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Big East Tournament: Session 7
Another Night, Another OT Thriller

The buzz was still in the air from the 6OT epic between Cuse and Uconn. Everyone in the building was talking about what time they got home, where they partied, and reliving the memories of an unforgettable night.

Eventually Louisvile and Villanova took center stage in a game that didn’t disappoint. Villanova started the game very strong and looked ready to compete with the Big East regular season champs. They banged, they clawed, and they fought there way to an 8 point halftime lead. Corey Fisher really impressed me throughout the tournament and this night was no different. He scored 14 points, but it was the way he moved his feet on defense that separated him this week. He fought on every possession, played with poise and really has a terrific future in the Big East Conference. Scottie Reynolds on the other hand had a complete disappearing act. He scored 2 points, handed out 3 assists, and managed to turn the ball over 6 times. A couple of those turnovers came at a point where Louisville turned up the defensive pressure and took control of the basketball game. Rick Pitino had his guys picking up full court as usual, and the pressure eventually got to the Wildcats. Louisville took an 8 point half time deficit and turned it into a 14 point win. Earl Clark once again led the way with 17 points. He has such great skills and has found a way all year to use those skills to make his teammates better. There were a ton of NBA bigwigs in the crowd this week, including Bryan Colangelo, Danny Ainge, Chris Mullin, and Jerry West. They have to be impressed with what they have seen from Clark this week. Jerry Smith, a legacy at Louisville also had a terrific performance. He scored 16 points in just 26 minutes and played with tremendous heart. Next up for Louisville is what many are perceiving to be a team of destiny, The Orange.

The Orange followed up their epic 6OT win over Connecticut with another terrific contest last night. When they took the floor, all anybody was talking about was whether the Cuse would have anything left in the tank. It was obvious quickly, that the Orange had plenty left to give. The magic was in the air again (wonder if Gerry MacNamara being in the crowd has anything to do with that) as Eric Devendorf sunk a shot from beyond half court as the half time buzzer sounded. The Orange took a 7 point half time lead, led in the first half by Canadian Andy Rautins. Andy looked fresh coming around the screens, as he was setting his feet and knocking them down. As the second half started, West Virginia looked fired up and ready to battle. The 7 point lead became a 3 point deficit within the first 3 minutes. It looked as if Syracuse was hitting the wall. A well timed timeout by Jimmy B saw Syracuse come out and find Eric Devendorf for a 3. Eric was the difference as Syracuse went toe to toe with the Mountaineers throughout the second half. Devendorf scored 23 points and was 4-8 from downtown. As the game drew closer to the end, another classic showdown was brewing. As time winded down and the Orange up 2, Devin Ebanks (maybe the most impressive player in the whole tournament) went into the lane and drew a foul. With 4.8 seconds left on the clock the freshman stepped to the line, with ice in his veins and calmly knocked down the pair. Syracuse then failed to get a shot off, and for the second straight night, Madison Square Gardens was hosting an overtime thriller. It’s nights like these that gave the world’s most famous arena its nickname. THE MECCA. Syracuse did what it wasn’t able to do for 5 overtime periods vs Connecticut. It took the first lead and never looked back, surviving another night and leaving Cuse fans speechless.

As I celebrated at the Blaney Rock (local Syracuse hangout) after the game, people were comparing this years drama to the magical run of 06′. It seemed to be a consensus that if the Orange find a way to beat Lousiville and hoist the Championship trophy, this years drama will have surpassed that magical weekend.

Nolan Shulman

Posted 2 weeks, 3 days ago at 7:10 AM.

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Syracuse vs. West Virginia
Post Game Press Conference

Big East Tournament, Day 4: SU's Post-Game News Conference

Posted 2 weeks, 3 days ago at 6:49 AM.

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