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Syracuse was the 24th ranked team taking on #13 California. At the end of the day America knew that California was overrated and Syracuse was underrated. Syracuse earns an impressive win in Madison Square Garden. Syracuse wins over Cal to advance to the 2K Sports Coaches Vs. Cancer Classic 95 to 73.

I am continually astounded at how much better Scoop Jardine this season than any of his previous work. He absolutely sucked and was good for a lot of turnovers, and he really cost Syracuse at Georgetown in the 2007-2008 season. But he was excellent in this game, as he has been. He led Syracuse with 22 points in 27 minutes on the floor. He also had six rebounds, six assists, and four steals, with only one turnover. He was a big reason Syracuse did so well in the transition game.

Similarly, Brandon Triche also played well. While he only had nine points, he defended well, hit shots in timely situations, and passed well on the floor. He is still a freshman and is learning, but he is coming along nicely. Nice to see there won’t be another Sean Williams on the roster.

Wesley Johnson also played well. The transfer had 17 points, 11 rebounds, and six blocks. Delivered as advertised again. He is a high riser and an excellent defender.

Arinze Onuaku had an absolutely sick hook shot in this game. Just filthy how good it was right over the defender. He finished with 12 points. Similarly, Rick Jackson had an outstanding pivot post move and finished with eight points, six rebounds, and four assists.

Andy Rautins finished with eight points, four assists, and two steals. He had an outstanding day on defense and played well in transition. That is before he hurt his ankle again. He walked right off the court after, but had some swelling. Frankly I think he will be playing later today, but we’ll see.

Syracuse obviously shot well from the floor, shooting 57.1% from the floor, while California only shot 40%. Additionally, Syracuse limited a typically great shooting team from behind the arc to only 30% (6-20). Syracuse shot 9-23 (39.1%). Syracuse was outrebounded in this game, which is odd as Syracuse had a taller and more athletic team. California had 42 rebounds, 15 offensive, and Syracuse only had 37 and five respectively. Finally, Syracuse led massively in steals and blocks. Syracuse had ten and nine, while Cal only had four and one. That is extremely solid defense.

Speaking of Syracuse’s defense, it obviously caused several turnovers. 15 to be exact. This defense frustrated Cal and was so active that it obviously stifled Cal’s three point shooting as well, as it has all season. This is the kind of defense that wins conferences. If the team can remain this energetic for every game, this team will be hard to score on.

Syracuse played an excellent game and will be rewarded with playing the #4 team in the nation, and the defending National Champions, North Carolina. Syracuse will have their hands full, but they had trouble putting away Ohio State, therefore Syracuse has a real possibility to pull another upset, this time against a top five team. Additionally Syracuse will represent the Big East in a battle against on of the ACC’s best teams. Always a drama filled situation when this occurs. Should be a good one, and if Syracuse plays well again this will be an excellent game to watch. Stay tuned for my usual preview later.
Finally, SU/Cal 1 tweet recap from @JBren: Magnificent defense, great in paint, turnovers galore, heart skips a beat on long passes, this team's "pretty good".

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