Friday, February 17, 2006

Where's the Dome Ranger when you need him?!

The original title of this blog was going to be, "You can't spell suck without S-U!" , but I thought this may be a tad bit harsh. After all, the Orange do have 17 wins and could still make the NCAA tournament. For now I'll just reserve the s-word for those truly deserving of it, like poor 3-win Prarie View or the "good" teams I love to hate, like Duke and UCLA. The original title was just the first thing that popped into my head after watching the Orange fall at the hands of the Cincinnati Bearcats in a most pathetic fashion. I am of course, if you haven't already figured it out, talking about the Syracuse University men's basketball team.

You see, the Orange, are on "the bubble", a term used to denote those teams who's shot at getting into the NCAA Tournament is still more or less up in the air. SU has, for the better part of my lifetime, been placed in the upper echelon of men's college basketball programs. Never what I would consider a powerhouse, but a solid program that much of the time has a very good chance at making the Final Four of the NCAA tournament. Jim Boeheim is a Hall Of Fame coach with a resume that includes three trips to the Final Game and one National Championship. They have plenty of history, great players, great games, etc. But the SU team that I watched lose by double digits to Cincy on Wednesday was to put it bluntly, pa-thetic. The Orange have not managed, any sort of quality win to guarantee a spot in the NCAA field of 65. Their one win against a top 50 team was at Cincinnati, back in January. This was, however, a Bearcats team that was battered and riddled with injuries, hardly an impressive "W". Now not only have they not had a convincing win, but their games against top 50 teams have been, for the most part, train wrecks. They haven't been playing with any heart, and heart is what it takes to navigate your way into and through the NCAA Tournament. That and some talent, which SU definitely has. With 3 of their last 5 games being against ranked opponents and the other being against fellow bubble team Louisvlle, it's not looking good for the Orange. Saturday's matchup against Louisville at the Dome has turned into what many consider a must win for the Orange.

Rumor has it the Big East will get seven invites to the Big Dance. Now Connecticut, Villanova, West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Georgetown are all locks to make the tourney, leaving two more slots from the Big Beast. The Orange are battling with Marquette, Cincinnati, Seton Hall and Louisville for those remaing invites. Now while SU has been losing to the likes of Seton Hall and Cincinnati, Seton Hall and Marquette have been adding key wins, knocking off the likes of ranked opponents, West Virginia and Georgetown respectively. SU has games against both the Hoyas and Mountaineers still to come. Add the regular season finale against #4 Villanova and it doesn't look good for the guys in orange, white and blue. So you can see, why, as an SU fan, I'm a little concerned. Which is why Saturday is a must have for them. And if they don't play with a little heart and a lot of urgency, March 5th's game against 'Nova won't be their last home game of the season. They'll get to host an NIT game. And nothing short of the Dome Ranger, himself, will be able to save them.


  1. Oh how I miss Train Wreck and what makes it even worse is that Watkins, who seemed to be a young Train Wreck in the making, has actually played alright the past few nights, Cincy game aside when all looked like a bunch o'chumps. And not the good kind of chumps (see Marcus C.) Hee hee, Phelps. Hopefully the College Gameday crew being in town for BracketBuster Saturday will put a little hop in their step.