The Orange outlasted Louisville on Saturday and they did the same against the Bearcats on Monday, surviving with a 57-55 victory.
When Syracuse Orange fans say they'll miss the Big East, the last three days are basically what they're talking about. The Louisville Cardinals and Cincinnati Bearcats are not traditional Big East rivals, but they've been around long enough to have some history with us and a history of tough, ugly, hard-fought basketball games. The Orange outlasted Louisville on Saturday and they did the same against the Bearcats on Monday, surviving with a 57-55 victory.
After an ugly first half in which neither offense wanted to score points, the second half saw a flurry of Cincy three-pointers followed by a gritty Brandon Triche/Michael Carter-Williams-led comeback, sealed with an awkward putback by C.J. Fair that wasn't really put by back by C.J. Fair and topped with some ill-advised shooting by the Bearcats.
The win means that Syracuse extends its home-winning streak to 35 games and has now won 28 of its last 29 Big East conference games. The Orange are also now 18-1 (6-0) and 52-4 in the past two seasons.
Carter-Williams led the way with 16 points while Fair and Triche added 13. Trevor Cooney snagged eight points on 3-7 shooting.
The Orange got roughed up by their own weapon...the zone defense. It limited their ability to grab rebounds and stunted the offense until Triche & MC-Dubz decided to wake up.
SU once again gets an easy week as they now prepare for a rematch against the Villanova Wildcats on Saturday. Until then, don't fret too much about what went wrong here. Be happy with the victory (over a ranked team, btw) and remember that there's no such thing as a gimme in this conference.