NEW YORK -- The Jimmy V Classic featured four ranked teams playing two lopsided games.
That's basketball, I guess.
The matchups don't always match up so well.
But that doesn't mean it was a wasted trip. I still watched four schools that'll be playing in the NCAA tournament come March play at Madison Square Garden in December. And though I had already seen Kansas, Memphis and Michigan State in person this season, Tuesday night gave me my first look at Syracuse from courtside, and, obviously, I came away impressed. Rick Jackson (17 points and 16 rebounds) was terrific in the 72-58 victory over Michigan State, and the Orange managed to win despite making just two of 11 3-point attempts. They looked flawed in some ways, but mostly strong. So now I promise -- seriously, Syracuse fans, I promise -- to do what most have been doing for weeks, i.e., get the Orange into the top 10.
They'll be there when I update the Top 25 (and one) late Sunday.
"I'm not gonna say we answered [people's questions], but this really showed what we can be," said Syracuse guard Scoop Jardine, who, to his credit, acknowledged it was reasonable to question the Orange given that they lost three starters from last season's roster. "[Coach Jim Boeheim] goes at us no matter what. He's going to always get the best out of us, and that's why I thnk we're never gonna settle for less. We're always gonna be a good team. Long as he is here coaching Syracuse, we're always gonna have a good team."