Pitt Hands Syracuse First Loss of Season

by January 18, 2011

by David Cassilo / @dcassilo

With Syracuse’s 74-66 loss to Pittsburgh on Monday night, you can cross the Orange off the list of unbeatens. Without its leading scorer Kris Joseph, who missed the game after suffering a concussion on Saturday, Syracuse lost for the first time in 19 games this season.

The game got off to an odd start when Pittsburgh began on a 19-0 run. Things got stranger when the Orange followed that with a 17-0 run. Syracuse, though, was unable to ever take a lead, and in the end, the loss of Joseph and the tough road environment was too much for the team to handle.

For Pittsburgh, the win reestablishes the Panthers as the Big East’s best team. With offensive balance, tough defense and strong rebounding, this Pittsburgh team is reminiscent of so many quality ones from years’ past.

From The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim called this “as good of a Pitt team as I’ve seen.”

“I just think they’re a good overall team, top to bottom,” he said. “They shoot it better. They’re still tough defensively and rebounding the basketball.”

Aside from shifting the balance of power in the Big East, the Syracuse loss is significant because it leaves three undefeated teams in college basketball. As the calendar creeps towards the end of January, just Ohio State, Kansas and San Diego State have a zero in the loss column.