Mar 3, 2012; Syracuse, NY, USA; Syracuse Orange players hoist the Big East regular season championship trophy after the game against the Louisville Cardinals at the Carrier Dome. Richard Mackson-US PRESSWIRE
I like Dick Weiss. He's a smart writer, traditionally has Syracuse's back and has the best headshot in the business. I'm 75% sure he wasn't expecting the photo to be taken but was too cranky to do it again.
Dick wrote about Syracuse after their win over Louisville this weekend, talking about how much this team wants to win the Big East Tournament. However, he also has a little bit of a bug up his butt about the whole ACC thing and expects MSG crowds to feel the same:
The Orange should not expect to get a hero’s welcome from the rest of the sellout crowds that likely will view Syracuse as carpetbaggers for its decision to abandon the league that transformed it from a regional power to a national brand name for a fistful of football dollars from the ACC. Or from the remaining charter schools who would like nothing better than to prove the success of the Big East is dependent on more than just one team.
If Syracuse leaves on top for Tobacco Road, it will sting. If not, it will reinforce the notion that the Big East is a kingmaker, and not the other way around.
Here's my thoughts.
No. 1 - When were all those other times we got a hearty welcome from UConn fans and Providence fans and St. John's fans? Pretty sure we'd be hated by everyone else ACC move or not. That's what happens when you're No. 1.
No. 2 - "Abandon the league." Nothing bothers me more about this whole business than when someone decides that Syracuse (and Pitt) woke up one morning and decided to leave the Big East on a whim, as if the longtime lack of any foresight or planning by the conference and complete lack of faith in its leadership had nothing to do with it.
No. 3 - I've noticed this "Syracuse didn't make the Big East, the Big East made Syracuse" line of thinking a few times now. I love that it forgets the fact that Syracuse was already winning 25-30 games a season before the Big East began and we're the only program in the history of the conference to be consistently good throughout its entire existence. No doubt the Big East was a large part of Syracuse's growth and popularity, but Syracuse will do just fine without the Big East.
The Orange don't need motivation to win the Big East Tournament. They know there will be no easy games. They know everyone is going to give them their best effort, just as they have for the past two months. There's a lot of pride on this SU squad and while they've checked a lot of things off their bucket list this season, winning a Big East Tournament is still unchecked for Scoop Jardine and Kris Joseph. That doesn't mean they will, but I guarantee you they want to. Badly.
Meanwhile, according to some, the Orange might still have plenty more chances to win a post-season tournament in Madison Square Garden.