Friday, March 26, 2010

The Morning After

Written for your enjoyment by: Raff

Still trying to shake off the disappointment of the Syracuse loss last night. There will be a time when I'll be able to sit back and say that this team was fun to watch - maybe the most enjoyable Syracuse team in my time - and reflect on the good things that it did. But for now, its still a little tough to swallow.

  • Although watching the K State/Xavier game last night did make it a little better. Because that game reminded me how good the NCAA tournament is. When you are one of the favorites and you lose - you tend to forget that a little bit. Because I'll be honest, Butler winning last night was a great thing for the NCAA tournament. A great thing for the game. A great thing for the casual fan. But upsets hurt more than regular losses do to the fan of the team.
  • Butler deserved to win. Not saying the Bulldogs played great - because I think they can play better. But they made plays when they had to - and they had a gameplan to slow the Orange down and it worked.
  • Syracuse has flourished this season because of its depth on the floor. That was taken away last night. Rick Jackson did not play well -- and I might be being nice. Kris Joseph was a non-factor. Andy Rautins made as many bad decisions as he did good. Wes Johnson was probably the best Orangemen, but not at his best. Brandon Triche looked timid. It just wasn't a good night.
  • Arinze Onuaku was missed - if not for the sole reason that he would have given the Orange another option when Jackson was so bad.
  • I was surprised that the Orange didn't contemplate a 3 forward arrangement - or a three guard look with Rautins and Johnson flanking Joseph in the back of the zone and Triche and Jardine out top. I think offensively it would have worked, not sure about the defense or rebounding.
  • By my count that is the third straight Sweet 16 disappointment for Syracuse. The loss to Oklahoma last year - and then the loss to Alabama the year after the national championship. 
  • Butler controlled the tempo - and when they were able to do that, they won the game.
  • Brad Stevens make look younger than Josh Pastner - but he can coach. Anytime Butler needed settling he used a timeout and the Bulldogs got something out of it. 
  • The most impressive thing for me about Butler's performance wasn't that they built the 12-point lead. But how they responded to Syracuse taking a 41-40 lead (5 straight points) and how they rallied from down 54-50. 
  • Lacrosse doesn't mean a damn thing.


  1. K-State/Xavier was the most entertaining game of the tournament so far...but I'm not sure Butler winning is all that good for the tourney. While WVU-Kentucky and Duke-Baylor are interesting to me, I just can't get excited about the other games. Just afraid we're going to see more and more clunkers the rest of the way - see Baylor-St. Mary's last night. The upsets have been fun, but are they going to take the shine off at the end?

  2. Maybe - Maybe not. Your point is well taken - and definitely has some validity. But as long as the games are entertaining - people will watch - and the casual fan watches more for the underdog than the majors. Heck, we've survived with the New Orleans Saints and the Arizona Cardinals in the Super Bowl the last two years. Not exactly the premier teams.

  3. My view might just be based on the lack of games I've seen this year. Time's limited, so football's MY season - I really wanted to see this year's elite teams go head-to-head. Given what I've seen this weekend though, Butler - Baylor could end up being a really entertaining championship game, just no marquee value at all.
    Side note (as a Penn State fan) - what a difference a year makes for last year's NIT knocking on the door of the Final Four, the other rebuilding yet again.

  4. Richard4:11 PM

    I just want all of you to remember something. Yes, a supremely valiant effort by RMU, who out played Villanova. However, both Monmouth and..drum roll please…. Mount St. Mutha-effin Mary’s WON an NCAA game!!!! RMU got there but yet has not WON?!!! I needed to say this to squash all future smack talk about how great RMU was in the Tournament!