Friday, March 29, 2013

Ross Is The Boss; Syracuse Knocks Off Indiana

This should have been on the blog last night, but I was having internet issues and unfortunately it's posting now. Arizona controlled the game for much of the first half, but Ohio State took advantage of a 7:21 scoring drought by the Wildcats to lead for much of the second half. A huge layup after a foul by Mark Lyons and free throw that followed tied the game at 70, setting the stage for LaQuinton Ross to hit this game-winning three with two seconds left. The Buckeyes move on to the Elite 8 and will face Wichita State as they battle to reach the Final Four. The Shockers barely broke a sweat in their win over La Salle.

The true Shocker from last night was Syracuse not just being Indiana, but manhandling them all over the court. Cody Zeller entered the night with lottery pick potential; now we saw him look very small against the Orange bigs. It didn't help that the Hoosiers looked like they never saw a zone defense in their lives.

Maybe it's from the many years of watching Big East basketball, but I know what to expect from a Jim Boeheim coached Syracuse team. I know that zone can frustrate teams, but if you can players who can drive the lane and wing players who can hit 3's, it can be beat. Plus, a slower pace is your friend in a game like this because trying to quicken the game only leads to mistakes. That's what Indiana did last night.

Syracuse now moves on to face Marquette in the East Region Final. So yes, this is the final, FINAL, Big East game. Marquette was able to comeback on the Orange in February in Milwaukee, but that was before Syracuse regained their confidence. One last bare-knuckeled, Big East slobberknocker for these clubs (and yes, I know Marquette is in the new-Big East as well as have only been in the league for less than ten years).

Finally, all the talk in the college basketball season has been how great the Big Ten was this season. Now, I'm not here to say the league was overrated (they could have three Elite 8 teams after tonight). All I'm here to say is that the Big Ten can't claim to be unquestionably the best conference in college basketball as the Big East in their swan song in current form is at the very least just as good (and boasts the best team in the country it seems in Louisville). Again, why is the Big East breaking up? Something about football? It's basketball's loss.

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