"I was into it. You gotta be into a game like this," Cooney said later in the Orange locker room. "You gotta live in the moment, embrace this game. It was just fun to be a part of it and definitely (fun) to win."
Syracuse may have just taken four 3s in its win over Duke on Saturday, but its sharpshooter still had an effect on the game.
I doubt there will be an easier call this season than installing Syracuse as the No. 1 team in my mostly arbitrary rankings on the heels of that epic, epochal win over Duke on Saturday. The Orange played one of the best games I've seen a team play this year, and had established their baseline of excellence, getting next in line if Arizona lost — and then Arizona lost.
"I don't want to leave," Natasha Olejar cries after her performance with the Syracuse University Marching Band at the Super Bowl on Sunday night.
"He has no personality," Bertani said of Ishmael, a claim he also made about McDonald moments earlier. "He's dry. I don't want to say he's a robot. He's well-liked. I'm sure he has some fun. But he doesn't talk. Even his parents will say he doesn't talk. He's just Steve. If he had his way, he'd be George McDonald."
According to ESPN public relations executive Keri Potts, the overnight Nielsen rating for the Syracuse-Duke game tied for the fourth-highest for a regular-season college basketball game on ESPN since 2002, with a rating of 2.9. That means nearly 3 percent of the metered televisions in the country were tuned to Syracuse' dramatic 91-89 overtime win.
"I work hard and I keep that chip on my shoulder. A lot of schools overlooked me, and in my opinion I'm better than some of those five stars. I'm trying to be better than every five star in my class."
The Orange is also in play with North Miami Beach wide receiver Steve Ishmael and Simeon (Ill.) offensive tackle Denzel Ward. Both are three-star prospects who have multiple offers from automatic qualifier schools.