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Believe me Jim, we understand.
And just like that, Syracuse is out of the NCAA Tournament. They made it to Round 2 (Round 3 if you want to use this year's method of keeping track) Which is better than some teams, but not as good as where Syracuse could have gone. I certainly didn't pick them to get back to the Final Four, but getting to the Sweet 16 for the third year in a row, something Syracuse has oddly never done, would have been nice. But alas, Marquette, a familiar Big East foe retires the Orange 66 to 62.
Syracuse started the game playing well, moving the ball and shooting well. The first half was a game of runs however, as Syracuse would get up, and Marquette would catch up. Then Syracuse would get up again, and the Golden Eagles would get it close again. Turnovers sadly also played the Orange as Syracuse couldn't ever really create distance between them and Marquette. Finally, off two of the dumbest plays of Syracuse's season, Marquette took the lead. Syracuse came out playing well from the locker room, but there were several more lead changes, and big shots made by both teams. Then, with a tie game, Marquette hit a dagger three. Syracuse would never see the lead again. Marquette held on to win a tight game that was a hard fought 40 minutes.
  • Dion Waiters was Syracuse's leading scorer coming off the bench. He finished with 18 points in 23 minutes on 8-10 shooting. However, he is not as strong of a defender as Brandon Triche, and he showed that, failing to cover Darius Johnson-Odom who made the go ahead three point basket. Additionally he contributed to the backcourt violation Jardine committed by not waiting to pass the ball in. Why Jim Boeheim has a freshman put the ball in play I'll never know.
  • Kris Joseph had the best offensive game of the starters. He finished with 12 points hitting 5-7 from the floor, and earned a tough nine rebounds. He played well, hitting mid range shots, fade aways, and cut to the hoop. This was probably his best game overall statistic wise in recent memory. However, he had one of the worst plays in the waining seconds of the first half when he committed an intentional foul on a player that clearly had a lay up. That gave Marquette two free throws and the ball back. This was one of the reasons they took the lead heading into the half.
  • Triche Had eight points on 3-5 shooting, 2-3 from behind the arc. Sadly he fell really hard and officially had a bruised tailbone. Judging from the video of the play I'm guessing that hurt like hell. He sat the rest of the game. While probably not affecting the outcome, Syracuse sure could have used Triche on the floor. Although he did have a team high four turnovers.
  • In his final game in a Syracuse uniform, Rick Jackson earned 7 points and four rebounds, playing all 40 minutes for SU. Mostly at center. He had a tough game as he was frequently doubled, but when he wasn't, he played pretty well. Thanks Rick.
  • Baye Moussa Keita had a cough and seemed pretty sick. After starting the first half he only played four minutes and then sat the bench.
  • CJ Fair and James Southerland played a combined 35 minutes and earned 11 points. Fair played really well overall, but Southerland could have stood to have a better shooting day. He was only 3-8 and 1-4 respectively.
  • Fab Melo played only five minutes and managed one rebound, one turnover, and three fouls. He really needs to work this off season. After showing glimpses of talent in the Big East Tournament against St. John's, he clearly is still not ready for the big time stages of college basketball.
  • Finally, Scoop Jardine. He earned six points on 2-8, 1-5 shooting. He also earned six assists. And did two of the stupidest things I've ever seen on a basketball court. First he, after getting the ball kicked to him with the shot clock off in the first half, took a three with about 17 seconds left to give Marquette a chance to get up by another score. Of course they made a jump shot. Then he committed a backcourt violation when the game was tied. Technically the turnover was given to Dion Waiters, but Scoop was just at fault. Why he didn't just take the ball in the back court to avoid the call is one of the biggest mysteries we'll ever know. JoeFieldsEra has an interesting take on the call, saying it wasn't a violation according to the rules. He may or may not be right, but either way Scoop and Dion put themselves in that position unnecessarily.
  • Syracuse wasn't going to win this game with all the turnovers and the dumb plays. Syracuse needs to improve their basketball IQ drastically next season. And their consistency on defense.
  • Syracuse's season, and Rick Jackson's career at Syracuse, is now over.
  • Thanks for reading all season long. Syracuse now turns their collective attention to lacrosse. Speaking of, I'll be contributing to College Crosse in the near future, along with the usual writings here, so you have that to look forward to.

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