28
Feb
10

We embarrassed Nova so bad, I say we give them the gas money to get home

How good does Syracuse look. No seriously, HOW GOOD DO THEY LOOK?! Syracuse University, is looking damn good. Even great. I’d go so far as to say that, last night, Syracuse looked like a National Championship team. This is huge. Why you ask? Because although Syracuse has been solid all season, they have always had their weaknesses: playing from behind, foul shooting and focusing too much on getting ‘style’ points rather than just getting the damn ball in the bucket. There have been plenty of heart stopping games this season in which Syracuse barely squeaked out the W. (I think about the DePaul game that I was present at)

Otto!

The loss to Louisville on Valentine’s Day was the true test to this SU team. Would they let the loss affect their psyche? Their next test was a strong, albeit spotty, Georgetown team in Georgetown. Yes, they blew a huge lead, but they ultimately hung on to win the game, a win that, in my opinion, was crucial to the team’s destiny for the rest of the year. They let Providence hang in there the following  Tuesday, but again, ultimately won.

So sets the stage for last night’s game, in which the #4 Syracuse Orange took on the #8 Villanova Wildcats. Villanova is a good team. They have cooled off recently, with losses in the BIG EAST, but Villanova is always a threat. They have had our number the past few years and no one thought that this was going to be an easy game. I thought that it would be a tough battle, going right down to the wire, with Syracuse winning by four…at the most.

Boy was I wrong.

Syracuse embarrassed Villanova. The final score, 95-77, isn’t even indicative of how dominating the Syracuse performance was. After trailing in the first half, SU went on a 20-6 run to end the half up by 10. Not a typo, a 20-6 run. As a second half team, Syracuse came out and brought their A-game, completely and utterly destroying the WildCats. Rautins was passing the ball around like candy, Onuako was MAKING FREE THROWS, Johnson was cream-cheesing threes. Villanova was flustered, called for traveling at every opportunity  and were turning over the ball like they were in 7th grade gym class. No seriously, Villanova played like a bunch of middle schoolers last night. And I don’t think that it’s because Villanova is bad…I think it’s because Syracuse is THAT GOOD. Six Syracuse players had double digits last night. Wes Johnson had a double-double. Syracuse had 23 offensive rebounds. Rautins had 8 assists. Basically, Syracuse was unstoppable. They have depth that is almost unmatched in the entire country (maybe Kansas can compete on that level though) I’d actually feel a little bad for Villanova, if they weren’t Villanova.

de-nied!

So Ladies and Gentleman, Syracuse is your new #1 team come Monday. If they aren’t, we got come crazy BCS stuff going on here. Kansas and Kentucky lost. Syracuse’s win puts them over Purdue to clinch the number one spot. Don’t get me wrong, Purdue is a good team, they’re ALWAYS a good team, but they aren’t good like Syracuse. With the win last night, Syracuse improved it’s mark to 8-0 when facing ranked teams. Six of these wins were against top ten ranked opponents. As I stated earlier, Syracuse demolishing Villanova isn’t because ‘Nova is bad, it’s because Syracuse is good. Let’s look at the list of wins Syracuse has chalked up: Florida, West Virginia, Memphis, Georgetown (twice), UNC, Cal, Villanova, UConn, Notre Dame. While some of these teams are now disappointments (*cough UNC*), they weren’t at the time. They were ranked by TPTB, so they’re all legitimate wins. The loss to Pitt is understandable, as Pitt is always a force to be reckoned with, and the loss to Louisville was somewhat expected since we were playing so loose.

Purdue on the other hand…not so much. Listen, it’s not their fault that they play in the Big Ten, but they shouldn’t get a free pass to the number one spot. Purdue’s impressive wins on the season include: Tennessee, West Virginia, Ohio State and Illinois. Losses are Ohio State, Wisconsin and a thumping taken by Northwestern. Northwestern is the one that kills them the most, as Northwestern truly does, suck. Even if they beat #14 Michigan State today, it’s still not enough to move them up to number one. What kills them is splitting with OSU, if they won both, they’d definitely be in the running. Oh, and their star, Hummel, tore his ACL. So another set back for the Boilermakers.

Hummel tearing his ACL 😦

Basically, call me crazy, but I think embarrassing Villanova is gonna stand for more than beating a top 25 team. Anyone that says differently must not have seen the game last night. Syracuse played with fire, heart and they were absolutely STUNNING last night. Anyone that says Purdue should be #1 if they win today, is thinking with their heart and not their head. They just don’t have the resume that Syracuse does. They are a great team, and should have success in the tourney, but please, give me a break on the #1 ranking. That’s like me saying if Kansas won yesterday, SU should be #1. They shouldn’t be, they should have vaulted up to #2. (Not that that matters now) So here’s how I have the top five on Monday…let’s see if I’m close come Monday:

1) Syracuse Orange

2) Purdue Boilermakers (if they win)

3) Kansas Jayhawks

4) Duke Blue Devils

5) Kentucky Wild Cats

*I think if Purdue loses, you bump everyone up and then add K-State at #5. (I also would not be surprised if Kansas was #2 on Monday, for the same schedule reasons)

So what do you think? Who will be number 1 on Monday? Does Purdue legitimately have a shot at it? Where does Nova end up? (I’m betting #10), Where does Tennessee come into the picture?!. Does this change any of your brackets? Who am I overlooking?

Talk to me people 🙂

–Sam

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5 Responses to “We embarrassed Nova so bad, I say we give them the gas money to get home”


  1. March 1, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    Good selections. Congrats on Syracuse being #1!

    Purdue showed this week that they are not the same team anymore. I had the correct top 5 (with Kentucky and Kansas flip flopped).

    I truly believe that it should be:

    1. Syracuse
    2. Kentucky
    3. Kansas
    4. Duke
    5. Kansas State.

    1-4 should be the 4 number one seeds come tourney time.

    • March 1, 2010 at 12:07 pm

      I had Kentucky and Duke switched around. But yes, I think that the poll is accurately reflecting this week. 1-4 should definitely be #1 seeds. The shame about Purdue is, even with Hummel, they aren’t a number one seed. The Big Ten has such weak basketball, I’d say its comparable to the Big East in football! But yea, we’re all pretty jazzed about ‘cuse. I can’t believe how AWESOME they looked on Saturday 🙂

  2. March 1, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    Now…if I remember correctly. Isn’t the East Regional Final at the Carrier Dome this year? If so, will they let Syracuse play in the East Region? I know that they let teams play close to home. But do they let them play at home?

    The Big Ten is pretty weak other than the top 2-3 teams. The ACC is down this year and so is the Pac Ten. It’ll be an interesting tournament this year. I think you’ll see a lot of upsets early but in the end, Syracuse, Kentucky, Kansas and an underdog (3-5 seed) will be in the Final Four. Duke will be the #1 in the region where the upset team comes from.

    My crystal ball is out!

  3. March 1, 2010 at 9:30 pm

    I’m thinking the same thing. They are the real deal this year and I see them making a deep run in this year’s tourney (if not winning it all). It won’t be easy but playing in the Big East will prepare them for just about any team they will play.


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