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Orange::44 Is An Absolute Magician 7.0

It's time for another round of bump, set and spike between I and Brian from Orange 44. Let the shenanigans begin:

TNIAAM: Did Monday's loss to Louisville negate the Georgetown win so quickly for the men's basketball team?

BRIAN: It does not negate it completely, but it is not good. It is a huge momentum killer. Really, the team looked like the media thought they were going to be all year; out of gas. Still, Georgetown was #8 in the nation, they only had two losses in the Big East, and yes they are overrated, but they are certainly on paper better than Syracuse. This team desperately needed a win over a ranked team and they got it.

I just wish they could have pulled out Louisville as well, but there are more chances left.

TNIAAM: What does SU have to do from here on out to make the tournament? How many more games can they afford to lose?

BRIAN: They need to win the Seton Hall game without question. If they lose that at this point in the year it is a sure death to an NCAA Bid no matter what happens in the Garden minus winning the whole thing. Syracuse at least needs to win one of the remaining big games; at Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Marquette. I have a feeling that we will play Pittsburgh hard at home but we will fall to them. Some people are saying we will beat Notre Dame, but that could be a stretch. Traditionally we get into the zone and force turnovers if their three point shooting falters, so I think that game is 50/50 honestly. Truth be told I have not watched a lot of Notre Dame this season so I do not know first hand how good they truly are, however they are currently sporting the third longest home win streak in the nation with 35 games so it will not be an easy game. I really think the season could come down to the final home game versus Marquette. This will be a huge game and at that point that win could be #20 on the year, or at least the other win over a ranked team I think we need.

It also goes without saying that we need to win on day one of the Big East Tournament. If we win two in New York, and one of the remaining "big" games on the schedule, I think that is what will guarantee it. Winning one in NYC and one of the big games, as well as the hall, I think will be enough though.

No way the selection committee can job us two years in a row, right?

TNIAAM: Gun to your Donte leaving?

BRIAN: I cannot see him leaving at this point. Granted I think the t-shirt was just to add drama and meant nothing, but I really do not think he goes. He has to know that next year, especially with him on the team, they are a preseason top 25 team and will be a huge contender. Plus I think he is having fun.

You can tell that this team, especially the fact that only seven of these guys are playing, that their chemistry is excellent. They enjoy being out there, they enjoy winning, and that goes a long way with a player as long as the millions of dollars are not screaming in his ear.

Plus, he is playing like crap lately. How high could he really go? I know the NBA Draft really drafts potential and not their actual talent, but seriously. This guy has been dreadful the last 5 or so games. He is a lottery pick or low second rounder at best right now. Stay one more year, improve your stock, have fun, and win… possibly quite a lot of games.

TNIAAM: The women's basketball team has lost two in a row and three of their last five. Cause for concern or a bump in the road?

BRIAN: I would say it is more growing pains. This team is trying to become one of the elite teams in the Big East, an exceptionally good women's basketball conference. Syracuse has not been good in a long time, and they have not been good ever if going by rankings. This team and Coach Q are really trying to be an elite team in the league and it simply just takes time. Frankly this year can already be deemed a success and chances are this team will make the NCAA Tournament. Frankly, after being left out the last couple of years, making it to Hartford is a huge accomplishment anyway.

Teams lose games. This team is still very good and this is just a bump in the road they need to get past, which I am sure they will. History with Coach Q should dictate that the team will be even better next year.

TNIAAM: The men's lacrosse team started the season off right with a 21-6 thrashing of Villanova. A sign that the Syracuse of old is back or just an easy win over lesser competition?

BRIAN: First off, let me say congratulations on giving me a lacrosse question that you actually seem interested in! LAX FEVER BABY!

Anyway, this team's offense is on par to be one of the elite in lacrosse this year, and that is no joke. Ten unanswered goals in the first quarter is outrageous. Syracuse had offense last year, but it stalled at times. There was no stalling in this game. Granted, when Syracuse goes up against a Hopkins or a Princeton it will not be this one sided, but this is outrageously encouraging considering the massive disappointment that last season was.

Syracuse's freshman goalie in John Galloway is excellent for a freshman and has clearly earned his starting spot. Pete Coluccini as a backup will be excellent. The team's defense has clearly improved, and Danny Brennan, the face off specialist, was in top form. This is a dangerous and good team, and we should find out exactly how good after the Army game this Sunday. We will see how close it is, and if they deserve the #8 next to their name.

TNIAAM: Thinking way too early about Big East football...between the mess created in the wake of Rich Rodriguez' departure and the recent legal troubles of RB Noel Devine and other Mountaineers, is West Virginia destined to be this year's Louisville?

BRIAN: It is quite possible. I think the Big East has the potential to have a real down year as a whole. West Virginia is looking like they will not even be remotely close to the year they just had. South Florida was proven to be a fraud last season, so who knows how they will be. Cincy just lost their quarterback. UConn has people getting arrested left and right in Storrs and last year was a huge fluke. Pittsburgh is still not ready to be the best in the Big East yet. Rutgers is still in New Jersey. Louisville was awful last year and they do not look like they are going to improve with a rookie QB. Syracuse is… well Syracuse. While we are probably going to be better, I am not sure it will be a vast improvement like we all hope. It could be a rough year for the conference.

That being said, West Virginia still has some weapons. I just do not see WVU falling that far down. Their third string running back could probably start for a number of Big East schools. Their offense is hard to defend, their players really know the system, and their new coach seems to be well grounded in that kind of offense. While they will probably not win the Big East again, they will still not be that far out either. I think the BCS dream may be dead for them, but it is really early to be making these kind of bold and daring predictions for football season.

TNIAAM:Is it me or is Notre Dame scheduling more and more Big East teams in football? Prepping for a future move or just due to the relationships formed in basketball season?

BRIAN: Let us be honest, Pittsburgh and Syracuse are not exactly the cream of the Big East crop. You have to believe unless the league puts pressure on Notre Dame to join in Football or leave in everything else, they will not be joining the Big East. Frankly, I think the Big Ten (11) would love to get Notre Dame because it is right in their wheelhouse, and it is an excellent academic institution. Their program garners a lot of revenue, and it would give that league 12 teams. That would probably play right into what the Big Ten (11) would want.

In the end, Notre Dame Football will do what is best for Notre Dame Football. Notre Dame right now is fine being independent but if they have another season like the last that could all change. Their TV deal could evaporate, in which case joining the Big East could be attractive. So maybe ND is simply hedging their bets and hoping they get better, but if they do not and need to join a league, there are already more ties to the Big East, which would be good for the league and all of its members as a whole.

Right now though, it means diddly most likely. Just a somewhat quality opponent that needed a game, had an opening, and they came to a deal.