The Big East Conference Men's Basketball Tournament begins on Tuesday. Right now fans can only wait on what memorable moments, big shots, great games and incredible individual performances are in store. For sure, there will be plenty of memories made at Madison Square Garden during the next few days.
None, however, is likely to equal Syracuse basketball's unbelievable six-overtime victory over Connecticut in the 2009 tournament. That game has to rank not only as probably the best Big East Tournament game ever played but also as one of the best college basketball games of all time. The Orange won it, 127-117. You know, there are not many non-title games that spawn their own websites.
I originally thought I would do this week's SB Nation New York Top 5 list on five of the most memorable moments in Big East Basketball Tournament history. That, however, might be impossible since there are so many of them. Instead here are five incredible things about that March 12, 2009 quarterfinal victory by Syracuse.
- The game took three hours and 46 minutes, the longest Division I college basketball game ever played in the shot clock era, and the second-longest of all time. The longest game was a seven-overtime victory by Cincinnati over Bradley in 1981, prior to the use of the shot clock. In a Division II game this season, Skidmore defeated Southern Vermont, 128-123.
- Syracuse never led during any of the first five overtimes. Andy Rautins' three-pointer at the beginning of the final overtime gave the Orange their first overtime lead.
- The game ended at 1:22 a.m., the latest ending to a game ever at Madison Square Garden. The building opened in 1968.
- Syracuse guard Jonny Flynn played a staggering 67 of the game's 70 minutes. He finished with a game-high 34 points.
- Syracuse nearly ruined all the fun by winning the game in regulation. Eric Devendorf of the Orange hit an apparent game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer, but the basket was disallowed and the overtime fun began.
What are your memories of that game? Did you manage to make it all the way to the end? I did not, and I remember watching the replay of the game a day or so later. If you need a refresher on the game, or just want to re-live it, check out SixOvertimes.com.