Friday, March 13, 2009

Guest Contributor: Ray Floriani Late Night at the Big East Quarter Finals

NEW YORK CITY -- Scheduling limited yours truly to covering just the 9:30 quarterfinal game at the Big East Tournament. One Big east game is better than none I reasoned. Well, we nearly got two games and what turned out to be a memorable classic. Syracuse 127 UCONN 117 in six overtimes.


The tempo free numbers:


UConn coach Jim Calhoun noted the game came down to missed opportunities, largely the result of turnovers and poor free throw (24 of 42) shooting. Syracuse took good care of the ball and both teams were close in shooting from the floor. Jonny Flynn played 67 minutes and led the way with 34 points. Each team had four players foul out. A.J. Price (33 points 10 assists) and Stanley Robinson(28 points 14 boards) had superb games for the Huskies. The pair did not get consistent help from their teammates, another huge factor.

Other items of note:

Game tipped off at 9:40 p.m. and ended at 1:25 a.m. That is 3 hours 45 minutes, the longest Big East game ever.

Andy Rautins opened session six with a trey that ignited a decisive 8-0 Syracuse run. In the ’81 championship, the second longest Big East Tournament game, Andy’s dad Leo Rautins tipped in a shot to beat Villanova.

The PA announced signed off saying "drive home safely and good morning".

The pressroom ran out of coffee. Talk about having to tough it out.

About an hour earlier it looked like the game was over as Eric Devendorf drained a last second three that necessitated an official review. After huddling around the monitors for the replay, officials determined the shot was too late.

The Garden sound system operator had a sense of humor. Between overtimes after the band played, the operator ran tunes such as After Midnight (Eric Clapton), Late in the Evening (Paul Simon), Oh what a night (four seasons) and Wait until the Midnight Hour (Wilson Pickett)were selected.

Quote : "Over the years playing and coaching I’ve been involved in over a thousand games. But you couldn’t top this one." -- Syracuse Coach Jim Boeheim

No comments: