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Yeah, we all saw it Jim.
Pittsburgh came to town. Syracuse was fresh off their upset of Louisville. Syracuse only lost by six at Pittsburgh, so Syracuse had a shot in the Dome. Unfortunately Pittsburgh outlasted Syracuse by four points, 65-61.
  • Rakeem Christmas got back to his scoring ways, with Pittsburgh unable to contain him even with double teams. He was 8-14 shooting and 4-8 from the line. He finished with 20 points, 12 rebounds, and two blocks. He also didn't have a foul in the first half.
  • Michael Gbiinje had a pretty good game, earning 12 points on 3-8 shooting, but he was 6-8 from the line. He also had seven rebounds and six assists.
  • Syracuse's bench actually outscored Pitt's. Johnson and Patterson combined for 20 points. Pitt's bench only had 19. That's something.
  • Trevor Cooney's back maybe was hurting, but despite being a good defender he was a zero on offense in this game, which was probably the difference in who won and lost. He was 0-5, 0-4 on shooting.
  • Syracus was able to limit Sheldon Jeter to only six points. He torched SU in the Pete in the earlier game.
  • The probably with Pittsburgh is they can box out more, but despite one play where Syracuse had six missed shots and six offensive rebounds, Syracuse actually outrebounded Pitt 35 to 22. However, Syracuse was unable to convert that to more points for them and less for Pittsburgh.
  • We all saw there was questionable officiating down the stretch of this game. Starting with an illegal screen called on Christmas about 35 feet from the basket. Both teams made about 30 screens in the game and about the same way, but they weren't determined to be illegal by Referee Tim Nestor. Roger Ayers, who is usually a pretty good official, and who Syracuse had seen four other times this year (tied for most with 5), missed about five extra steps for Pittsburgh late in the game, and maybe a foot on the line. Missing travels that blatant is inexcusable for a Division 1, major conference official.
Syracuse now plays on, trying to take on Notre Dame in South Bend. That will go smashing I'm sure. Either way, it will be fun to see Christmas try and spoil a seed for the Irish.

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