So where were you when one of the greatest college basketball games of all time was played? For those of you on the east coast, the answer is probably “asleep.” Unless you were at Madison Square Garden, where, at 1:22 a.m., the buzzer sounded for the final time as Syracuse beat UConn 127-117 in six overtimes in the quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament.
It was the longest game in Big East history, and came up just one overtime short of tying the longest game in the history of college basketball. And it was nearly over an hour and a half earlier. Eric Devendorf buried what appeared to be the winning three-pointer at the regulation buzzer, sending the Orange into a frenzied celebration. But then came the review, and a long review it was. And after talking it over the refs decided this shot didn’t count:
So on we went to a second overtime. And a third. And a fourth. And so on. UConn led in each of the first five OTs but couldn’t close it out. Syracuse finally took the lead in OT number six and pulled away.
To put the whole thing in perspective, the game lasted three hours and 46 minutes. There were 70 minutes of basketball, and Syracuse point guard Jonny Flynn played 67 of them. Flynn had 34 points, 11 assists, and six steals. UConn had five players in double figures…in rebounds. Four guys on each team fouled out, so guys who don’t even normally play were in the game for the final OT. Astonishingly, Jim Calhoun didn’t keel over at the three hour mark.
The previous longest game in the Big East Tournament was the 1981 final, which went to three OTs. Syracuse beat Villanova 83-80, and the game featured Leo Rautins, whose son Andy was the key to Orange’s win last night. Andy Rautins hit a three with 10 seconds left in the third OT to tie it up yet again, then hit another early in the sixth OT to put Syracuse up for good. Somehow, the Orange have to recover and play tonight against West Virginia.
The busiest day in conference tourney action saw some other big names fall, and some bubbles burst.
The best finish of the day prior to the SU-UConn battle was earlier in the day at MSG, when Villanova blew a huge second-half lead to Marquette but rallied to get a buzzer-beating layup by Dwayne Anderson to crush the Golden Eagles 76-75:
• Your daily economic downturn update: Posh Spice Beckham has, shockingly, been spotted by GABBY BABBLE wearing the same outfit in public … TWICE. This follows news that hubby Dave has had to come up with $3 million of his own cash to pay the Galaxy part of the loan fee owed by AC Slater…err, Milan. Are the good times over?
• Buried in this story about Johan Santana throwing a couple of good innings for the Mets today is the revelation that Tim Redding, who the Mets have guaranteed $2.25 million to this year, can’t get anyone out. He gave up nine runs and three home runs in two innings against the Marlins yesterday, after failing to complete a full inning in an outing against the University of Michigan on Sunday. (He gave up five runs in that game, including back-to-back jacks. To college players.)
• Jason Richardson had a bad 20 seconds in the Suns’ loss to Cleveland last night. First, he attempted a 360 dunk that was blocked by LeBron James. Second, the refs didn’t call a foul even though Bron Bron clearly hacked him. Third, he got a T for complaining. LeBron had a triple double, with 34 points, 13 rebounds, and 10 calls nobody else in the league would get. Video of the play:
• UNPROFESSIONAL FOUL has the story of Danny Mountain, an up-and-coming soccer star whose career was cut short by a tragic injury. But he picked himself up off the deck and got it together … in porn. Now he’s “acting” six days a week and is married to porn starlet Eva Angelina. And yes, Danny Mountain is actually his real name. Here’s one of the few pictures of Ms. Angelina we could actually run on this site:
• WALKOFF WALK implores you, adult fans of the (Devil) Rays, to not wear this replica AL Champion ring in public. Apparently, every fan at the April 14th game will get one. And, since it’s still April baseball in Tampa, they’ll only be handing out 47 of them:
When Tom Crean left Marquette to take on the lost cause enormous task of trying to rebuild the Indiana basketball program there was some concern in Milwaukee about how it would affect the Marquette program. After all, Crean had helped put the Golden Eagles back on the map with a Final Four appearance back in 2003. Well, MU and new coach Buzz Williams don’t seem to have skipped a beat without Crean, as they’re currently ranked 8th in the country with a 19-2 mark, and are the only team in the Big East with an undefeated conference mark.
Buzz Williams: A man who isn’t shy about his feelings or farts
So the program is once again garnering some national attention from the media, which is a good thing. Though at the same time, being recognized nationally as a title threat also brings the added pressures of expectations. It’s something that Buzz Williams is fully aware of, and it would seem that the pressure is kind of getting to him. When fomer Marquette standout and current radio analyst Jim McIlvaine asked him about it after his team beat Georgetown on Saturday, Buzz kind of blew up.
I think we’ve all been there before. You’re watching a family member play basketball and you sometimes get a little too emotional when a call doesn’t go your way. Of course, most of you out there probably don’t casually walk out on the court to discuss the situation with the officials. That’s not how Jonathan Xavier rolls.
Jonathan’s brother, Jeff, plays for Providence and got whacked upside the head by a Marquette player, though it looks as if the contact was entirely accidental. Jeff was woofing at the Marquette bench while holding an ice pack on his face, so Jonathan decided it would be a good time to see what exactly the refs were thinking when they didn’t give his bro the call.
And this wasn’t even the only odd on-court incident on Saturday. Video after the jump.
An NCAA tournament game featuring a pair of twin sophomores (both seven feet tall), a head coach getting ejected in the first half, and one player on each team going for 30 points doesn’t need to go to overtime to be one of the most interesting games of the tournament.