Syracuse visited Memphis back in December and beat the hometown Tigers in the process. Little did they know that they'd be back there in March as part of the Sweet Sixteen. The Orange will do just that after beating Arizona State 78-67 and returning to the round of 16 for the first time since 2004.
Much like the Stephen F. Austin game, the Orange got off to a hot start. Rick Jackson and Arinze Onuaku took advantage of their size down low while Devo led the charge from the 3-point line and the Orange held a 41-32 lead. A late run by the Sun Devils in at the end of the first half prevented it from being bigger. It also didn't hurt that ASU's James Harden went scoreless in the first half while the Devils tried to beat the Orange from the outside.
And much like the Stephen F. Austin game, the Orange got sloppy in the second half. ASU adjusted their game and got Harden the ball down low. As the fouls piled up for both teams the defenses loosened up. The Orange kept making enough plays to stay ahead but never enough to stomp of the neck. And as happens, the Devils made a run, getting within four with about six minutes left. The Orange called time-out.
Jonny Flynn might not have the stats to prove it but he essentially took over at that point. He found Rautins for a quick three. On the next possession he found Devo for another one. On the possession after that he made a "Jonny Flynn-esque" move that opened Devo again for another three. The Orange never looked back.
Says Eric Devendorf in regards to Jonny:
"The best point guard in America."
Devo finished with 21 on 5-11 shooting from three-point range. Rautins finished with 17, followed by Rick Jackson (13), Arinze Onuaku (12) and Jonny Flynn (11). Flynn also dished out 7 assists, not to mention the many things he did that go beyond the statbook.
And so, the 3-seed Orange (same as 2003) move on to play the Oklahoma Sooners (whom they played in the 2003 tourney) in Memphis.
- How sweet it is to be back in the Sweet 16...Daily Orange
- Those who wouldn't have been happy this season unless the Orange went Sweet 16 got their wish...Brent Axe
- When the game got close, Andy Rautins wanted the ball...Donna Ditota
- Rick Jackson set the tone early for SU...Donna Ditota
- Jim Boeheim gets win #799...Mike Waters
- Kristof! and Rick Jackson post-game interviews...Donna Ditota
- Jim Boeheim post-game press conference...Syracuse.com
- Jonny Flynn and Eric Devendorf post-game interviews...Mike Waters
- More parallels between the 2003 National Championship Tourney and this one...D.O. Sports Blog
- Is the onus on Herb Sendek's coaching from the ASU side?...House of Sparky
- Check out some footage from the arena...YouTube
- Then watch the official highlights of the game...YouTube
- SU will play Oklahoma on Friday at 7:27(?)p.m...Mike Waters
- Tickets through SU will go on sale Tuesday...D.O. Sports Blog
Bud Poliquin wraps up the action today. Bud also forgot to bring a short-sleeve shirt with him to Miami:
|NCAA: Bud Poliquin is leaving Miami for Memphis|