So in my previous post, I outlined the fact that Notre Dame, Georgetown, and Syracuse need to get off their slides, Georgetown more than any of those teams, but only one team has proven that they deserve to be in the tournament and that is Syracuse. Granted, the schedule has been a little lackluster, but their three consecutive blowout wins are exactly what the Orange needed to do to solidify a spot in March.
The game last night was particularly impressive for Syracuse, if you erase the fact that the first half actually existed. The Syracuse defense was lackluster, they weren't getting the rotation in the zone that they needed, and Rutgers started the game up 14-6. It looked like the Orange's offense was very still, and their drives to the hoop were getting rejected by the big men. The defense started to clamp down at about the 10:00 mark, allowing only 6 points the rest of the half. Cuse went into halftime down 20-19.
Boeheim must have said something at halftime, because Syracuse came out in the second half and outscored Rutgers 51-20 in the second. Paul Harris had a game high 18 points, with about four really nice slams and moves that would make the highlight reel. Senior Kristof Onganeat really stepped up his game and scored in double digits for the first time in a long time. The crowd has been recently rallying behind him ever since he got ejected from the game against Georgetown. The walk-ons came in at about the 4:00 mark left in the game, and all of the seniors on the team scored.
Rutgers looks so bad right now. They can't play a full 40 minutes, they have no offense, and they barely have a defense. The program isn't looking real good right now.
My favorite moment of the game was when the starters were all on the bench. They took their shoes off, signed them, and then started chucking them into the stands. It was quite dangerous, but the guy in front of me got one of Arinze Onuaku's shoes. It was pretty awesome.
Syracuse 22-8 (10-7) has put themselves into good position to lock up anywhere from a 5-7 seed in the tournament. Georgetown has absolutely no shot after losing to St. John's and Notre Dame has an outside chance of making it in. If the committee puts Notre Dame in the tournament and leaves Providence out, I will probably riot. And if anyone tells me that Georgetown deserves to be even in the discussion come to New York so that I can slap you in the face, please.