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My tourney seats are analogous to my Dome seats!

The big question for Syracuse coming into NCAA play was whether it would get over its horrible shooting woes, or continue its poor play to be prime for an upset. One game doesn't answer that question, but if that one game is any indication, we're seeing the Syracuse that was 25-0, not the Syracuse that was 2-5 down the stretch. In first ("second") round action, Syracuse beat Western Michigan in Buffalo 77-53

  • You knew the ability to score would be the difference in this one, and Syracuse responded: four of the five starters in double-digits, and eight players on the board -- one of them Ron Patterson -- BUSS!!
  • Trevor Cooney is your leading scorer. When was the last time I said that, Notre Dame? Cooney had 18 points on 5-10 shooting, which was 4-8 from three. That's the Trevor we need for this Tourney!
  • Tied with 16 points each was Tyler Ennis and Jerami Grant -- which, is basically the production we expect out of those two. They each played a great game, and were key to Syracuse winning. They each shot well -- and were perfect from the line. I like all of this.
  • CJ Fair had a nice little game himself, with 14 points on 6-13 shooting and 2-2 from the line. His 11 rebounds gave him the requisite statistics for what they call a double-double, which is nice. CJ was active, especially inside and with the long jumper, and it mostly worked for him today.
  • While there wasn't HUGE production from the center position, Rakeem Christmas and Baye Moussa Keita did their jobs -- a combined four points, eleven rebounds, and three blocks. The Broncos had trouble getting inside, and that was a function of the zone doing its job and the centers holding it down inside. This was nice to see.
  • Syracuse shot 49.1% from the field, which is a marked improvement from, well, the last five or six weeks. So that was nice.
  • Also nice was the 82.4% number from the free throw line for Syracuse. Not quite Maui numbers, but respectable.
Top to bottom, Syracuse dominated. Recent memory doesn't know what this is. So, if you're a Syracuse fan who knows what's been happening recently, this is a very welcomed development. It sure helped that most of the First Niagara Center (nee HSBC Arena, nee Marine Midland Arena) was clad in Syracuse Orange. They had all watched Dayton upset Ohio State before this game, and rooted for it. Personally, I think Syracuse matched up better against the Buckeyes, but, I guess we'll never know. An off day Friday will give the Orange a day to regroup, rest, and prepare for Allen Griffin and the Flyers. AG will be working the door of the balcony, checking hand stamps, wondering "Where my boy BH at?"

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