Thursday, March 09, 2006

UCONN goes down

We have to wait until tomorrow for more Jayhawk action, but Syracuse has provided some March excitement in the meantime.

I just got back to my desk after watching Syracuse play their way into the NCAA tournament by knocking out the #1 team in the country in the second round of the Big East tournament. This is the same Syracuse that lost by 40 to a 12-15 Depaul team only last week.

Yesterday the Orangemen, playing for a tournament bid, beat Cincy on a miracle three pointer by Gerry McNamara.

Today, McNamara hit a long three to take UCONN to overtime. And in overtime, the Orangemen prevailed.

Yesterday, McNamara had 17 points and 9 assists. Today, McNamara had 17 points and career high 13 assists.

For some reason, UCONN is my nemesis team this year. I would even root for Duke to beat UCONN should they meet.

So I'm happy to see a bubble team get in at the expense of Calhoun's Huskies. Calhouns' Huskies. They even sound dirty.


  1. it is an odd feeling to root for McNamara & the orange, but I'm with Leeroy on this--great result

    & I loved Boeheim's comments yesterday--not ten f**king games: you tell 'em

  2. Has everyone forgotten 2003? What could possibly compel you to root for Gerry and Jimmy? This feels like rank betrayal.

    Besides, upsets in conference tourneys are a dime a dozen. The top teams give about 50% effort. I don't like UConn either, but this game helped Syracuse much more than it hurt the Huskies (probably helped them, too, in fact; they'll be rested for next weekend).

    I can't even get a discussion going on Roy vs. Self (on a Jayhawk website, mind you), but we're promoting the 'Cuse now?

    YHD, shouldn't you be defending the free press against Boeheim's diatribes, a la the Muslim cartoon case?

  3. oh come on, who doesn't enjoy an upset, however cheap?

    & if critics of the Danish cartoons had said only that the cartoons were 'the most bulls**t thing I've seen in thirty years,' I would have nary a complaint with those critics; bad words are funny.

  4. Ah, this could hurt UCONN. According to ESPN, no team has ever lost their first game in a conference tourney and won the championship. I know ESPN sucks up more airtime juggling stats than covering sports, but if the 'cuse
    prevented UCONN from winning it all . . .

    This is the first interesting thing to happen in the conference tourneys. Okay, back to the jayhawks.

  5. I'm sure if I'd seen this game, I'd have gotten caught up in it and found myself rooting for the underdog. But Syracuse is one of the big dogs in the Big East, only three years removed from the national title; can they really be considered an underdog?

    I have this bad feeling they'll sneak in to the field and we'll be playing them in one of those 5-12 games where the 12 wins about half the time. I don't want us to have to deal with that match-up zone and McNamara's circus shots in the first round.

    What was really funny (and rather un-classy) about Boeheim's profane diatribe was that he was responding to material in the STUDENT newspaper. Don't they have a "Free for All" section he could have dialed in to?

  6. Boeheim's comments were a little goofy. But it may have been pushing the "us vs. them" vibe to his team. Probably good coaching - poor media criticism.

    Syracuse is a historical big dog. So is Kansas.

    But if Kansas were on the bubble this week - as many of us thought they would be a few months ago - wouldn't it be an upset if they beat a #1 ranked Texas in the big 12 quarterfinals? 'Cuse wasn't even on the bubble til they beat Cincy. They were toast.

    Syracuse, within the context of this season, is an underdog. Their back to back dramatic victories, within the context of this week, are big.

    I also hope we don't meet a low seeded 'cuse in the tournament.

  7. I think a lot of people probably never see KU as an underdog, even in rebuilding years. Which is OK--it's a credit to our dominance.

    Of course it is an upset, but I don't get excited about this kind of upset. If Arizona had beaten Illinois in that crazy game last year, it would have been an upset, but I sure as hell wasn't rooting for Arizona to make yet another Final Four.

    I don't singularly hate UConn as much as you do. I hate them and Syracuse equally, I guess.

    Since UConn gets in regardless, I think I'd have preferred seeing the Orange lose, and the ghost of the 2003 title game forever put to rest with the end of Gerry Mac's career.

    The more I hear from Boeheim, the less I like. He was whining on TV last night about how it's harder for his team to make the field than it is for the Mid-Majors. So just tell your AD to move to the Patriot League, JB.

    And the cursing is one thing, but "bullshit" as an adjective? What kind of example is that from an educator?

  8. More from SI's Luke Winn:

    "- The question that led to Boeheim's tirade was not about McNamara at all ... it was, "Coach, can you talk about Darryl Watkins? He had a career high today." With G-Mac sitting right next to him, looking down at the table, Boeheim segued his Watkins answer into the ... rant."

    "- Boeheim has every right to protect his guy. But neither paper is in any way wrong for printing what it did; the columnist has right to his opinion -- and it's not a crazy one, in a year when McNamara had career lows in both field-goal and 3-point percentage -- and anonymous polls are standard procedure in the media (SI ran an extensive players' poll last week, in which McNamara was named Most Overrated by his peers, in a tie with Rudy Gay)."