Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Syracuse with a "Lloyd Christmas" Victory

Saying that Syracuse's win at Cincinnati last night was the equivalent to Lloyd Christmas trading in the van for the scooter straight up, after driving a sixth of the way across the country in the wrong direction, might be stretch. But there's no doubt about it, this was a huge bounce back win for the Orange, totally redeeming themselves after Saturday's loss to Notre Dame.

After dropping its first game of the season at South Bend on Saturday(with Daily Onions in the building), Syracuse was on the verge of losing two straight conference road games, all in the midst of the academic Melo-drama. In front of a sold out crowd at the Fifth Third Arena, Syracuse would be facing a Cincinnati team playing good basketball recently (winners of 10 of 11 before the WVU game on Saturday), even though they were coming off a close loss to West Virginia in Morgantown. After being outplayed in the paint by Notre Dame's Luke Harangody Jack Cooley, Orange fans had to be a bit nervous going up against the Bearcats physical interior players, like Yancy "One Punch" Gates.

Put your hands up, in the air...Boeheim wins #877 (AP Photo)
Despite a deja vu all over again start from 'Nati, knocking down deep three, after deep three, Syracuse settled in and stayed in the game early (something that was lacking against Notre Dame). The Orange eventually took a 3 point lead into halftime, but a 9-2 run Bearcat run opened up the 2nd half and the Cuse was down by 4. Timeout Jimmy B. Time for the Orange to wake up, and they did. Over the next ten minutes, Syracuse outscored Cincinnati 14-3. That included a pair of threes from Scoop and Triche, and Kris Joseph became "the guy" that ESPN analysts were looking for at halftime. Joseph finished with a team high 17 points on 8-11 shooting. Scoop finished with 13, including a nail in the coffin 3 pointer in the final three minutes to put the game away for good. Sticking with the Christmas theme, Rakeem recorded a season high 27 minutes, and grabbed 9 rebounds. If Fab Melo is going to be out much longer, this is the production Syracuse will need to see from their freshman big man.

The Orange play host to West Virginia on Saturday afternoon. Huggies Boys are relatively young, but also have eighth year senior Kevin Jones, who is playing like an all-conference first teamer, as well as Truck Bryant (a poor man's Scoop). We think the Orange win this one at home (with or without Fab) by 7 points. Nothing comes easy this time of year.

Trip to South Bend: We were in person to see Syracuse fall to 20-1. A few comments on the Joyce Center and Notre Dame fans. Pretty cool place to see a game because the place is pretty small. Really not a bad seat in the place, even the highest seats would be the front of the 2nd level at a normal arena. I believe this is the first game back for the student section following winter break. They deserved to storm the court, but the overrated chant is still the worst chant in the history of sports. Really, a 20-0 team ranked number 1 is overrated. Also, I'm all for antics from student sections, but the U-S-A chants towards Syracuse's Baye Keita (Senegal) and Kris Joseph (Montreal), questionable. Also really enjoyed the 60-year (ballpark) Irish fan chanting "20-1" as the clock winded down. Thank you sir, I'll take those 20 wins in 21 games. Stay classy, Irish.

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