One team in this game has played the 341st-toughest schedule in the nation. Contrary to what some at ESPN think, it's not Syracuse. The Green Wave are 11-1, but they've fattened up on things called Nicholls, Alabama A&M, Southern, D-II New Orleans and D-III MacMurray. Their lone loss came to a 5-4 Wofford squad and this will be their third road game of the year (who do they think they are, Syracuse?).
That said, they did beat Georgia Tech behind freshman Rickey Tarrant who scored 24 points, burying six three-pointers.
It's a very similar start to last season for the Wave. The Green Wave started 12-3, but then lost 14 of their last 15 games to finish 13-17.
Along with Tarrant, three other players are averaging double figures in scoring for Tulane. 2010-11 All-Conference USA second-team selection Kendall Timmons leads the team with 13.3 PPG. Tarrant is scoring 12.3 PPG, while Josh Davis scores 12.1 points a game and grabs 10.2 RPG. Finally, Jordan Callahan averages 10.7 PPG. Callahan and Tarrant are the most likely to start reigning down threes.
Ed Conroy is in his second season on the job. He's got his hands full tonight:
"I think right now Syracuse would be a step up for anyone, no matter who they’ve played previously,’’ Conroy said. "Syracuse is playing great. They’re very deserving of their ranking.’’
Team leader Timmons is looking forward to the opportunity to take on the No. 1 team in the nation:
"We can make a big statement here. People say our schedule hasn't been that tough. I guess they are counting Georgia Tech and this one as our only real competition. I think if we play good there (Syracuse), people will have to take us seriously."
This is only the second meeting between the two schools all-time. Syracuse defeated Tulane 73-60 back in 2007.
Of course, there is still some history between the two programs. SU coach Roy Danforth left the school in 1976 to take the head coaching job at Tulane, clearing the way for James Arthur Boeheim to take over as the head coach. We're not angry, Tulane. In fact, we're pretty cool with that.
The game will be televised locally on Time Warner Cable and on Cox Sports for those in the Southeast and watching on DirecTV. SNY will show a delayed telecast of the game Friday afternoon.