Saturday, March 12, 2005

 

Finally!! Syracuse wins the Big East Tournament

I remember the game. Well some of it. It was 1992. I was 11. Syracuse couldnt go to the NCAA tournament, but they could ruin the Big East tournament said the announcers. I asked my Dad why. He said Syracuse did some bad things and they were being punished. I didnt care. I didnt like Alonzo Mourning. I thought he was a mean player that showed off too much. I liked this one player. His name was Lawrence Moten. He wasnt the fastest and he didnt jump the highest on his jump shots but he looked smooth. I dont remember the game particulars, but I remember going out into my driveway at half time on a hoop my parents had just put up that January and pretending I was "Poetry in" Moten. In my game Moten hit a game winning 3 pointer over Mourning. I wish I could tell you how the real game ended, but I have no idea. All I know is that Syracuse won and beat Georgetown. On that March day I fell in love with Syracuse basketball and grew to dislike the Hoyas. For the next 5 years I would pretend to to make the game winning shot for SU in the Big East Tournament championship game. And for 5 years thats what it was..pretend. I didnt know 1992 would be the last time I would see a title before tonight, but that makes it all the sweeter.

The Syracuse Orange(men) are the Big East Tournament champions. I've waited 13 years to say that line. They did it tonight to end the frustration. Hakim Warrick played like the Big East player of the Year, Gerry McNamara played like the best guard in the Big East, and Josh Pace played like, well, Josh Pace. Terrence Roberts dominated the glass and Daryl Watkins made his prescence known. A lost soul named Demetris Nichols contributed and Craig Forth played his role. West Virginia played valiantly. They didnt just give it to Syracuse. They played hard. They didnt give in when they were down 18. For that they should be proud, but these last 3 days were about Syracuse. A group of seniors that had only one more thing to accomplish.

Josh Pace, Craig Forth and Hakim Warrick have achieved more than any other Senior Class in SU history. Most wins by a Senior Class, Big East regular season champs, Big East Tournament champs, and of course National Champs. Hakim Warrick becomes the first Syracuse player ever to win Big East Player of the Year and Big East Tournament MVP. I think Hakim is happy he came back.

There's still one more tournament to take care of, but for now we can enjoy this. This time SU can do something it couldnt do in 1992, go to the NCAA Tournament as Big Est Tournament champions. Maybe tomorrow I'll go shoot some hoops in the driveway. I wont have to pretend SU will win the Big East Tournament. Jim Boeheim's boys already took care of that for me.
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