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Round II Can't Get Here Soon Enough

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The video game decided we weren't going to win that one.  Plain and simple.  In fact, I defer to ryanwk628 for the official metaphor of last night's loss to Georgetown:

Let be honest here, that was a freak heavens aligning game where Georgetowns bench came out like that autistic kid who hit all those threes on sports center on the same night EVERYONE on our team was colder than Syracuse is today.

Well at least Glaude over at HoyaSuxa is taking it well.  Pretty flowers...

Mike Waters calls the game a reality check for the Orange.  They're good but they're not above a tuchas-whooping on the road in the Big East. The loss was so bad even Jimmy B had to give credit to a Gerogetown team, and we know how hard that is...

"We never really got the defense going that we would need in this game," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. "We gave them too many looks and they knocked them down. That's to their credit. They're a tremendous team."

JTIII probably had the best explanation of the evening as to why this game was so out-of-hand:

"We put the ball in the basket," he said. "You know, the ball just happened to go in."

The Hoyas shot 59% from the field, 67% from the free throw line and 57% from three-point land which included 12 three-pointers.  The Orange never stood a chance.  And that was before you factor in the Orange's shoddy defense.

As for the SU offense?  Not so much...

The Hoyas held SU to 39 percent shooting in the first half mostly by smothering the Orange whenever SU attempted to score. Any foray into the lane a place where the Orange thrives was rudely greeted by a solid body wearing Georgetown gray.

And when the Orange men did penetrate that long gray line, they failed to convert on the inside. Georgetown either blocked a shot or the Orange simply missed from close range.

Devo led the Orange with 20 points, Rick Jackson followed with 17.  Paul Harris and Arinze Onuaku both grabbed eleven boards.  Harris added 15 points and Flynn scored 14.  Noticeably missing from the top of the scoring chart was Andy Rautins, who went down with a scary-looking knee injury early in the 1st half, putting the day terrors into Syracuse fans everywhere.  Thankfully, it turned out to just be "sprained and bruised" and not anything related to his repaired ACL.  He plans on being back for the Notre Dame game.

Brent Axe tried to put a little persective on the loss:

This is only one loss so far in that stretch. Syracuse is still 16-2 and 4-1 in Big East play. Not a bad place to be.

But it is a game that showed how intense they all may turn out to be. There is no way every team Syracuse sees in "the gauntlet" shoots as well as Georgetown did in this game, but it showed Syracuse the kind of defensive effort it will need to put out to come out of "the gauntlet" where they want to be.

It definitely did feel like a perfect storm of bad things for the Orange.  G'town was home, emotional, shooting well and caught SU on a bad night.  What else can you say?

Axe thought it was also worth noting that AO conjured memories of last season when he would disappear for stretches, or even for entire games...

The fact that Arinze Onuaku only attempted six shots in this game is deeply disturbing. Syracuse needed A.O. in this one. You just knew it coming in. Meanwhile, Greg Monroe was having a terrific all around game on the other side. Arinze has plenty of chances to respond, starting Saturday when a certain big man from Notre Dame will be in town, but he got beat tonight.

The good news to take out of this?  The February 14th content in the Dome officially has that extra emotional kick to make it a HA-YUGE game.  As reader Frankie put it in an e-mail, "I've never felt this vitriol for [Georgetown] and I have to say...I kinda like it."  We're not just gonna Orange-Out the Dome that night.  We might just literally rip the space-time continuum from the noise.

Coming off a loss at the hand of three-pointers and seeing Notre Dame coming to the Dome puts the fear of God into me.  No one knows how to beat us, and beat us mercilessly, with threes like the Irish.  That game is Saturday, so we've all got a couple days to get over this one.