I started No. 4 in this four-part countdown series as such: “If you ever find yourself having to come up with the top four controversies in Syracuse Basketball history… congratulations, you’re in luck. Jim Boeheim is the coach. He IS controversy.”
No. 3 is sticking with the theme.
Boeheim Ejected after “Charge”
Allow me to set the scene. Wait, before I do that. Context:
In the first ever Syracuse-Duke ACC game, the Orange kept an undefeated season alive with a 91-89 victory in front of the largest basketball Carrier Dome crowd in history.
This was the sequel in Cameron Indoor Stadium, and round #2 was living up to the billing. Top-ranked Syracuse was coming off its first loss after winning the season’s first 25 games. And with 10.4 second left, CJ Fair finished a baseline drive with a beautiful game-tying and-one.
The only problem was what the baseline official saw. Charge.
There are plenty of ways to relive this moment, but Matt Park’s call on Syracuse IMG is probably the best way.
Boeheim’s double technical erased any chance of Syracuse winning the game. Some argued that Boeheim’s wild charge onto the court took away any chance Syracuse had at winning the game, which is true. But the Orange would’ve needed a steal, down four with eight seconds left.
It probably wasn’t happening, and that’s why Boeheim let loose.
“I just thought it was the worst call of the year,” Boeheim said. “I just hated to see the game decided on that call. The new rule is it’s a block. That’s the new rule. It’s been explained 100 times. C.J. got in his motion. I saw the replay. The guy was moving. That’s it. Simple as that. It’s a new rule. It’s a block.”
This was a harmlessly entertaining way for this epic game to end, given Syracuse was getting robbed either way. Throw in the meme factor and this blowup was certainly a net positive. Buzzfeed made a compilation. This is my favorite.
On a more wholesome note, the incident was a big win for the Jim and Juli Boeheim Foundation. The jacket that Jim unsuccessfully tried to rip off his chest sold in a charity auction for $14,000.