As the post mortem continues in an earlier post about the 1998 Tennesee SU football game, it got me to thinking about the most painful moment in SU Basketball history.
I was all of 10 years old at the time, and SU Basketball was all I ever talked, thought, or dreamed about. I'd go to sleep at night to the tones of Doug Logan on the ariwaves as I'd listen to the hoops team on the mighty 570 WSYR. Of course growing up south of Cortland cable was never going to come to us and most games were not on TV at the time so Doug Logan painted many a picture of a rowdy Carrier Dome for me.
I vividly remember that year's final four, what with the Big East dominating it with half the teams in it. I drew up posters, I screamed at the TV, my mom, my dad, anyone who happened to get in the way. What a sweet and precious victory over Providence and what do you know my Syracuse Orangemen were going to be playing for the National Championship.
Those of us who grew up in Central New York can vividly remember the community spirit and the excitement in the community. It never even reached that level in 2003. Remember this was before the probation, only 8 years into the Dome's existence and only about 10 years into Syracuse being a national basketball presence again. It was truly magical especially for a 10-year old kid.
So we settled in around the 19 inch color Zeinith in the living room that fateful night in late March 1987 to watch Syracuse be elevated to its rightful place as the best team in the world when it came to college basketball. I made signs, I dressed in orange from my head to my toes. We were going to dominate and destroy Bob Knight and the Hoosiers.
A funny thing happened on the way to the coronation. The details of the ebb and flow of the game have faded over the past 21 years, but the kick in the balls that I felt when Keith Smart hit that jumper is still as painful today as it was that fateful night. I cried, I threw things, I cried some more. I belive that was also the first time I uttered the phrase "They are call f**king FREE Throws Coleman!".
1996 was a lot of fun to watch and let's face it most of didn't expect that team to beat Kentucky, 2003 eased much pain, but to this day when I hear Keith Smart, my stomach just turns right over.
That my friends is my worst moment in Syracuse Sport history.