Dick "Hoops" Weiss was voted Syracuse the No. 1 team in the country for three week's running. Me thinks he might be on to something. The Orange withstood a three-point rally from the Gators and put forth an effort that reaffirmed everything we were hoping as No. 7 Syracuse beat No. 10 Florida 85-73. (boxscore)
Neither team was ranked entering the season but both were unbeaten coming into the game. Only Syracuse (9-0) left with a perfect mark, though, thanks to a 52.5 percent shooting effort and a 43-31 rebounding advantage.
First of all, it's been a while since we've been able to root for a truly dominant team in football or basketball. It feels...strange. In a good way, mind you. But, now that we know for sure that the Orange truly can win every single game they play, it's a very different feeling.
Second, Florida has terrible fans. Here's what's going to happen...people who watched the game last night are going to say Syracuse didn't really have to play in front of a hostile crowd because there were so many SU fans there. You know why so many SU fans stood out last night? Cause there's was no one else there! Upper deck? Empty. Mezzanine? Spotty. If not for Syracuse fans traveling 3,000 miles that place would have been a graveyard. Florida fans apparantly couldn't make the two hour drive to watch their top-ten team play another top-ten team. It's not SU's fault it has good fans, so I don't want to hear it...got it, Katz?
Third, and here's the part that should scare the rest of the country...Wes Johnson had a so-so game The anointed savior and cult leader who has been destined since birth to lead us to glory had an everyman kind of evening. And we still beat the No. 10 team in the nation by double-digits. Yeah he scored 17 and grabbed 10 boards but he really didn't get rolling until the 2nd half. Florida had many an opportunity to run away from Cuse and couldn't do it. Yikes to everyone.
Fourth...Rick Jackson, ladies and gentlemen. 21 points and 11 rebounds. Welcome to the bigtime, Rickles. And for SU fans, we can add Rick to the list of players more than happy to step up and be a leader for us when needed.
Fifth, speaking of leaders...Andy Rautins! The cajones on Andy when he hit the three in the 2nd half to kill Florida's rally. He immediately turned to his teammates, started up a "let's do this" mantra and did what we've come to expect of him.
Seventh, want to know what the "official" rotation is going to look like? Now you do. Boeheim played seven guys (Jackson, Onuaku, Johnson, Rautins, Triche, Scoop & Joseph). That's it. Mookie, deal with it or do not.
Eighth, Chandler Parsons looks like an anime character.
Ninth, "I think, just on what I’ve seen of Syracuse, they are capable of winning the national championship. I think Bobby Knight made a comment (Wednesday) night that he thought they were the best team in the country. I haven’t seen everybody play so I can’t comment on that. But I would be hard-pressed to say there were three or four teams better than them. They can beat you in a lot of ways." - Billy Donovan
The Orange improve to 9-0, should grab a couple more first-place votes and could move up a spot or two in the next rankings. It's official, everyone. The realz, we haz them. Until someone shows me otherwise, we're the best team in the nation as far as I'm concerned. Hells yeah I'm biased...but I'm pretty sure Dick Weiss and I are right.
Links and vids after the jump.
- FUN IN THE SUN: Syracuse improves to 9-0 after beating No. 10 Florida...Tyler Dunne
- Jackson defies gameplan, scores career-high 21 points...Tyler Dunne
- Orange hurts Florida on the backboards...Donna Ditota
- Syracuse makes big plays to defeat Florida and stay unbeaten...Donna Ditota
- Donovan has experience with Triche family...Bud Poliquin
- SU-Florida Recap...Brent Axe
- Syracuse basketball dumps Florida, stays unbeaten...Donna Ditota
- Gator-Skinned: Syracuse-Florida Observations...Three Idiots on Sports
- Florida Gets RickRolled, Orange Comes Through In Tight Spots...CuseOrange
- Roll: This Game Should Scare Out Future Opponents...Cuse Country
- A Win over Florida...OrangeHoops
- Donovan: Orange Title Contenders...Orange Fizz
- Syracuse big men bully Florida Gators...Adam Beasley, Miami Herald
Some live action (and Cuse fan head nods) from the game