We've tallied up the votes and the 2013 Syracuse Orange Blogger (S.O.B.) Awards have been decided. Let's honor the players, coaches, fans and moments from the 2012-2013 Syracuse Orange basketball season (and we'll honor our contracts as well).
This year's basketball team won 30 games (and made it to the Final Four), so when trying to figure out the Best Game of the 2012-13 season, we're presented with quite a few options. Was it James Southerland's coming out party at Arkansas, in which he scored 35 points (mostly on threes)? Or how about knocking of then-no. 1 (and eventual national champion) Louisville thanks to Michael Carter-Williams's late heroics? Could it have been SU's shot at redemption against Georgetown in the Big East Tournament, or maybe one of the NCAA Tournament games -- all memorable for their own reasons, too?
Though the votes were very close, it essentially came down to two games:
Syracuse 58, Georgetown 55 (OT): "The Big East is Officially Closed"
As has been well documented, the first two games between the long-time rivals this season did not go well for the Orange. Lucky for us, we'd get one more shot to beat the Hoyas as members of the Big East. And Syracuse did not disappoint.
After losing to Georgetown twice during the season, the Orange got their revenge with an overtime win in the Big East Tournament, which subsequently helped set the Hoyas up with a date with FGCU. Perfect.
...But I'm going with the win over Georgetown in the BET. The Hoyas thought they had escaped the rivalry with a crushing W. Little did they know that an Orangeman always pays his debts.
We shut down the previously unstoppable Otto Porter and just when it seemed like we were going to blow the biggest win of our season, we stepped up in overtime and in typical dramatic, exciting, sometimes ugly SU fashion, won the game. Just when they thought they had it on us forever, we closed the rivalry and completely changed how the season was viewed. I’ve never felt as elated, exhausted, or grateful after any sporting event.
Syracuse 61, Indiana 50: "Don't You Dare Talk About Gravy"
Indiana was one of the favorites to win the national championship going into this game, and with their ability to knock down shots from the perimeter, the prevailing opinion was that the Orange had no chance. Of course, you know what they say about opinions...
For Andy, this was the game that told him SU had something special going on this year:
Syracuse dominating the one team that was "perfect" to upset the zone. Syracuse basically took everything everyone said about them not being good enough and shoved it right back up thier mouths. That's when I knew Syracuse was making the Final Four.
Dan (and myself, and so many others) actually picked against Syracuse in this matchup, just like most of the media. Of course, who cares about brackets if your own team's winning?
The Indiana win in the Sweet 16. Not many people gave us a chance (personally, I had Indiana in my Final Four, so I wasn't too confident) heading into the game, and we came out and absolutely ran them off the court. People will look back on that game and not realize how badly we outclassed the Hoosiers that day. It really wasn't even close.
And commenter bigbluethruandthru manages to channel HCSS while recounting how they saw the Indiana game:
A number one seed that had been the best team in the country for large swathes of the season, and Syracuse just dominated them. Absolutely imposed their will on a tremendous opponent in the most hard-nosed fashion imaginable. It was also possibly JB’s most dominating coaching performance in a long while, and one that just cemented his status in a very visible way.
In the commentariat vote, the Georgetown victory beat out the Indiana win by the slimmest of margins -- 149 to 144, to give it a slight 38-percent to 37-percent edge. However, in the staff voting, the Indiana game won by a margin of five to two, which equals 71 percent of the vote on that side. When all the fuzzy math is done, your winner of the S.O.B. Award for Best Game is Syracuse's win over Indiana. In total, SU over IU received 54 percent of the vote, and SU over Georgetown grabbed 34 percent. Syracuse over Louisville (eight percent) and Syracuse over Marquette (three percent) finished third and fourth, respectively.
Look for more S.O.B. winners today and through the week...