Friday, March 13, 2009

More Basketball

I'm still rubbing the sleep from my eyes. Last night's (this early morning's) thrilling, exillerating, epic between Syracuse and Connecticut had me wide awake way too late last night. And in the end the alma mater pushed forward for a 127-117 - 6 overtime win. It was the longest game in the history of the Big East tournament, the longest game in Big East history for that matter. And it almost didn't happen. Originally, it appeared that Eric Devendorf's improbable three-pointer at the end of regulation had sent the Orange through to the Semis. But upon further review, the ball was still in the hands of the guard from Michigan for a millisecond after the clock hit triple zeroes.

The Orange courageously fought from behind in each of the first five sessions. Ultimately, with both teams on the verge of exhaustion, and 9? players banished to the bench with fouls, Syracuse pulled away in the final overtime.

Just an absolutely incredible finish for the Orange. Jonny Flynn seemed to take control late and despite the great play of AJ Price for the Huskies, Flynn might very well have been the difference. A great win over a very good team. This Orange team shouldn't be an easy out in the NCAA tournament. And at this point, I think they are a 4 seed, nothing worse than a five.

For now the Orange faces West Virginia in tonight's second semifinal from the Garden.

Speaking of more basketball. Expect the Mount's season to carry on in the postseason. Expect them to earn a bid to the Postseason tournament when the bracket is announced on Sunday night.

The tournament seems to have been set up for teams just like the Mount, as it even has a preference for teams from conferences that don't have 1/2 of their members participating in the NCAA or NIT.

So that fits the Mount perfectly. Games in the first year of this tournament are scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday of next week, but I'm told some games might be pushed to Thursday. Games are played on the home floors of teams, so maybe Knott Arena hasn't seen its final hoops this year. But it would seem more likely that the Mount would be on the road. The tournament also seems to fit VMI and Vermont. Two teams with resumes very similar to the Mount. I'd love to see the Mount play either one. One other interesting possibility a Mt. St. Mary's at St. Joe's opener.

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