead, but take a serious lead. One that I am convinced Syracuse would have overcome had time not run out. But that is the way it goes. Had Syracuse shot the ball better in that stretch, things probably would have been vastly different.

Blocked shots had a lot to do with Syracuse’s scoring drought. Hasheem Thabeet had seven blocks alone, and after that he did not even need anymore as Syracuse was timid to penetrate the lane or baseline. Thus, resulted in more outside shooting with nothing dropping for Syracuse. Seeming everything fell for UConn. Sometimes that is the way it goes.

The Three Idiots' Champ penned a fantastic article citing a big reason why Syracuse fans hate the Huskies. He strikes a chord with me, as I know exactly where he is coming from. I have a vast and experienced history with the University of Connecticut on many levels, and without going into it, let’s just say I have taken my share of abuse. I absolutely HATE losing to Connecticut. I can even stomach a Georgetown loss, but not Connecticut. The elder John Thompson could come down from the box, coach the team to a win, piss on the court, and call me an asshole and I still would not be as pissed as a loss to Connecticut. Frankly, if I did it over, and I was a touch drunker, I should have socked that dude in the subway.

Nick of the blog Nick’s 2 Cents recaps all of the Syracuse/UConn games he has been to. If only he was in MSG in 2006 as I was, my personal favorite. Beating a #1 team is great. Beating the #1 team, which is also your rival, in MSG; priceless. It is interesting to see how the rivalry has evolved over the past few seasons. While it was the end of an era for him, it is fun following it from 1997 until today.

The Orange have a week off to think about this loss before traveling to Florida to take on USF at home. I sadly will not be joining them, but I will enjoy the week off to use my time in writing some new articles versus game reactions. First up, Georgetown or UConn: who do you hate more? Yes I just said I hate losing to UConn more. But I hate them both. I need to sort out my feelings. You will be part of the journey. Until next time, remember that Jim Calhoun’s wife looks like the crypt keeper compared to Juli.

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7 Responses to “Connecticut - Syracuse Postgame Reactions OR Yes, I Still Hate Losing to UConn”

  1. # Blogger Russianator

    Good recap - the U-C-O-N-N chant is far and away the most annoying thing ever. I've been to the last 10 big east tournaments - and it's f-ing brutal man.  

  2. # Blogger Brian Harrison

    The best story I had was I was eating breakfast and some 70 year old woman came up to me before the 2006 BET game and started shit talking us. I was like, shouldn't you be watching the women's team or something? I mean I'm in McDonald's minding my own business and some old woman feels it necessary to inturrupt me not bothering anyone to bullshit at me? I wanted to find her after our win and rub it in her face.  

  3. # Blogger Russianator

    It's good to see they don't grow out of it - 70 - good God man. My friend always says that besides the UConn gear, the other way to spot a husky fan is to find the douchebags in pea coats walking around the garden.  

  4. # Blogger Brian Harrison

    Good call Russ. Nothing says douchebag like a pea coat. Unless you are in the navy. Then it is perfectly acceptable.  

  5. # Anonymous Vito

    As I was walking across the quad after the game, there were some kids selling "DON'TE LEAVE" shirts and I couldn't help but laugh. After last night's performance (or lack thereof) I think it's safe to say that #5 will be on the hill next year.  

  6. # Blogger John

    Something about that picture makes it look like it was just a picture of the court, and then Vito was photoshopped in later. But I was there. It's real.  

  7. # Blogger Amanda

    My only contribution to this -- that's worth contributing, and not just a rant about how fucking FRUSTRATED and down right PISSED OFF I am about this merrily band of freshmen we've got as a team -- is, I can't say the word "UConn" without closely following it with "USuck". Even if I don't say it aloud, just know I'm always thinking it when someone says it.  

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