Mick Cronin to ESPN postgame on the magic of the Big East Tournament. “It’s amazing. I don’t know why anyone would want to leave this league.”
Oh, so that’s how it’s gonna be? One run in the Big East Tourney and you’re all of a sudden Mick’s a big shot. Forget the fact Cincinnati has been calling the Big 12 drunk at 2:30a, leaving voice mails like John Favreau in Swingers. Of course the coach of the Bearcats couldn’t imagine leaving the Big East. They won the league twice in football and sold approximately 150 tickets per game. UC just graduated from the middle school of the A-10 six years ago. Conferences aren’t banging down the door to invite a basketball program best known for player arrests, Bob Huggins’ DUI, and a vicious brawl.
Of course, we’re all going to miss what the BET has meant. Does Syracuse only have one more MSG run left? (Sniff). Either way, I have no problem Syracuse losing tonight. Once SU beat UConn it had locked up the 1-seed (it may have even been a one without a win in NYC). Did the Orange really need a late-night Saturday night tilt against Notre Dame or Louisville heading into the Big Dance?
Had SU played the Cardinals, specifically, it would have been another up-and-down, run n’ gun game that likely would have come down to the final minutes (and maybe overtime). Beating the Huskies, showing resilience again tonight, avoiding a meaningless emotional title game is fine by me.
While the Orange barely looked awake for the first half, how dazzling was Dion Waiters? The super soph might be padding his NBA Draft capsule with this March run, but after 7 threes and 28 points in the semi-final loss, what is his NCAA potential? And if he leads SU to New Orleans with electrifying efforts like tonight’s, Orage Nation will wave goodbye fondly. Scoop and K-Jo were all too quiet tonight. Triche was once again scattershot. SU needed Dion to step up, and he did. Guess here is that the seniors will be much better when it matters most over the next few weeks.
The most concerning part of this loss is that the Bearcats got only 4 points off the bench. So it was a red-hot shooting starting 5 that ripped the Orange early, and then held on late. SU will run into much deeper teams in the tourney. But Syracuse did what it had to do: get one win in Manhattan (and downed nemesis UConn in the process). Plus, we were delivered a nice little media lecture from Boeheim. Felt just like ol’ times. Job well done, boys. Let’s get ready for the real stuff.