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3.13.2006

McNaMadness!


What a week for Gerry McNamara and the Orange... they went from a bubble-team to a 5-seed thanks to clutch shooting and passing from their senior guard. I'm wondering if this season's NCAA tournament champ will have had as impressive of a run as Syracuse's Big East Championship run. SU won 4 games in 4 nights:
  • Win one came against Cininnati, who are now considered one of the teams to get snubbed from the NCAA tournament. Going into the game against the 'Cuse, the Bearcats were considered a tournament team and probably would have received an 8 to 10 seed. Gerry McNamara's running 3 at the buzzer propelled Syracuse to the win.

  • The next win came against the tournament's top seed, UConn. The Huskies are also a #1 seed in the Washington DC bracket in the NCAA tournament. McNamara hit another 3 at the buzzer to send the game into OT and helped them close the game at the line. We'll see how UConn rebounds this week... they went down to Syracuse without involving their best player. If their point guard dominates the ball and their spot-up shooters get trigger-happy, they might not do as well as most predict.

  • In the Big East semis, Syracuse topped old rival Georgetown, who is a 7 seed in the Minneapolis bracket. McNamara was again the hero with a late 3 to pull the Orange within 1 point, and an assist on the go ahead and final basket of the game.

  • Finally, in the championship game against Pitt, Gerry's heroics weren't needed. Syracuse pieced together a pretty solid team effort and Josh Wright sealed the win with 4 late free throws, despite the officials best efforts to ice the freshman. Somehow, despite a 24-7 record, being ranked in the top 10 to 12 for most of the season, and upsetting 2nd ranked Villanova in the Big East semis, Pitt is only a 5 seed in the Oakland bracket.
So Syracuse essentially beat 10, 1, 7 and 5 seeds in route to their Big East championship. We'll see if the NCAA champion's run is as difficult.

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Re: 'Cuse's win v. Cincy, I think a "walking 3" is more appropriate than your "running 3" description.
 

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