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6 OTs and nothing to show for it

March 13, 2009

The Syracuse vs Connecticut six overtime display last night is an instant espn classic.  After seventy minutes of play, the equivalent to a game and 3/4, Syracuse ended up on top.  On top of what exactly?  The Orangemen can hang their heads high, after the mental toughness that they portrayed in front of 18,000 fans at MSG.  They might get seeded a little higher in the NCAA tournament, especially since selection sunday is two days away, and this game will be fresh in the selection committee’s head.  There is a slight chance that Syracuse prevails against West Virginia tomorrow night.  However, if I am Jim Boeheim, I am concerned about fresh legs heading forward. How is there going to be any fuel left in the tank once the big dance begins next week?  After tonight, it is obvious that the Big East tournament must be cut down to 8 teams next year.  Rest is an aspect of basketball that is vital to success.  Look at the winner of the last few Big East tournaments, and see how far they got in March Madness.  Last year Pittsburgh won the Big East championship, only to lose to Michigan State in the second round.  In 2007, Georgetown won the tourney, and actually went on to the final four, only to lose to Ohio State.  If I recall, during that battle, Georgetown looked fatigued in the latter half of the second half, and eventually, this led to a Buckeyes victory.  Who can forget the Syracuse magical run in the 2006 tournament?  Heading in, they were barely on the bubble for an NCAA tournament birth, and Mcnamara led an inspired Orangemen to the title.  The euphoria was short felt, as they were eliminated in the round of 64 of the Big Dance by Vermont! 

          I wrote an article prior to the West Virginia, Pittsburgh game revolving around rest, and winning a conference tournament.  Pittsburgh played flat against the Mountaineers all game.  They didn’t seem that adamant on winning the game.  The Panthers would much rather be cutting down the nets in Detroit than Madison Square Garden.  Although the Huskies lost in the 6th overtime last night, they might end up winning in the long run.  After a game like that, I guarantee you that Calhoun is relieved that his team doesn’t have to suit up tomorrow.  A player or coach have too much pride to ever admit it, but having a couple extra days off a week before tourney time, is as precious as a conference championship.

 

By Mikeyrolls

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