The Syracuse Orange and the Marquette Golden Eagles have a long history based on their shared time in the Big East an occasional post season matchups. After a few years of The Basketball Tournament, their alumni counterparts, Boeheim’s Army and Golden Eagles, have made built a rivalry of their own.
Boeheim’s Army trailed for most of the game, but tied the Golden Eagles once the game entered the Elam Ending. The new members of the Cuse alumni team stepped up, with Tyrese Rice and DJ Kennedy hitting big free throws, pushing them up 3, 69-66. A Kennedy deflection on defense set up an easy layup by Rice to make it 71-66. After a Hail Mary 3 to make it just a two point game, Rice launched a tear drop that sent the Army marching on.
The victory sends Boeheim’s Army to the semifinals, and just two victories away from a million dollar payday, and giving revenge to those who were eliminated by Golden Eagles in previous TBTs.
The Army continued to struggle early in games, with a lackluster first quarter that put them down 23-17. While the Orange alumni didn’t have the usual shooting issues, they could not stop the Eagles, who went 8/11 from the field. Deandre Kane did his best to keep the score close, scoring 6 on his own.
While Boeheim’s Army looked much better in the second quarter, they couldn’t find a way to hold off the Golden Eagles long enough to cut their lead, as they went into half trailing 39-32. The Army continued to try to hit the three ball, but were a putrid 1/9 from behind the arc. They were reliant on points in the point to hang with the Golden Eagles’ 50% three point shooting, which was why even with improved play, they couldn’t make up any ground.
The Army came out playing great D and took intelligent shots to get the game to 49-45, but some timely Eagles threes coupled with fast break points stretched the deficit to 11 points. However, good defense and an open three got the Orange alumni to 50, sending the game into the final quarter with the Golden Eagles up 58-50.
In the 4th, the Orange alumni did what they do best: claw back. Led by Malachi Richardson and Chris McCullough at both ends of the floor, Boeheim’s Army found themselves in a one possession game when the Elam Ending was set at 72, only trailing by 2.
Is your heart still working? I hope so, because the Cardiac Cuse will be at it again in the semifinals.