Biggest shit in the Syracuse area since they won the National Championship back in 2003. Exactly what THEY needed and what WE needed...though for different reasons of course...and maybe no one cares but me.....
New York- Syracuse and Connecticut, the Big East's two standard-bearers for the past 20 years, staged a game for the ages on Thursday night here at Madison Square Garden.
In fact, regulation wasn't enough for these two rivals as they played into overtime and past midnight in a classic battle. In fact, one overtime wasn't enough either. Neither was two. Neither was three. Neither was four. Neither was five!
Syracuse and UConn played the first triple-overtime game in Big East Tournament history since Syracuse beat Villanova in the 1981 tournament's championship game. Then the Huskies and Orange, including Syracuse junior Andy Rautins whose father, Leo, won that 1981 game with a last-second tip-in, doubled the feat.
It took six overtimes, 30 extra minutes of incredible action, before Syracuse finally outlasted UConn for a 127-117 victory.
Syracuse played from behind in every single overtime except the last one.
When Andy Rautins hit a 3-pointer to give Syracuse a 113-110 lead just 10 seconds into the sixth overtime, it was Syracuse's first lead since the final minute of regulation.
The Orange scored the first eight points of the sixth overtime and held on from there.
The game ended at 1:25 a.m.; nearly four hours after it started. Not a soul had left the Garden. Well, maybe a few who had jobs to go this morning did. Otherwise, the fans that remained stood for the third, fourth, fifth and sixth overtimes. They stayed on their feet for the entire time, too.
Syracuse and Connecticut played to six overtimes, the longest game in Big East Tournament history. The NCAA record for most overtimes is seven, set by Cincinnati and Bradley in the 1981 season.
When the fourth overtime ended with Syracuse’s Paul Harris missing two shots underneath the basket, appearing to get fouled on the second one, Syracuse guard Jonny Flynn threw his head-band into the crowd and then headed to the sideline and sat down on the floor in front of the SU bench to get a rest. In the fourth overtime, Syracuse used 6-foot-7 freshman Kris Joseph at center after all three of its post players — Arinze Onuaku, Rick Jackson and Kristof Ongenaet — had fouled out.
When Eric Devendorf fouled out with 2:01 remaining in the fifth overtime, Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim had no choice but to insert senior walk-on Justin Thomas. The two teams were still tied at 110-all after Flynn hit two free throws with 20.7 seconds left. He rimmed the second in, hopping up and down at the foul line to encourage the ball to drop.
UConn’s A.J. Price missed a 3-pointer with three seconds to go. Jeff Adrien got the rebound, but his baseline jumper drew iron and bounced away. Six OTs! This time Flynn lingered at the far end of the court, apparently without the energy to walk to the bench. Jake Presutti, a walk-on, came out and helped Flynn to the bench like a cornerman assisting a battered fighter back to his corner.
Syracuse (25-8) will face West Virginia in the tournament semifinals tonight at 9:30 p.m.
Syracuse appeared to have won the game in regulation on an improbable length of the court pass from Paul Harris to Eric Devendorf with Devendorf hitting the game-winner at the final buzzer.
While Devendorf and the rest of the Orange celebrated, the three officials checked the replay monitors and ruled that the ball was still in Devendorf’s hands when time ran out.
Harris’ long pass had sailed over Kristof Ongenaet, but it scraped the fingertipsof UConn’s Gavin Edwards, which started the clock. Devendorf scooped up the ball and drained what looked to be a game-winning 3-pointer over Edwards at the buzzer.
The shot conjured up images of former Syracuse star Gerry McNamara’s series of game-winners in the 2006 tournament, including a 3-pointer that helped beat a No. 1 ranked Connecticut team. Ironically, McNamara was sitting courtside on Thursday night.
However, the referees checked the replay monitor and waved off Devendorf’s dramatic shot. The video showed the ball still barely on Devendorf’s fingers as the clock above the basket went to zeroes and the light came on. Connecticut had sent the game into overtime on freshman guard Kemba Walker’s rebound basket with 1.1 seconds remaining.
In the first overtime, Connecticut led from the jump. The Huskies opened up an 80-76 lead. But Syracuse rallied, getting a key 3-pointer from Rautins, and sent the game to a second overtime as Flynn fed Rick Jackson for a dunk with 4.7 seconds left. Connecticut’s Kemba Walker fired a desperation 3-pointer that missed everything.
The nerves and tension continued to mount as the teams played the second overtime.
Connecticut went ahead 86-83, but Flynn tied it on a driving bucket that resulted in a 3-point play. Syracuse center Arinze Onuaku fouled out, joining forward Kristof Ongenaet who was already on the bench.
The teams traded single free throws. UConn had the ball, but the Huskies missed four shots, including a Thabeet tipslam and a Kemba Walker shot that was blocked by SU’s Rick Jackson off Walker and out of bounds with 28 seconds left.
Syracuse set up for a final shot, clearing the floor for Flynn. The Syracuse guard came off Jackson’s screen and pulled up for a 16-footer with seven seconds left. He missed. UConn hurried the ball upcourt. Walker’s 40-foot shot hit the rim as the buzzer sounded. A third overtime. As the two teams headed to their benches, referee James Breeding smiled at his fellow referee Bob Donato. This one was that good.
In the third overtime, Connecticut led 98-95 in the final seconds, Rautins fired in a 3-pointer to tie the game with 11.7 seconds left. Price missed a three and Jeff Adrien missed his second-chance shot and the game headed to a fourth OT.
SIX OVERTIMES - Page 2 - syracuse.com