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Friday, March 15th, 2013 at 11:57 pm  |  11 responses

Syracuse, Louisville Advance to Big East Tournament Final


by Abe Schwadron@abe_squad

Syracuse and Louisville advanced to the Big East Tournament Final with wins on Friday night at Madison Square Garden. The winner of Saturday night’s Championship game will be the Tournament’s final winner—at least in the current format, as many traditional Big East teams, like Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Louisville are headed elsewhere next season.

In the early game, the No. 19 Orange outlasted the No. 5 Hoyas, 58-55 in overtime, in what will go down as the rivals’ final meeting in the Big East. (“It’s a shame that they’re heading out to Tobacco road for a few dollars more,” Hoyas head man John Thompson III said post-game.) Georgetown fought back from down 12 to force overtime, but Syracuse’s Brandon Triche scored the go-ahead bucket early in the extra period and the ‘Cuse held on from there.

After the game, Orange head coach Jim Boeheim praised Georgetown’s Otto Porter, calling him “the best all-around player I’ve seen in this league”—as in, the Big East, ever. But it’s Syracuse that moves on, after holding OP to 12 points on 4-13 shooting, and getting 13 points apiece from Triche, James Southerland (4 threes) and big man Baye Keita.

Syracuse will meet the No. 4 Louisville Cardinals, who beat No. 24 Notre Dame in the late game, 69-57. The Cards were led by—who else—their dynamic backcourt of Peyton Siva (12 points, 7 steals, 6 assists) and Russ Smith (20 points, 6 dimes) and a beastly night on the boards from Gorgui Dieng (12 boards, 4 blocks). The Ville held the Fighting Irish to just 37 percent field goal shooting.

The Big East Tournament Championship game tips off Saturday night at 8:30 p.m. ET from MSG.

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  • The Philosopher

    Poor quality in college ball this season.

  • Pais

    Maybe, I’m not sure. Certainly a lot of inconsistency amongst supposed 1 seeds. But it’s possible that it’s indicative of a more level playing field? Big programs suffer from the 1 and done phenomena enabling mid-majors to be to be more competitive? Whatever it is, I love college ball.

  • lupedupe

    That’s the voice of the average fan with little to no playing experience, but I attribute those ideas to the fact that college bball is now “dominated” by freshman and sophomores for the most part. I mean, come on man. A freshman was Big12 player of the year. A freshman. In the Big12. That’s when you know the skill level is at a LOW LEVEL overall. Just like the NBA, many athletic and people with great potential, but the skill level is bordering on horrendous. This has been a great year though for college bball from a former player/current coach standpoint. One of the best in a while actually, but I wouldn’t expect the average fan to see that. No disrespect, its just how it is.

  • The Mauve Avenger

    The tournament is going to be crazy I don’t know what you’re talking about. There’s no clear cut favorite and upsets have not been rare this season. The tourneys up in the air for most anyone really, I’m excited for it.

  • spit hot fiyah

    the tourney is going to be insane, this season has rocked

  • D
  • The Philosopher

    Not a voice of “the average fan with little to no playing experience”… but I get your point.
    But you also just verified my point.
    No disrespect. It’s just how it is.

  • The Philosopher

    We’ve consistently had games this year with scores in the neighborhood of 50 – 48.
    Division I college basketball scores are not supposed to look like that.
    And it is not because, of some exquisite defense being played by these teams.
    Now, I love basketball, regardless. We all love basketball. Even if it is of bad quality.
    In which this particular season, it is.

  • The Philosopher

    Respect.

  • Xena

    Unfortunately, the same players that are contributing to “poor quality college basketball” are leaving college after 1 or 2 yrs and heading to the pros ill-prepared and underdeveloped. This is the main reason for the “poor quality” – a high turnover rate. For some reason, people are in denial about the lack of great college players and teams. Parity does not mean “high quality”. It only means that teams are playing at the same level which “is” exciting for the average basketball fan but not so much for the more experienced fan who expects “good quality” basketball.

  • The Philosopher

    Totally agree.
    Shooting, fundamentals… everything. Sub par.
    As it translates to the NBA.

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