No G-Mac, no Big East title for Syracuse. After the miracle run last year, Notre Dame stopped the Orange and advanced to the Semifinals in Manhattan, 89-83. Riding a big 2nd half (57 points) ND will play Georgetown tomorrow at 7.
Colin Falls scored 23 points and sure shot enough. 17 attempts from beyond the arc. The new Big East 3-point king needed only 7 of those to propell the Irish offense. 5 assists, 3 rebounds.
Russell Carter had 24. After riding the bench with 3 fouls early, Carter kept a pretty hot hand all game long. 6 rebounds to go along with a great scoring afternoon.
Tory Jackson can be a big time point guard. 8 points and 5 rebounds. More importantly, the freshman had 9 assists to only 2 turnovers and kept the Irish focused. McAlarney will have some competition for the starting PG slot next fall.
Kurz was very solid down low, 8 points/8 rebounds, but the player of the game was Luke Harangody. Bamm-Bamm stepped up to the plate big time. 20 points, 11 rebounds and provided the inside scoring to open up the shots for Colin and Russ. Against a 2-3, you have to have that guy who can get in between the holes in the zone. Luke was that player today. Congrats, rook.
Off the bench, Hillesland provided solid minutes as usual. 4 points, 4 rebounds. Luke Zeller had 2 and 2. Ryan Ayers missed a few shots. Coach of the Year Mike Brey kept his starters in the rotation, only using 6 players for more than 10 minutes.
For the 'Cuse, Roberts and Harris went nuts down low, with 20 and 15 rebounds respectively. As a team they outrebounded the Irish by 10. Same amount of turnovers, 11 fewer shots for ND, but the Irish made their living from 3-point range.
This should keep the Irish out of the 7-8 range in the NCAAs, but more importantly gives our guys another shot at G'Town on a neutral court. You know what you'll be doing tomorrow at 7.
Awesome, awesome game. I can go a bit deeper into the analysis, but I'll save it for tomorrow's Semifinal preview. Feels good to say, doesn't it? Go Irish!
For some additional enjoyment, check out the Syracusefan.com forums. Look, but don't touch.
I especially like this quote:
"That fat guy is only a freshman
He's a player. We're going to be cursing his Big Country look and back-ne for 3 more years"