The No. 2-ranked Syracuse Orange edged their long-time Big East rival, No. 12 Georgetown Hoyas, 64-61, Wednesday. However, the mood during Jim Boeheim's post-game press conference was one of disappointment, and SB Nation New York's Jared Smith thinks he knows why.
Have you caught your breath yet? What a show the No. 2-ranked Syracuse Orange and No. 12 Georgetown Hoyas put on Wednesday night for a crowd of 27,820 at the Carrier Dome, which hosted another classic Big East Conference men's basketball contest between the two hated rivals.
The Orange (24-1, 11-1 Big East) used a collegiate-best 29 points from senior forward Kris Joseph, who also nailed the game-winning 3-pointer with 26 seconds to go in overtime, to sneak past Georgetown, 64-61, for the fifth time in the last seven meetings between the two teams.
In most cases, in a game that features such passion, a head coach would be happy with a victory no matter how it was earned. Instead, SU's Jim Boeheim's mood after another rough-and-tumble Syracuse-Georgetown contest was one of disappointment covered with a drizzle of we stink.
Here's a few bulletin-points of quotes from Boeheim:
- "Thought this was a game that we just did not attack their zone. We play against it every day, you think, we could attack it. We did not attack it well."
- "We hadn't seen a lot of zone. That's not a good excuse."
- "This was a disaster game as far as I am concerned. This is very disappointing at this stage of the year."
- "Right now, I don't think we're a good basketball team because we can't rebound."
- "To get beat like that on the boards. You know you can miss shots that's part of the game, (but) we gotta find a way to rebound the ball better. Some of them are just long bounces, but we just have to do a better job of rebounding the basketball. No excuse for it."
- "It's a team effort, it's everybody, it's just not one guy."
- "The only reason we won this game was we hit a couple of key shots late, our defense was good late. But that's just no excuse for us to rebound the ball the way we rebounded tonight."
Now, to be clear, I am not saying the Orange, who earned their fourth straight victory, played well. In fact, that was maybe the season's second-worst effort behind the lone loss, 67-58, at the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Jan. 21.
Syracuse shot poorly (29.0 percent in the first half and 34.9 percent overall), again, failed to rebound (this was the fourth game out of SU's last six that it was outrebounded by double-digits), and had only one player play well (Joseph).
However, despite all those negative factors the No. 2-ranked team in the country still found a way to win a rivalry game against a top-15 program at home -- just ask the No. 4 North Carolina Tar Heels how hard that is.
In the past, Boeheim would have stepped behind his podium, shrugged his shoulders, and said some usual coach-speak: "Credit Georgetown for its defensive effort; that was a typical Syracuse-Georgetown mess; it was ugly but we will take it and move on to the next one (Connecticut Huskies on Saturday)."
But, it wasn't that. This was different. This was Herb Brooks blowing the whistle one more time after a tie against Norway in the movie Miracle.
This was Mickey during a classic Rocky Balboa montage.
"Let's go Rock!"
This was coach Taylor expecting more out of a Dillion Panthers football team.
"Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose!"
This led me to only one conclusion after leaving the Dome media room Wednesday: Boeheim wasn't upset at his squad because he thinks the effort against the Hoyas will get them knocked out of the second, third or fourth round of the NCAA Tournament.
No, he believes that type of performance will lose a National Championship game in New Orleans, LA, April 1, against an elite team like the Kentucky Wildcats.
Lets face the facts. Boeheim's career is winding down and who knows how many more very good teams he will be able to coach that could help him collect another national crown.
Yes, in time, Boeheim will address passing legendary college basketball men like Adolph Rupp and Dean Smith -- trust me, he really admires those accomplishments -- but there's something about that feeling of winning a championship. Boeheim wants, desperately, that feeling again before he departs and this team is probably his best shot.
Over the years, the evolution of Boeheim created an extra sense that can detect national titles from afar -- like a Great White shark can about movements in the water. Now, this shark may not be able to get to his pray (championships) like he used to but he's got the tools and the brain power to try to get what he wants when he wants.
Right now, this shark's philosophy is: Push. Push. Push. Expect greatness, nothing more, because you never know when your time is going to run out and the younger, faster sharks are going to out-Darwinism you.
Syracuse has a very good team and it showed last night after a poor effort turned into another victory.
However, Boeheim no longer wants to settle for the wounded seal that the older Great White would gladly settle for. No, he wants that one last great hunt. The Orca whale that not many Great Whites get to take down.
He's done it once back in the day and, boy, wouldn't it be fun to do it again?
That's what he was pushing for behind his podium late Wednesday night, and, right now, nobody is going to tell him he can't have what he wants.
For more on this game Syracuse vs. Georgetown, check back to this StoryStream.
Check out, the SB Nation's blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician to discuss everything on the Orange, while the Casual Hoya is all about Georgetown. Make sure to follow along on Twitter at SBNationNY or JaredSmithCNY, as we blog live from the Carrier Dome for Syracuse vs. Georgetown Wednesday night.