Tag Archives: UConn

The Orange Report Podcast- Episode One (Jeff Borzello)

This is the debut of ” The Orange Report Podcast”. In this episode you will hear from Jeff Borzello from March Madness All Season. If you don’t know about Jeff’s site, please check it out.

I spoke to Jeff about the UConn recruiting violations, the NCAA Tournament, and of course the upcoming Oklahoma-Syracuse sweet sixteen matchup. Listen to Jeff’s analysis on how to stop Blake Griffin and the Sooners.

-Also, this is my first attempt at the podcast, and for some reason the program I used to record the phone call left an echo. So try to ignore that and hopefully I will have it figured out for the next go round.

The Orange Report Podcast- Episode One (Jeff Borzello)


The Greatest Game Ever Played?

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.

Six overtimes...what else needs to be said?

Six overtimes...what else needs to be said?

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.

Wow indeed.

Saturday Big East Preview

Here are some thoughts and predictions for this weeks Big East slate:

UConn at Temple

UConn faces a Temple team that is led by one of the coaches who is consistently mentioned to be in Syracuse’s future. Al Golden is a very good coach and Temple is on the verge of becoming an actual football program. I think Temple has a chance this week and will keep it close, but UConn is just too strong to lose this one.

UConn 31 – Temple 20

Tennesse Tech at Louisville

Louisville is hoping to bounce back from a horrendous effort last week against Kentucky by destroying Tennessee Tech. Tech is led by QB Lee Sweeney,  a Louisville transfer who has started for three years since leaving the Cardinals. If Louisville has any trouble this week I’d be surprised, but then again I didn’t think Steve Kragthorpe would have this program in such disarray this early in his tenure. Hunter Cantwell needs to get it going before facing Kansas State in two weeks then UConn in Louisville’s Big East opener.

Louisville 35 – Tennessee Tech 17

Cincinnati at Oklahoma

Cincinnati heads west to face the fourth ranked Oklahoma Sooners and their Heisman candidate QB, Sam Bradford. While some are predicting an upset, this Oklahoma team is too deep to suffer a let down against the Bearcats. Bradford is legit and he’ll lead the Sooners to victory.

Oklahoma 40- Cincinnati 20

West Virginia at East Carolina

Another possible SU coach takes on West Virginia, as Skip Holtz’s Pirates look for their second upset in two weeks. After shocking Virginia Tech last week ECU wants to knock of the top team in the Big East. West Virginia is a different beast than Virgina Tech, however, and Pat White and Noel Devine should be able to sufficiently move the ball on the ground. Skip will however get a chance to do some scouting for when he is on the Orange sideline next year against the Mountaineers.

West Virginia 35 – East Carolina 17

Buffalo at Pittsburgh

Yet another possible G-Rob replacement takes on a Big East team this week. Turner Gill has done wonders at Buffalo and has them on the verge of moving to the top of the MAC. The Bulls destroyed UTEP last week with a balanced attack. QB Drew WIlly has developed quickly under Gill’s tutelage and threw 4 TDs last week. Running backs James Starks and Brandon Thermilus both went over 100 yards as well. While Pitt comes off their disapointing loss to Bowling Green, they now have to deal with another pesky MAC opponent. I think Dave Wannstedt is feeling the pressure and will have his team more prepared this week, but I like the Bulls for the upset to make Pitt 0-2.

Buffalo 27 – Pittsburgh 21

South Florida at UCF

South Florida looks to win their 5th straight over their in-state rival in this one. Matt Grothe is a solid QB and should be able to lead the Bulls to a W in this one. UCF struggled against South Carolina State last week, only winning 17-0. Their offense misses last season’s rushing leader Kevin Smith and it will show in this one.

South Florida 35 – UCF 10

Thursday Night in the Big East

Tonight is the start of the 2008 college football season, and two of Syracuse’s Big East foes are in action. UConn takes on the Hofstra Pride and Cincinnati takes on Eastern Kentucky.

The Syracuse-UConn rivalry is still alive and well, despite our 3 year run of what could charitably be described as a “slump” on our end of the spectrum. But like any good slump all we need is one ugly drunk chick to get back on track. UConn is hoping that Hofstra is their version of the slump-buster after being outscored by a margin of 90-31 in their final two games last season. The thought of an Appalachian State type upset has been talked about in Connecticut this week, which goes to show how much there is to write about Hofstra. I don’t really like the Pride’s odds in this one:

    UConn is 6-0 vs. FCS competition since 2002, winning those games by a combined 297-52. The Huskies are also undefeated in their five season openers at Rentschler. They’ve won seven straight at home, where they’ll play three of their first four games.

Hofstra also lost 14 starters from last years team. I’m thinking UConn will have very little trouble in this one:

UConn 38 – Hofstra 10

Cincinnati also opens up against a D-1AA (fuck calling it the Championship Sub Division) opponent. Eastern Kentucky played the Bearcats two years ago, losing 31-0. A similar result is likely. Cincinnati’s quarterback that won’t go away, Ben Mauk, has one last chance to gain an additional year of eligibility:

    Mauk will talk to the reinstatement committee by phone on Thursday afternoon, a few hours before the Bearcats open their season at home against Eastern Kentucky. He expects a decision either later in the day or on Friday.
    Mauk initially appealed for another season because of the dislocated shoulder and broken passing arm he suffered in the season opener at Wake Forest in 2006. When that argument was rejected, he contended that he had to redshirt his freshman year at Wake Forest because of injury and should get another season for that reason.
Ben Mauk (left) and Sinbad look to lead the Fightin' Armadillos into Big East play.

Ben Mauk (left) and Sinbad look to lead the Fightin' Armadillos to the Big East title.

That injury was of course suffered against Syracuse. Mauk must want revenge. Or he wants to be exactly like Scott Bakula’s character from “Necessary Roughness”. Mauk is definitly a talented quarterback, as he finished last season as the 11th rated passer in the country. While it shouldn’t be a problem against the Colonels, they could have trouble replacing him when they get to the tough part of their schedule.

But for tonight:

Cincy 42 – EKU 20

Syracuse Is Top 10 In Something

ESPN.com today released numbers 20-11 in their “Prestige Programs” list and Syracuse was absent. Big East teams Cincinnati (19) and Louisville (16) were joined by Mighigan State (11), Oklahoma (12), and Indiana (13-in your face Keith Smart) in this batch of the rankings.

ESPN researcher Nick Loucks, who helped put together the rankings, had this to say about Syracuse’s ranking:

    Syracuse was certainly a beneficiary of no losing seasons… Most of the teams revealed today between 11 and 20 had multiple losing seasons.

Syracuse, UConn and Georgetown are all that remain from the Big East. Having 30% of the top ten is impressive. And when you add in Cincy and Louisville the Big East has 25% of the top 20. I expected Syracuse to be anywhere from 15th to 8th. The final ten schools will be revealed tomorrow.