Friday, March 13, 2009

Syracuse- Uconn; TRUE Madness!!!

Wow!!!!!. Folks, you didn't have to be there in person. Even if you were watching at home you knew you were seeing something special, an epic sports event that will be talked about as long as there is March Madness.

The final score was Syracuse 127- UCONN 117 , a game that took six overtimes and 3:46 minutes to decide- in elapsed time the game lasted longer than most NFL or MLB games. It began at 9:46PM on Thursday March 12 and ended at 1:22 am on Friday the 13th.

The exhausted crowd at Madison Square Garden probably left the building and went out for breakfast. Both teams are probably still sleeping as I type this in the 10:00am hour. After the second OT, I got out of bed, made myself as snack, and watched the rest on the Big Screen in the rec room.

For the record, UCONN led 37-34 at the half. Syracuse tied it up in half number two....Eric Devendorf (22 points) launched a 3 pointer at the buzzer that appeared to be a game winner for Syracuse with the game knotted at 71-71, but after official review, it was waved off. Instant replay showed that the officials made the right call...the ball was on Devendorf's fingertips as the shot clock showed 00:00.

What followed was a war of attrition. Eight players in all fouled out, four from each team. In overtime #1 UCONN would pull ahead slightly, and Syracuse would come back. It was a pattern that was repeated for five overtimes; Syracuse never led at any point in any of the first five overtimes; that's a total of 25 minutes in all. In the overtime periods Syracuse shot 23 of 26 from the foul line to keep them in the game, allowing them to ultimately comeback and tie the game with each OT. The Orange's Jonny Flynn led with 34 points, a perfect 16 for 16 at the line, and an amazing 67 minutes played, three short of all total minutes for the game.

Syracuse pulled ahead in the sixth OT when both teams were down to combinations of a few regulars, some bench warmers, and even walk-ons playing in the longest game in BIG EAST history, and the longest game since Cincinnati beat Bradley in 7 OT's, 75-73 on Dec. 22, 1981- as ESPN"s Jay Bilas pointed out, that was before the shot clock was instituted for NCAA basketball.

When it was over, the 19,000 plus gave the players a deserved standing ovation. And HOF Syracuse Coach Jim Boeheim told ESPN that he was never prouder of a group of players than he was after this game.

As I type this, It has been announced by ESPN that the game will be rebroadcast at 11:00 am today (3/13/09) on ESPN CLASSIC.

And deservedly so.

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