Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Big E Hoops Weekend - One year later, Syracuse Prevails

Exactly one year ago this morning, Daily Onions sat groggy-eyed in the Pittsburgh Airport having just completed Big E Hoops Weekend. In a span of 72 hours, we saw Robert Morris defeat Monmouth in Moon Township, West Virginia knock off Purdue in Morgantown, and Pitt take down Syracuse on Big Monday. Three days, three basketball games, and three alma maters (Monmouth, WVU and Syracuse). Not sure the basketball gods will ever line up a schedule like that for us again, but glad we took advantage of the opportunity (relive the whole weekend here).

One year later, Syracuse once again matched up with Pitt on MLK Day. Like last year's game, Syracuse entered the game undefeated (18-0 last year, 19-0 this year). Unlike last year, Pitt, who is used to being at the top of the conference, entered the Carrier Dome winless (0-5) in the Big East.

Waiters and Cuse looking back at rest of Big East (Syracuse.com)
Syracuse scored the first 13 points of last night's game (if you remember, Pitt opened last year's game on a 19-0 run, then Cuse answered with a 17-0 run of their own), and eventually pushed the lead to 14 at one point in the game. Pitt made a push in the 2nd half, and got as close as 4. After a Syracuse timeout, the lead was back up to 10 in no time. Syracuse improved to 20-0, their best start in school history.

The Orange have been known to get off to hot starts in the past several seasons, leading to an overrated top 5 ranking.

Well this year is different. This Syracuse team is good. Really good. As I write this, Duke Vitale is saying that Syracuse won't lose a game this regular season. I might agree with him. If you look at the Big East, the perennial frontrunners like Louisville and UConn have proven to be inconsistent. Cuse will face both of those teams on the road this year. Other road games left on the schedule include Notre Dame (Orange usually play well in South Bend), Cincinnati (potentially a little nervous for this one), St. John's at MSG (actually a Cuse home game), Louisville (when was the last time Syracuse played well here), Rutgers (Rice and Co. knocked off Florida and UConn at the RAC), and UConn (Saturday night Gameday game in Storrs).

My prediction...Syracuse finishes the regular season with 2 losses (at UConn, at Louisville). Yes, you can read between the lines and I do not think Syracuse will lose a game at home this year. Before we make any predictions about the Big East tournament, we'll see how things shake out elsewhere.

1 comment:

  1. Not really feelin' your "Cuse will not lose at home" prediction. Sorry.