Blog Entry

Shocker of the season in Syracuse

Posted on: January 25, 2011 9:47 pm
Edited on: January 25, 2011 10:28 pm
Posted by MATT JONES

I began suspecting that Syracuse was overrated early in the season. When the Orange became one of the four remaining undefeated teams, some crowned Jim Boeheim's club as a Final Four contender, but I refused to give in.

Yes, the 'Cuse had been in the house with early season wins over Michigan State, Michigan and Georgia Tech, but it had also barely squeaked by in wins over William and Mary and Iona. The undefeated record confirmed that this was a team with talent, but the mediocrity seen often on the court showcased that with no Wesley Johnson on the roster, a legitimate contender it was not.

This initial suspicion has been confirmed over the course of Syracuse's recent three-game losing streak, culminating on Tuesday in a 90-68 loss to Seton Hall in the Carrier Dome that is as shocking a result as we have seen this year in college basketball. Boeheim's team was whipped from the very beginning, falling down by as many as 20 in the first half and never making a run that could even cause Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard to sweat a drop in the second. From the opening tip, Syracuse was unable to put the ball in the basket, but even more shockingly, defended as poorly as any game I can remember in the Boeheim era.

What type of Jim Boeheim team allows an opponent as dreadful as Seton Hall (8-12 overall, 2-6 in the Big East going into the game) to come into the Carrier Dome and shoot 54 percent for the game and 58 percent from the three point line? This Seton Hall team came into the game ranked 293rd in America in field goal percentage, yet the Orange found a way to make them seem as if they were carrying a starting five of Rick Mount, Craig Ehlo, Craig Hodges, J.J. Redick and the college version of Chris Jackson. Anyone can lose a game, but to do so by making a cellar dweller in the Big East look like a Championship contender ... well that takes a special type of atrocious performance.

We have seen some upsets this year that were head-scratchers. Anyone who has had the misfortune of watching an Auburn game is baffled at how the Tigers upset Florida State. And for an Illinois-Chicago team that is 0-8 in the Horizon League to have upset Bruce Weber's Illinois team is also beyond perplexing. But for Seton Hall to take a Syracuse team that just 10 days ago was undefeated, and destroy them in such a thorough, embarassing way, well that is downright shocking.

Boeheim will surely have the Orange playing better before the season is over, but remember this game come March. No team that is a legitimate national player loses a game like this, in a manner this humiliating. Mark Jan. 25 as the date that the 'Cuse was officially eliminated from Final Four contender status.

Since: Jan 2, 2007
Posted on: January 25, 2011 10:50 pm

Shocker of the season in Syracuse

Nice here that Mr. Jones comes out after Syracuse gets handled by Seton Hall and says how he knew they were overrated all this time.  What a bold statement to say they aren't national championship material after that performance.  Hindsight is 20/20.  A couple days ago you wrote that Syracuse was on the short list of your possible "March 5" and you expected Villanova to be taken off the list with their game at the Carrier Dome on the horizon.

This kind of self-righteous "i told you so" attitude (located especially in the 1st paragraph) even though he never actually "told us so" is kind of annoying.  I bet you knew N. Iowa was going to beat Kansas last year and that Ohio was going to beat GTown too.

But anyway, Syracuse was awful tonight, and as a Syracuse fan, I see the final four as a longshot.  Hopefully they get back on track.

Since: Dec 16, 2008
Posted on: January 25, 2011 10:46 pm

Shocker of the season in Syracuse

Yeah I agree completely. I had seen Syracuse play earlier in the year, and I was'nt at all impressed. I knew Michigan State was overated before they played Syracuse based on their poor performance in the Maui Invintational, and Michigan and Georgia Tech are bottom feeders in their respective conferences. Syracuse struggled vs bad teams, and yet was elevated to elite status just because they played in the Big East and were undefeated.

Now just wait and see how ESPN glorifies the power and depth of the Big East by saying "Hey this just proves how great the Big East is! Look at what Seton Hall did to Syracuse!" I mean, it gets really tiring. Seton Hall is a terrible team, and they were just hot tonight. I mean its almost as bad as saying that the reason the Big East struggles in the NCAA tournament every year is "because they beat eachother up in conference play so much". PLEASE....I'm so sick of hearing excuses for why G-Town loses to a 14 seed in the first round every year.

Since: Jan 24, 2011
Posted on: January 25, 2011 10:39 pm

Shocker of the season in Syracuse

Since: Apr 26, 2008
Posted on: January 25, 2011 10:17 pm

Shocker of the season in Syracuse

As a Syracuse fan, I have to agree that top 10 was absurd.  However, not much anyone can do when a team is 18-0.  Can't rank them 20th. 

In the end, this is a 25-win team that should be a #4 or #5 seed.  Not sure that eliminates them (or anyone really) from being a Final Four contender though.  This year might be one where any of the top 20 teams can make it.   I would not overreact to what is really a market correction.

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