Blogging really only requires three things: a basic knowledge of the subject you intend to write about, an internet connection, and an ability to get into some sort or rhythm so you can post more than twice a month. I have an unbelievable lack of the latter, seeing as how I never got into a rhythm posting on here and haven’t posted in three months. I was going to keep this blog dormant until I posted my football preview for next season, but after what I (and I’m assuming most Cuse fans) witnessed tonight, I knew I had to get some thoughts down.
Without hyperbole, this was the greatest basketball game I have ever watched. Seriously, try right now to think of five games better than this- on all levels, not just college but pro too- and if you can come up with one let me know. I know Kentucky-Duke was good, but it didn’t go six overtimes. This is by far the greatest Syracuse game I’ve ever seen, and maybe the best Big East game as well. This game was absolutely insane, and the fact that my favorite basketball team was involved only adds to the insanity.
How many words need to be said about this team? Before tonight, they might have gone down as the most frustrating Syracuse team of all-time. They are unbelievably talented, yet struggled to win games against any of the top Big East teams. Add in the fact that our center is shooting a whopping 12% from the free throw line in conference play, his backup was not much better from the line, Paul Harris has spent more time in Jim Boheim’s dog house the past 2 weeks than Jeremy McNeil did in his entire senior season, and this was quickly becoming another lost Syracuse season. Oh, and that is without mentioning the whole Eric Devendorf saga.
But tonight changed all of that. No matter what happens against West Virginia in the Big East semifinal, no matter how the Orange do in the NCAA tournament, this game is what this team will be remembered for. Even Boheim knows how special this was, saying he has never been as proud of a team as he was of this team on this night. And he coached a national championship team. What does that say about tonight?
The fact that Syracuse didn’t even have a lead in the game until the 6th overtime shows how impressive their victory was. After Onuaku, Jackson and The Waffle all fouled out, Kris Joseph, a 6-7 freshman played center. I don’t know if he’s ever played there in his life, but he did tonight. 8 total palyers fouled out of tonight’s game. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen that. Jonny Flynn played 67 minutes! I sat in a chair for 3 hours and 45 mins watching this thing and I’m exhausted. How must Jonny feel? Flynn finished one point shy of his career high with 34 points. Harris ended with his own career high- 29 points. Syracuse as a team was shooting 64% from the free throw line this season. In the 35 mins of overtime, they shot 23-26 from the charity stripe. Look at that again: 23-26. If before this game I would have told you Syracuse would make 23 out of 26 free throw attempts, would you have believed me? Of course not. You probably would have yelled, spit or cursed at me. Oh, and don’t forget Devo’s unreal shot that didn’t count. It might not have been good, but how the hell did he get that thing over the defender? Syracuse only had 16 turnovers in 70 minutess of play! Pretty amazing for a team that was 15th in the Big East in turnovers per game in the regular season.
This game had too many stories to tell, but I’ll remember the greatest details for a long time. As Chris Chase pointed out, this is why we love college hoops. I couldn’t agree more.
I was going to go down to NYC on Friday if Syracuse beat UConn. Now, I don’t really see the point. Nothing I could witness in person would come close to tonight. I wouldn’t see basketball even a fraction as good , and, let’s face it, there is about a 0.6% chance we can win tomorrow. We just played 1.8 basketball games against a top 5 basketball team.
I work for a sports network, and was working tonight during the game. Since I was in a studio where a live broadcast was being produced, I had my cell phone off. When I left, I had 13 text messages waiting for me. They basically tell the story of the game:
- My buddy Jay: The waffle is in already
- My sister: Sweet!
- Jay: When are you going to admit I was right about the Belgian? (editors note- I’ve never been against Kristoff, per say. And he has been playing out of his mind the last two weeks. All in all, I enjoyed the Kristoff era)
- My sister: Holy shit I’m going nuts!
- My buddy Ross: This is absolutely amazing!!!
- “The” Trout: Shit, I’m gonna run outta beer if this keeps up.
- Bob from work: One of these players is gonna die on the court.
- Bob again: Honestly….someone will die.
- Trout again: GaaAAAaaahhh! (editors note- that is the actual capitalization he used)
- My UConn alumni-roomate: I’m not even mad to lose this one. Congrats.
- Trout again: …!
- Another UConn co-worker: I can’t sleep. I’m not mad. I don’t know what this emotion is. It’s like purgatory, but Jews don’t believe in that. (editors note-just so you know, he’s Jewish, I’m not racist)
- Bob again: Wow…all I have to say.