Written for your enjoyment by: Raff
And the Orange delivered.
Syracuse turned in another all-around performance and thumped Villanova 95-77 at the Dome on Saturday night. The win locks up at least a share of the Big East regular season title. With losses by Kansas and Kentucky earlier in the day - the Orange may end up atop the polls on Monday night. But that doesn't really matter. Still, they looked it on Saturday night. But the win does make me feel confident that they will be a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament, barring some unforseen situation over the next few weeks. That could lead to the Fan Blog opener - if the Mount and the Cuse meet in Round one.
The Orange got great contributions for all seven in the rotation tonight - and wore down this 'Nova squad. Villanova started shooting well - but it was Syracuse that lasted the entire game and after a run near the end of the first half gave them a double-digit halftime lead they were never really challenged in the second half. Nevertheless, they never stopped playing hard - and they shared the basketball as well as they have all season.
They didn't even shoot it as well as they are capable, but they did plenty enough to knock off the Cats - who have now dropped four of seven.
I'm emotionally spent - and I'm glad that the game at the Dome tonight didn't cause too much concern after the heart thumper at Knott Arena this afternoon.
Picking a player of the game tonight for the Orange would be a tall task. I might go with Scoop Jardine who was so important to the play in the first half. Kris Joseph might have ended up as the high scorer - of course that might have been Rick Jackson - who had another fine night inside. At one point, the Orange had at least five players in double figures. Andy Rautins would also draw some consideration for his all-around play. The guy who was supposed to be just a shooter - had seven+ assists on the evening.
St. John's and Louisville remain on the Big East schedule. And then of course the Big East Tournament the following week and weekend. Let's hope the Orange stays sharp in those games and stays focused on the task at hand. Right now, they are playing as well as anyone and they deserve everything that has come their way.
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