Blog Entry

Notre Dame ends Syracuse's unbeaten run

Posted on: January 21, 2012 8:12 pm

By Jeff Borzello

Murray State is the last one standing, as No. 1 Syracuse lost its first game of the season on Saturday at Notre Dame, 67-58.

The Orange were 20-0 heading into Saturday, then the school announced starting center Fab Melo would miss two games. Most people thought the loss would hurt them, but not this much, and not this quickly.

Notre Dame jumped out to a double-digit lead in the first nine minutes – the first time all season Syracuse trailed by more than nine points all season. Syracuse made a run at the end of the first half and the beginning of the second half, but the Fighting Irish kept responding.

All the problems people have pointed to all season with Syracuse seemed to come to a head on Saturday. Notre Dame dominated the Orange on the glass in the first half, getting several second chances against the zone. The Irish had a few careless turnovers (especially down the stretch in the second half), but they didn’t allow Syracuse to get out in transition and get easy baskets in fast-break opportunities until late in the game.

The lack of a go-to-guy was highlighted when Syracuse badly needed a basket in the first half. The Orange simply didn’t know where to turn. Kris Joseph struggled early; Dion Waiters didn’t do much besides back-to-back 3-pointers near the end of the first half; and Brandon Triche and Scoop Jardine couldn’t get to the rim and create shots for themselves or teammates all night.

This was a combination of Syracuse not knowing how to react when getting punched in the mouth early, and Notre Dame simply not missing throughout the game. The Fighting Irish shot 50 percent from the field and made eight 3-pointers. Baye Moussa Keita and Rakeem Christmas had trouble replacing the production of Melo on the inside, as well.

Of course, this isn’t the end of the world for Syracuse – assuming Melo returns after Monday’s game against Cincinnati. He provides a dimension at both ends of the floor that no one else on the Orange can provide. Road trips in the Big East are no cakewalk, so it comes as no surprise that Syracuse was felled away from home.

Murray State now has the lone baton in the undefeated race.

Photo: US Presswire


Since: Jan 16, 2012
Posted on: January 23, 2012 4:12 pm

Notre Dame ends Syracuse's unbeaten run

At the end of the season no team will remain undefeated. Murray State's first loss will occur at the latest in the NCAA tourney. Syracuse had — for them — an off night and just happened to play a team that was hot that night, and on the road to boot. I am still amazed, though, Jeff, that you make no mention as a follow-up to your Saturday comment that you had told us "all we need to know" about Saturday's games without having mentioned the Mizzou-Baylor game with one syllable.

Since: May 13, 2010
Posted on: January 23, 2012 2:27 pm

Notre Dame ends Syracuse's unbeaten run

What would UK be like without Davis?

What would Kansas be without Robinson?

What would OSU be like without Sullinger?

Look at the improvement with Tennessee getting their new freshman big man on the court. 

Vandy and Edsell. 

I could go on for days using examples of teams with big centers and the impact when that guy is out.

All teams struggle when a person is pulled from the roster all of a sudden. It takes a while.  It takes a few practices and a few games to get the flow back.  

If melo returns soon, SU will be right back to blistering anyone they play.  If melo doesn't return right away...give it a couple of weeks of games and practices and SU will be back in the thick of things.  But it will take some time.  I am glad it happened now rather than in March.  With or without melo, they have time to get it back together.  

You guys running off at the mouth about depth are just a little slow is all.  Take cbb 101.  Big Men are explained in depth in chapter 2. 

Since: Aug 1, 2007
Posted on: January 23, 2012 1:23 pm

Notre Dame ends Syracuse's unbeaten run

who says they are not deep? They lose one game and suddenly they have no depth? The team is as deep if not deeper than ANY in the country, nothing changed there in the least. ...nice try

Since: Jan 27, 2010
Posted on: January 23, 2012 11:55 am

Notre Dame ends Syracuse's unbeaten run

What happen with everyone screming they were so deep ?
Now Syracuse isn't that deep ?
They lose one player that is not that graat anyway and this is why they lost at Notre Dame ?
All the experts said they had 5 starters and also 5 just as good.

Since: Aug 1, 2007
Posted on: January 23, 2012 8:50 am

Notre Dame ends Syracuse's unbeaten run

Don't like the loss but it was going to happen eventually. Losing on the road, against a team that shot lights out, on a day you yourself shot poorly, without your key big man ...I can take it! For those who claim one game is the end are fooling only themselves, I guess kentucky stinks because they also have one loss and to a team that's sinking in the polls? Ohio State, gee, I guess they stink because they have a few losses as well. One game means little and guess what, Syracuse WILL lose again!I will not like that one (or two) either but it happens just as every other team will also face. The key is to simply get it out of your system and learn from it, I am not blaming the loss on not having Melo (they STILL should have beaten ND) but he certainly helps the team be that much better and I hope he straightens things out quickly!

Since: Dec 11, 2006
Posted on: January 22, 2012 9:39 pm

Notre Dame ends Syracuse's unbeaten run

Not worried at all. Who expected them to run through Big East unbeaten? Looking ahead at schedule, they could lose 1-2 more-may have a tough time Monday @ Cincy. But they are a very good team that should make a deep run in the NCAAs. Hopefully Melo gets his stuff together.


Since: Apr 8, 2009
Posted on: January 22, 2012 4:04 pm

Notre Dame ends Syracuse's unbeaten run

ukfaith please use quotation marks when using the words of doug gottlieb(aka su hater, cnt stand the guy. he was in his glory last night after we lost)...thanks

Since: Apr 14, 2008
Posted on: January 22, 2012 3:08 pm

Notre Dame ends Syracuse's unbeaten run

Its funny that Syracuse loses one game in which they shoot 30%, have their key big man out, and play a hostile away game and all the sudden people say they suck and won't win again. Give me a break if you watch basketball and have the slightest clue about the game you would Syracuse is a great team. Duke loses every week but because of the name on the jersey people still give them credit. So every hater can hop off, SU will be playing deep into the tournament this year whether you like it or not.

Since: Nov 6, 2007
Posted on: January 22, 2012 2:59 pm

Notre Dame ends Syracuse's unbeaten run

i wouldnt go bragging after barely pulling out a win against alamaba at home who got throttled on the thursday before. and you guys play real well on the road, not.  you guys lost to an o.k. team on the road, almost got beat by one terrible team and squeaked out a win against an ok team. your last three games ave been terrible. syracuse shot bad, its baskeball,  it happenes. one bad game. you guys have had four already. but nothing matter besides who is hiolding the trophy.

Since: Apr 8, 2009
Posted on: January 22, 2012 1:19 pm

Notre Dame ends Syracuse's unbeaten run

ukfaithful, no way your a kentucky fan, and no way you sound like a espn expert. we dont have a go to player espn expert? his names dion waiters the best guard in the country, but you know it all bc you watched all 20 of su games. our zone sucks? again clueless you have no idea. we played the worse game of the season without a key player. marquette is a quality team. if ndame dosnt shoot 60 percent from behind the arc, we win with out melo. keep geting your info from espn

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or