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.
- Instant Juice: Syracuse 9, North Carolina 8 - April 24, 2015
- Orange Watch: Why not move the ACC Basketball Tournament up a week permanently? - April 20, 2015
- Orange Watch: Syracuse lacrosse can still go deep in NCAA Tournament - April 13, 2015
- Orange Watch: Hard to get a solid early grasp of 2015 Syracuse football - April 7, 2015
- Orange Watch Exclusive: Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim to retire in September 2016 - April 1, 2015
- Orange Watch: Syracuse’s Carrier Dome is not a dump, it is a building that’s simply outdated - March 30, 2015
- Orange Watch: After NCAA black eye, Syracuse to shine hosting NCAA regional - March 24, 2015
- Monumental Day for Syracuse basketball – Jim Boeheim to retire in three years - March 18, 2015
- Daryl Gross out, Pete Sala in, as new interim Syracuse athletic director - March 18, 2015
- Orange Watch: Near season’s midpoint, Syracuse lacrosse looking like team on mission - March 16, 2015