Friday, March 13, 2009

The Madness Begins Cont.

The 6th seed Syracuse Orange upset the 3rd seed Connecticut Huskies:
In a game that took six overtimes and 70 minutes to decide the Orange outlasted the Huskies with at 127-117 victory. Syracuse didn't have a lead in the first five overtimes but broke the game open with an 8-0 run to start the sixth overtime. Connecticut, the 4th ranked team in the nation, played a sloppy game overall turning the ball over 11 more times than the Orange and shooting only 57% from the free throw line. Connecticut struggled down the stretch with their free throw shooting hitting only 50% of their shots in overtime. Syracuse on the other hand hit 78% of their free throws overall and went 23-26 in overtime. The Orange were led by sophomore guard Jonny Flynn who scored 34 points and added 11 assists.

What this means for Syracuse? The Orange were the 20th ranked team in the nation and were assured of a top half seed in a bracket. Now after the surprising win over Connecticut they are as high as a 4 seed and no worse than a 6th seed. If Syracuse can overcome fatigue and find a way to win the Big East tournament they could end up as high as 3 seed. Regardless of what happens in the Big East tournament, Syracuse showed that they can play with anyone and will be one of the teams to watch in the "big dance".

What this means for Connecticut? The Huskies who were the number one ranked team in the nation for a good part of the year looked to redeem themselves after they finished third in the conference. Their loss probably won't hurt them too much when it comes to seeding, they are still likely to maintain their number 1 seed. There is a chance they could fall to a two seed but the bigger worry is how they finished their season. Connecticut has now lost 3 of their last 6 games and have been playing their worst basketball when it matters most. The Huskies will need to play a cleaner game if they hope to advance far into the NCAA tournament.

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