The Oscars were last night. And while the film industry’s top award show failed to stick the landing, we’re hoping the Syracuse Orange can when they end the regular season this coming Saturday.
In the spirit of the awards, though, we wanted to hand out a few honors to commemorate what’s been a wild, thrilling basketball season thus far.
- Syracuse over Duke
- Syracuse over Florida State
- Syracuse over Virginia
Winner: Syracuse over Duke
Just in case you need to see it again...— Syracuse Basketball (@Cuse_MBB) February 23, 2017
You think you know the plot in the early going. Duke gets a big lead, is hitting from outside, and Syracuse’s offense can’t do much. But you forgot about the patented twist at the end of Jim Boeheim’s recent work. You were so fixated on what was in front of you that the ending felt like it came out of nowhere. And it was more exciting for it. The cast put in some wonderful performances all around, creating the year’s best production.
- John Gillon vs. NC State
- John Gillon vs. Duke
- Tyus Battle vs. Clemson
Winner: John Gillon vs. NC State
At the time, little could’ve indicated the type of performance Syracuse would receive from Gillon against NC State, despite it becoming commonplace now. The senior guard scored 43 points, including the game-tying three to force overtime, in one of the best shooting performances in Orange history. His acting galvanized an SU team playing against all odds, but it was his story that put the NC State comeback front and center.
Best Supporting Actor
- Andrew White III vs. Virginia
- John Gillon vs. Louisville
- Eric Devendorf vs. Clemson
Winner: Eric Devendorf vs. Clemson
While Tyus Battle’s shot did the work, it was Devendorf who surprised all viewers with phenomenal closing speed in a suit, to celebrate with the freshman immediately after the shot. Some other performances may have been more obvious. But his nuanced portrayal of chief celebrator and team hype man is an inspiring one.
- Jim Boeheim vs. Virginia
- Jim Boeheim vs. NC State
- Jim Boeheim vs. Duke
Winner: Jim Boeheim vs. Virginia
His work coaching comebacks vs. Duke and NC State were impressive, but his ability to repeat March’s performance against Virginia and still make it interesting put him at the top of this year’s class. Syracuse should struggle with UVA, but in the last two meetings, the Orange have pressed them into chaos. Boeheim deserves a lot of credit for the adjustments necessary to win the same game in similar fashion twice in a row.
Who are your Oscar winners for Syracuse’s season so far? Share your thoughts below.