Survive and advance

Based on his 3-5 shooting from deep, including the halftime buzzer-beater (and didn’t the final margin turn out to be three points?!?) I have added CJ Fair to yesterday’s tribute to Syracuse’s outside shooting:

I don’t know if you noticed, but they’re all holding up three fingers.

Not pictured: Michael Carter-Williams, but he played the pivotal role down the stretch. With Pitt having finally figured out how to take Southerland out of the offense, MCW made the plays in the last few moments to keep SU in the lead. He rebounded Zanna’s missed free throw in traffic, was fouled, and hit both ends of the one-and-one. On Pitt’s next possession he made the steal, got fouled, and hit both ends of the one-and-one. Not to mention the driving layup he hit with about 2:30 left — their only field goal in the final five minutes of the game.

The bigs didn’t play nearly as well as yesterday, though Keita did have a couple nice moments on offense. And CJ Fair, though he shot well from deep, had unusual trouble scoring inside, and sometimes tried to do too much when it wasn’t necessary. Still, you do what you have to do to win, and this was exactly that. Loved to see SU guys diving on the floor, particularly early, setting the tone for the game. And it was indeed a typical Big East Tournament game, full of big shots, serious hustle, and plenty of uncalled fouls (on both sides). I’d say I’ll miss this next year, except Pitt is coming along too and we could very well see a repeat of this game in Greensboro (or wherever).

Are you ready for one more shot at the Hoyas? I sure am. It can’t be any worse than last time. I’d expect something more akin to the first meeting up at the Dome (but with only about 50% of the spectators) where it’s close throughout. Georgetown will defend, that’s for sure, but I think SU has learned something about their offense in the last couple of days and will be find ways to score. I’m worried more about fatigue than anything else. Georgetown finally pulled away from Cincy midway through the second half, and they had the double-bye, and SU is basically playing a six-man rotation, so you expect the Hoyas to be fresher down the stretch of the game. But there is nothing I would like more than to knock the grin off of both Thompson’s faces. Let’s do it.

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