0 Comments Published on 3.08.2012 by Brian Harrison
Syracuse students agree: If you've been, there's nothing else like it.
The regular season is finished. The first two rounds of the Big East Tournament are set. Syracuse faces an old foe in Connecticut. What more could you want? The best matchup the past several years happened again.
Syracuse takes on Connecticut after having beat them a couple of weeks ago in Storrs for the first time ever. While Syracuse has been resting up and relaxing, Connecticut has beaten DePaul (predictably), and then West Virginia in overtime. First off, let me say two things. The notion that it's tough to beat a team three times in a season is bunk. You just didn't do your job the third time if you couldn't do it. Second, the notion that players get fatigued playing several games in several days is bunk. UConn disproved that last year. Syracuse disproved that in 2006. Now that that business is out of the way, why would you ever pick against the team that's already won twice against a team. It's illogical. While UConn is playing better together, and Jeremy Lamb is filthy, Syracuse provides a bigger defensive challenge than West Virginia did to Connecticut. In both meetings this season, Syracuse outrebounded Connecticut. That should be the case tomorrow. The only X Factor in the game is what impact Jim Calhoun will have on his team. He is admittedly a better coach than George Blaney, but the players on the court playing the game are still the same ones available in the other two. Syracuse simply causes turnovers against Connecticut and it allows for run outs. Additionally, Syracuse has shot well against Connecticut in both games and in their games in MSG this season, including NIT games and the one meeting against St. John's. This game may be close for the first half. But then I see Syracuse pulling away and maintaining a six to 12 point lead throughout the second half. Syracuse will hit a patented run and should put themselves in a good position to advance. The statistics, the team history this season, and the talent levels all tell me to pick Syracuse as I have in the previous two games. I am doing just that. I'm picking the Orange again. by 12.
This game is of course being played in front of a national television audience scamming views during work on ESPN at 12:00pm. Syracuse does it at noon. Both John and I are enjoying respective liquid lunches, so let the fun commence. The Big East Tournament is a blast in person or on television. Enjoy the ride folks. This is merely an appetizer to the main course that is the NCAA, but it is amazing and I'll be sad when Syracuse is no longer a part of it. Savor it this year my friends. Whether you're rooting for Syracuse, Connecticut, or just some great basketball.