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We don't wanna look, either, Jim.

Exactly 52 weeks ago tonight, Louisville played Syracuse in the Dome (a game that was also the lead-in to Duke-UNC). 52 weeks ago and tonight, the home team had imposed a postseason ban amid NCAA investigations. 52 weeks ago, Syracuse shocked Louisville in the Carrier Dome. Tonight, Louisville didn't shock Syracuse, but certainly dominated almost to the point of absurdity. Especially in the second half. Syracuse loses a stinker 72-58.

  • Early in the game, Louisville tried its very best to just hand the game to Syracuse. The Cardinals just couldn't score, couldn't grab a rebound, turned the ball over. Syracuse built an 18-6 lead, but a couple Louisville runs brought the Cards into the lead 23-22 with 2:45 to go in the first. The Orange gained the lead back and held it until just before the end of the half when Trey Lewis hit a (trey) to put Louisville up by one at halftime.
  • In the second half, Syracuse just didn't show up. They never held the lead, and just couldn't get much of anything going on either end of the court. Louisville is a great defense, sure, but the Syracuse offense struggled in spite of it. Add that to the Cardinals shooting 55.56% in the second half and you see how impossible it would be for Syracuse to come back.
  • Louisville is typically a team that will destroy Syracuse from three as a way to beat the zone. Tonight they were only 7-23 from deep -- a stat that you'd think would signal a Syracuse victory. But despite not being as big or as physical inside as past Cardinal teams have been, they were able to create some great shots and great scoring opportunities inside against the zone -- as in, 50 points in the paint. There were several monster alley-oops, and Louisville dominated the offensive boards (14) leading to 17 second chance points.
  • Trevor Cooney, Michael Gbinije, and Malachi Richardson all had double digit points for the Orange, with Cooney having the best performance of the three. Gbinije played very frustratingly, missing a dunk and a couple bunnies, turning the ball over three times, and causing me to yell at my TV so much my neighbors must think I'm insane.
  • Tyler Lydon didn't have a good game, and despite the poor play, Boeheim kept him in for 31 minutes. DaJuan Coleman only saw 18 minutes, and one could argue he was a more effective presence out there. But oh well, it's not like that was the difference in the game.
  • Frank Howard got 23 minutes, and was able to dish out six assists. Boeheim noted postgame that Frank needs to learn to create more scoring opportunities for himself, but that'll come with more experience. It was good for him to get a feel of a tough conference road game like this.
  • Tyler Roberson was not plugged in tonight.
The next two games for Syracuse are at home to close out the Dome schedule: Saturday against Pittsburgh, and the following Saturday against NC State. A sweep would be huge for Syracuse, taking them to 20 season wins and 10 conference wins. Win those, and steal one at either North Carolina or Florida State to close the regular season, and you figure Syracuse is an NCAA lock. Lose one or both of the remaining home games and you figure Syracuse solidly reestablishes itself back on the NCAA bubble. I personally expect the home sweep and at least one road win, so I'm not too worried. See you in the Dome on Saturday for an Orange::44 reunion with Brian!

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