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Sorting Through The Rubble

Well, I've had better Saturdays.

Throw in the fact that the
SU Tennis team lost and the Softball team lost (twice), Syracuse Athletics has seen many better days as well.

Let's start with men's basketball where I think it's pretty fair to officially say we are returning to the NIT for the second straight year. 11th in the Big East with a 17-12 (7-9) record and an RPI at 56 seals the deal. For now, the Orange can turn their attention to the seedings of the Big East Tournament. A win Wednesday over Seton Hall will go a long way in determining if the Orange face Marquette/Pittsburgh in the first round or a more palatable Cincy/Villanova. The gory details of the game are recapped here, click if you dare.

The women's basketball team suffered a more straight-forward
defeat at the hands of Rutgers. A loss on the road against a returning Final Four team that's 14-1 in the Big East is nothing to get too upset over, but I'm sure the Orange would have liked to have at least made it a game. As-is, it's a reminder they still have some mountains to climb and have to buckle down if they expect to go far in the BET and NCAA Tournament. Still, at 21-7 (9-6), things are looking good for the ladies overall. The host #13 West Virginia tonight in the season-capper.

For the men's lax team,
it was a moral victory on Saturday if not an actual one. They hung tough with the Cavaliers, sending the game to overtime with a last-second goal in regulation and controlling most of the extra period. But with 1:29 left in the period, VA's Brian Carroll hit a wide-open shot from 8 yards out and the Orange lost.

Their efforts did not go unnoticed though and the Orange actually
moved up in the polls this week, up to #5. Losses by Maryland and Cornell also helped matters. No rest for the weary as the Orange now gear up for the #9 Georgetown Hoyas (1-1), who are coming off a 13-7 win over St. Johns (they lost previously to Maryland)

And finally, women's lacrosse lost to Virginia as well this weekend, but by the wider margin of 13-8. The ladies
didn't drop very far either in the polls, only to #6. The ladies return to the Dome to host Binghamton on Tuesday night and try to get back on track.

I did an analysis not too long ago about the worst times to be a student at SU in terms of athletics and we may need to recalibrate this study for the current class. The worst season of the last thirty years was 1981-1982 when the football team went 4-6-1, the basketball team went to the NIT at 16-13 and the lacrosse team missed the post-season altogether. There's hope in 2008 for the lacrosse team but otherwise it's not looking much better. Then you consider the fact that the #2 worst season was last year and, man...imagine what it must be like to be a sophomore right now and having come to SU as a huge sports fan. Gack.

(AP Photo/Kevin Rivoli)