NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 11: Jeremy Lamb #3 of the Connecticut Huskies shoots the game winning basket against Rick Jackson #00 of the Syracuse Orange during the semifinals of the 2011 Big East Men's Basketball Tournament presented by American Eagle Outfitters at Madison Square Garden on March 11, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Everything that we've been saying all year long about Scoop was perfectly illustrated in the closing moments of regulation and overtime during Syracuse's 76-71 loss to UConn in the Big East Tournament semis.
There was no better display of Scoop "Brett Favre" Jardine than in those two situations.
The first saw Scoop as our hero. You were pretty sure he was going to call his own shot. He did. And he made it, sending the game to overtime.
The latter saw Scoop as our undoing. With a critical, well-thought-out play needed, Scoop took the ball and decided he was going to take the shot, even if he had to flail in the face of three guys to do it. And he did. And he missed, ending things for all intents and purposes.
Like Favre, Scoop kept us in a game the Basketball Gods seemed unwilling to let us win. Like Favre, Scoop killed our chances of winning it. It is cliche, but, Scoop is Scoop. He's a gunslinger, and we as Syracuse fans must resign ourselves to the fact that this is what the NCAA Tournament hinges on. Scoop Jardine and his Hero/Goat Complex.
While it's not quite the Gerry McNamara run of '06, hats must go off to Kemba Walker (who passed Devo for the single-tourney scoring record). He's got UConn in a position to set a new BET record for five-wins in one go. They certainly have the Team Destiny thing going for them, which is fine, since that makes it all the more likely they'll run out of gas by next week (just like Gerry's Orange did).
The refs made some questionable calls (and non-calls) but at the end of the day the Orange didn't hit their shots. At least not enough of them and not when it counted most (27% from the floor).
Scoop had 20, so did Kris. Rick Jackson added 12 points. Dion Waiters scored 8, some of which were critical at the time, including a clutch three to put the Orange back in the game late. C.J. Fair continued to take the This Generation's Kristof! mantle from BMK and run with it. Rough night for Triche, who was 2-9 shooting for 4 points.
And so the Orange wait. Safe money is on a 3-seed, while a 2-seed isn't out of the question if certain things fall right. Good work by the Orange fans on hand, you looked lively and loud. Cuse got what it needed from the BET, on to the "real" stuff.