Blog Entry

Massive Monday is almost here

Posted on: January 15, 2011 6:55 pm
Edited on: January 17, 2011 1:38 am
PITTSBURGH -- Saturday was interesting complete with wild comebacks by Louisville and Tennessee, close calls by Kansas and Michigan State, and another questionable home loss after a nice win for Florida. But two games that could easily double as the semifinals for March's Big East tournament are scheduled for Monday. So I'm already over the weekend (even though the weekend isn't over) and ready for MLK Day.

Thank you, Villanova, for winning Saturday.

You too, Connecticut.

You too, Syracuse.

You too, Pitt.

Your results ensured Monday will bring two games between four top 10 teams with a combined record of 65-4.

The day-night doubleheader sets up like this:
  • No. 7 Villanova (16-1) at No. 10 Connecticut (14-2) at 3:30 ET.
  • No. 4 Syracuse (18-0) at No. 5 Pittsburgh (17-1) at 7:30 ET.
I'll watch the first game on TV here in Pittsburgh, then be courtside at the Petersen Events Center for the second. According to, the home teams (UConn and Pitt) are supposed to win, meaning the Panthers should move to 6-0 in the Big East and sit alone atop the league standings come late Monday. But we could easily get opposite outcomes (even though Syracuse's Kris Joseph will miss the showdown with Pitt because of a concussion suffered in Saturday's win over Cincinnati), and, either way, who cares? I'll wait to figure out what it all means. For now, I'm just digging the anticipation. A national holiday with two terrific Big East games is on tap. So Saturday, I enjoyed you, and I'm glad we got to spend this time together. But I'm already ready to move on. Monday can't get here fast enough.

Since: Jan 27, 2007
Posted on: January 17, 2011 10:20 pm

Massive Monday is almost here

Well, Jimmy left NY.  Sigh........

Since: Sep 22, 2006
Posted on: January 17, 2011 3:54 pm

Massive Monday is almost here

Geez, I hurt my brain trying to remember the last time a Boeheim team played man (other than on an in-bounds play) or pressed on more than one possession in a half ... Jimmy B has spent what, most of last century perfecting the zone.  You might--just might--see a brief gimmick look, but the Orange go right back into the zone.  He's not using any other defense; you really have to be under a rock to think otherwise.

Since: Jan 27, 2007
Posted on: January 17, 2011 12:55 pm

Massive Monday is almost here

Revenue notwithstanding, I think it helps a team when they play in a hostile environment.  I guess the in-state argument is relative to the team you're playing.  Ask the folks at UNC how pleasant their trips to Cameron can be.  That's 9 miles but a set of conditions that UNC will face no where else.  North Carolina is unique in that we have four big basketball schools in the same conference so in-state comparisons probably don't apply as they would in NY where Syracuse is the only thing going.  As best I can tell anyway.  Sort of like Kentucky where 90% of the state supports UK.  In-state games are different here in North Carolina.

Since: Nov 6, 2007
Posted on: January 17, 2011 10:53 am

Massive Monday is almost here

Duke plays almost all there games in N.C. I think 25 out of 31 this year. Although I think the argument of what state you play your games in is totally dumb. Who cares where you play them if you win and the team can make money.

This is something ESPn talks about b/c, if they don;t make stuff up like this they have nothing to talk abot and incite fans.

Since: Nov 6, 2007
Posted on: January 17, 2011 10:48 am

Massive Monday is almost here

You are kidding right? Syracuse will play man and some full court press? There is absolutely no chance Syarcuse plays any man. No matter how bad we are down. and the only way we play any full court press is if we are down like 16-20 at half, which is a possibility. Not really sure Syracuse has a chance to win this game without Joseph.  If I had to guess and put my life on it, I would say we lose by 15-20, possibly the same result with Joseph. 

Then you said: The cuse lost there best player last year and only lost one game.

First off AO wasn't their best player or even their second best player for that matter. Those two guys are playing in the NBA. I do think he was valuable though and it showed in the tourney. But we played 3 1/2 games with him hurt. The game we lost to Gtown when he got hurt, then we played a #16 seed in the tourney, which is a gimmie game even if we had three starters hurt, then we played the 8th seed in Gonzaga which wasn't all that good, and then we lost to #4 seed butler. So we really lost 2 out of the 4 games after he was hurt, and one of the wins was against a #16 seed. Two say we only lost one game with him is not a good argument if you break it down. 



Since: Nov 16, 2008
Posted on: January 17, 2011 5:12 am

Massive Monday is almost here

Look for SU to show some man in this one in the Pitt along with Full Court Press.

I would think that the chances of SU playing any man at all are slim to none.  While there is a chance we see a full court press, let's hope that we don't, cause if we do, it means Cuse is getting run out of the gym.

Since: Oct 5, 2006
Posted on: January 16, 2011 10:02 pm

Massive Monday is almost here

Massive Monday is going to be awesome.  It is obviously going to be a preview of the Final Four.  For the tournament this year they should rank all 16 Big East teams 1 thru 4 in East, South, Midwest, and West.  They can start ranking teams like Duke, Ohio State, Kentucky, Kansas as 5's.  It does not really matter because by the second weekend all that will be left will be Big East Teams

You are an idiot.  That is all.

P.S.  When was the last time a Big East team won the national title???  Every year the Big Least is "far and away the best conference with the best teams", and yet.......where are your championships. 

Since: Jan 19, 2010
Posted on: January 16, 2011 8:53 pm

Massive Monday is almost here

GP: Here is the breakdown, both Villanova and Syracuse win tomorrow setting up another huge showdown on Saturday between Nova and the Cuse. Here is why both these teams will win tomorrow, talent/desire/teamwork.

The Cuse lost their best player last year and only lost one game without him on the floor, they will have a huge game from 2 players that will step in for KJ, Sutherland and Waiters. Also, signs are showing that Fab is beginning to learn the game under JB, and he will give some quality minutes in this game. Look for SU to show some man in this one in the Pitt along with Full Court Press.

Nova frankly just have more heart than UCONN, that is what will make the difference in this one. It will be close, but Nova Pulls aways with good foul shooting in the end.

As for the next game at the dome, that prediction will have to wait, but could you call off the dogs on Syracuse after their win in the Pitt on the ROAD for gods sake, it is getting tiring.

Since: Dec 22, 2009
Posted on: January 16, 2011 1:54 pm

Massive Monday is almost here

Coaches don't do their teams any favors when they play so many home games.  Duke played two games in Missouri, one in Oregon and another in New Jersey...all before the second week in December.  Those games, whether they're won or not, will help the team in March.  That's all I'm saying

I'm pretty sure the reason Syracuse and Kansas lost before the Elite Eight last year wasn't because they didn't play enough road games. Kansas just played awful, which was quite unfortuante for them, and Syracuse didn't have Onuaku to help Jackson (who wasn't that great last year) down low. Onuaku wasn't that spectacular of an individual player, but he was great on defense, and would have stopped Hayward from driving as much as he did. Now I'm not saying Syracuse definitely would have won with Onuaku, but it certainly would have helped if we had him that game and beyond.

And topcopp great points about SU's free throw percentage. I would say more, but you pretty much covered it all.

Since: Aug 20, 2006
Posted on: January 16, 2011 1:19 pm

Massive Monday is almost here

I've been a Syracuse fan since Roy Danforth was the coach. There have been a few years that Syracuse has had good free throw shooting teams, but for the most part free throw shooting has been an Achiles Heel. Overall, they may have had a near average free throw shooting team, but the problem with the stats from years gone by is that you don't get the whole picture just by looking at team free throw percentages. The problem that Syracuse runs into quite often is not that they don't have an excellent free throw shooter (G-Mac, Routins, ect), but that they have a couple of key players that absolutely stink at the line. Onuaku had to be taken out of close games because he only made 38% of his free throws. There was Seikaly, 59% and Brower, 40% for a couple of years. Then came Stephen Thompson, 49% and David Johnson, 51%, followed by Reafsnyder, Michael Lloyd and Otis Hill, then Elvir Ovcina and Etan Thomas, and so on.  This year it's Jackson getting to the line and making 48%, Keita 50%, Fair, 56%, Southerland 50%. So you have Joseph, Jardine and Triche all shooting about 70% and Waiters, when he is in, shoots about 80%.But Triche and Waiters don't get to the line that much. We're dead last in the Big East, but not because of the guys who can shoot. It's the ones that can't that are the problem.

So I think when people talk about Syracuse having a free throw shooting problem they aren't talking just about how we rank in the conference or even nationally by percentage. It's the couple of weak shooting key players that always seem to get fouled at critical times and then miss the shot(s). Many years we've given the opposition multiple choices for who to foul late in the game, and that is what I mean when I talk about Syracuse needing improvement at free throws. Syracuse has had some excellent free throw shooters over the years that bring the percentages up, but the guys that can't hit the rim on a foul shot are the problems late in the game.

That's why we lost to Indiana in the 1987 National Championship Game 74-73. We went 11-20 from the free throw line and went 1-3 in free throws in the last 30 seconds. That's the knock. Clutch free throws in critical situations, not just free throw percentage.

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