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It was a fine game, just not my best.
The dream is over. It was fun while it lasted, being on the bubble. We saw a great game in the Carrier Dome to end the season, but it was not meant to be. On paper, with a strength of schedule of seven, Syracuse probably deserves to be in with 19 wins and nine in the Big East, but alas, you need to win your first game in the conference tournament. The three ball was too much for Syracuse and New York is full of heartbreak; ‘Nova over ‘Cuse 82 to 63.

Donte Greene has a nice game. It was nice, but not great, as I think he has not been great since the early games of the conference slate. He finished with 17 points, five rebounds, and four assists. He shot four for nine from long range. He just did not have it when it counted.

Flynn did not play his game. He forced a lot of balls and turned over the ball too much. He had four turnovers in the first half alone. He finished with five. He also had 16 points. However he forced too many shots, as he finished one for six from deep.

Onuaku seemed to be playing a good game. He was tough on the defensive end, but only finished with four points and three rebounds. Had Syracuse committed to try to get him the ball more, the outcome could have been different, but instead Syracuse settled for long shots that more often than not missed.

Paul Harris probably had the best game for the Orange, but it still was full of errors. He had 13 points, four rebounds, and started the game with two long balls. He played pretty well, however I hope he learns how to dribble next season. It is really the only facet of his game that needs improving at this point.

Kristof! Ongenaet was not spectacular, but he had a solid game for Kristof! standards. He finished with five points and five rebounds. Scoop had a decent game with eight points, but most of those points occurred in what was basically garbage time.

Syracuse managed to hit eight of eleven free throws for a total of 73%. Syracuse managed to shoot very poor in this game though. They only shot 40% from the floor and 38% from long range. Conversely, ‘Nova hit 48% of their shots, but more importantly 52% from behind the arc, sometimes very behind it. That was the nail in the coffin for Syracuse. With a little over nine minutes remaining in the second half the game was over. A tragic state for a team that had been so encouraging as of late.

The turnovers were also a factor for both teams. Syracuse had 16 turnovers, 12 of which came in the first half. Flynn led the way with five, and Harris had four. While ‘Nova had 17, it did not affect them as much simply because ‘Nova made their shots and ‘Cuse did not.

However, I am honestly not as upset as I think I should be. This team is very shallow by Boeheim standards, both our sharpshooters were on the bench with injuries this season, and the team will come back next year and be ridiculous. Syracuse now looks to an impending #1 seed in the NIT Tournament and should have some nice home games before hopefully making it to New York City. The NIT may turn out to be more entertaining anyway with Syracuse, Florida, Ohio State, and possibly Kentucky. It should be an interesting tournament, as I will enjoy seeing what develops in New York for the rest of the Big East Tournament.

Syracuse will probably now not be called on Selection Sunday. But the Big East Tournament, and eventually the NCAA Tournament, will roll on again. Hopefully there will be some joy I get out of the simple spectacle of all the college basketball going on this week. While last year Syracuse had the biggest snub in history, Syracuse just did not get enough wins this year to make the same argument so I, much like Boeheim, will not complain. I will simply enjoy whatever games Syracuse will play in after this day, and hopefully they can finish the season with a win. I sure would have liked seeing the Georgetown/Syracuse rubber game though. Sadly, they are out like Elliot Spitzer. Stay tuned for some additional but light Big East Tournament coverage throughout the remaining days. I will be on Spring Break this upcoming week so I am not sure how much I will tear into Selection Sunday, but I am sure there will be some opinions forthcoming. Enjoy the remaining games, and enjoy rooting for Syracuse in the next game they play.

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2 Responses to “Syracuse - Villanova Postgame Reactions OR We'll See You In The NIT”

  1. # Blogger Jeff

    Nova did a good job of shutting down the paint and instead of working to get it in there we panicked and, as you said, it was bombs away.  

  2. # Blogger Brian Harrison

    Yeah, really you can boil the second half down to: Villanova made shots, Syracuse did not.  

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