Syracuse and UConn played Monday night in the Garden in a game that was bound to wake up some Big East ghosts.
It did, but not the ones Syracuse might have liked.
There was no six-overtime glory, no history, not really any greatness.
Instead it saw two teams trying to escape mediocrity, and UConn was the team that got a much-needed win.
UConn nearly shut Syracuse out in the last 11 minutes, with only Dajuan Coleman getting a pair of buckets before Andrew White hit a three to tie the game with just :09 left.
Former State guard Rodney Purvis got a three for UConn with :04 left but missed. Freshman Christian Vital - another clutch guy named Christian, but this time playing for UConn and not gutting them - got the rebound and was fouled on his follow up by former Duke target Tyus Battle.
He hit his foul shots with :02.2 left to seal the deal.
UConn moved back to .500 at 4-4 while Syracuse lost for the third time in its last four games.
Quick, bring back Mike Hopkins.
Keep in mind too that UConn played without three players who are out for the year - Alterique Gilbert (shoulder), Mamadou Diarra (knee), and Terry Larrier (ACL) are all out for the year.
Is it time to wonder if Syracuse is overrated? The Orange lost to South Carolina by 14, Wisconsin by 17 and UConn by a bucket. The win over North Florida was by just six points, not what you’d expect in the Carrier Dome.
Boston University should be a gimme but that team gave State fits, and after that game looms Georgetown and all that implies.
We don’t know what the problem is but Tyler Lydon hasn’t been playing got his considerable potential: he had 18 vs. South Carolina but just 22 in the following three games.
As disappointing as that is, the other Tyler, Tyler Roberson has fallen off a cliff: he had 13 against South Carolina State, one vs. South Carolina, 0 against Wisconsin, one against North Florida and six against UConn.
He had 12 boards against SC State; in the four games since, he’s had 14.
Tuesday sort of gets us close to the December Doldrums, the point in the season where midterms and holidays lead coaches to schedule what are essentially scrimmages. That’s not the case for Duke vs. Florida, but the rest should be easy wins.
Notre Dame should be wary of Fort Wayne after what they did to Indiana, but that game is at Notre Dame and it’s hard to see another upset.
Charlotte and Wake Forest is mildly interesting, first to see if Wake can build on progress to date and second for the subplot of Keyshawn Woods playing his old team.
Mark Price is coaching Charlotte and the Georgia Tech legend has his team at 6-2. Losing to Davidson is understandable but SC Upstate? That had to hurt.
The big win Price has so far is over the PAC-12’s Oregon State.
After Wake, Charlotte gets Florida and then Maryland.
Price was an unbelievably brilliant basketball player but that doesn’t always translate into being a great coach. We think he’ll get it done though. He’s just too smart not to.
We feel a bit sorry for ECU. Virginia is going to be surly after losing to West Virginia over the weekend. That one could get ugly.
- Syracuse falters down the stretch in brutal loss to UConn at Madison Square Garden
- Tar Heels to face Davidson without Joel Berry; Theo Pinson's recovery on track
- UNC's Joel Berry out for Davidson, Theo Pinson on the mend
- Noles' Defense Returning To Form
- Tech basketball to suffer unintended consequence of bowl berth
- Cavaliers try to bounce back against East Carolina
- No. 23 Notre Dame, last unbeaten ACC team, moves into poll
- The hatred between Syracuse and UConn remains as strong as ever
- Fort Wayne Preview - Five Things To Know
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