I made it home from the office in time for tipoff. It has been a good start for Syracuse. The type of pace I expected and one that I think the Orange will thrive in. They are shooting the ball really well thus far and have a 21-16 lead in the early going. 10:22 left in the first half. I don't think Notre Dame plays good enough defense to really be a concern tonight.
I get a little complimentary and all of a sudden Notre Dame, courtesy of some good efforts on the offensive glass has climbed right back into it at 23-20. The Syracuse zone seems to be having a positive effect for the Orange, but if you don't rebound out of it, it doesn't matter. And as of right now, Syracuse isn't rebounding. Andy Rautins just picked up his second foul, we'll see what effect that has.
Down to the U4 - a huge block by Rick Jackson before the timeout. Let's see if Syracuse can get some seperation before the intermission. Leading by four right now, Wesley Johnson has started to get involved a little bit more. The last four minutes of a half are always important, and the momentum has started to swing back to them. If they win this segment, they could do a lot to take away any confidence the Irish got when it got back into the game in the middle part of the half.
This was the type of seperation I was looking for. Syracuse has really stepped it up in that zone and is forcing mistakes from Notre Dame. Meanwhile, the offense is being efficient enough to open things up. Rautins buried his fifth three-pointer to make it a double-digit lead. Harangody just passed JW (the other one is a throw up) for tenth on the all-time Big East scoring list. Harangody is very solid. But Wesley Johnson is still the MVP of the Big East. And I'd probably put Ashton Gibbs ahead of Harangody as well. It ends up seven at halftime. Comfortable.