NEW YORK — A quick take on Syracuse’s 78-61 loss against Louisville in the Big East Tournament championship game Saturday night at a sold-out Madison Square Garden, SU’s final game in the Big East Conference after 34 memorable years.
WHAT HAPPENED: After an emotional week in which he and the team were asked after each victory about playing for the last time in the Big East, Jim Boeheim watched in frustration in the second half as Louisville’s vaunted press turned a 16-point Orange lead into a five-point deficit over a seven minute stretch (it seemed faster than that), a 44-10 run at one point, to help propel the Cardinals to a second consecutive Big East title, and a likely number-one seed in the NCAA Tournament.
ANALYSIS: ‘Cuse guards Brandon Triche and Michael Carter-Williams knew what was coming as the Cards fell behind by double-digits four minutes into the second half, but it’s another matter to solve the ‘Ville’s vaunted press and double-teams, and it was so effective in disrupting even in-bounds Orange passes after made Louisville baskets to spur the Cards impressive comeback.
HERO: A day after being hounded into shooting woes by Big East player of the year Otto Porter, C.J. Fair found the most of his scoring opportunities on this night finishing with a game-high 21-points and seven rebounds.
ZERO:Syracuse failing to adjust to the Cardinals full court pressure in the second half that completely turned the game around. Sure, it’s easier said than done, but SU really looked flummoxed against the pressure and the offense quickly went out of sync finishing with 18 turnovers.
WHAT’S NEXT: “Selection Sunday” tomorrow, March 17, as the NCAA field is announced with seeds and locales unveiled in the live TV broadcast. The team will gather at the Melo Center to watch the proceedings and learn a first-game opponent and the path necessary to reach the Final Four in Atlanta April 6-8. Time 6:00 ET. TV: CBS.
- Orange Watch: Minimum of five games left to decide Syracuse basketball’s postseason - February 16, 2017
- Instant Juice: Syracuse 75, Pittsburgh 80 - February 11, 2017
- Orange Watch: Syracuse lacrosse looks to end eight year NCAA title drought - February 7, 2017
- Orange Watch: The Syracuse football connection to the Super Bowl - February 1, 2017
- Orange Watch: Home and away balance, and taxing describes 2017 Syracuse football schedule - January 25, 2017
- Orange Watch: Could it be a winless regular season on the road for Syracuse basketball? - January 24, 2017
- Orange Watch: Road win against North Carolina proving to be challenge for Syracuse - January 18, 2017
- Instant Juice: Syracuse 68, North Carolina 85 - January 16, 2017
- Orange Watch: Jim Boeheim took 11 years to win consecutive NCAA games at Syracuse - January 10, 2017
- Orange Watch: ACC flexes its bowl game muscles with Syracuse on outside looking in - January 4, 2017