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Campus Coverage: The end of the road for Syracuse

Syracuse v Dayton

By: Jack Rose

Disappointing. The end to the Syracuse basketball season was, in a word, disappointing. After starting the season 25-0, a third round loss to an 11 seed is disappointing.

Ugly. The game against Dayton was, in another word, ugly. Less than 40% shooting for the Orange, including zero from deep, is ugly.

The Orange lost, 55-52, to Dayton in the Round of 32 Saturday night in a game they easily could have won. But again, Syracuse could have beaten NC State in the first round of the ACC Tournament. And they could have beaten Boston College, and Georgia Tech, at home during the regular season.

So, this season was, in a phrase, about missed opportunities. And the final game served as the perfect microcosm.

Neither team started well. The Flyers scored only 20 points in the first half to the Orange's 18, who turned the ball over plenty in the opening minutes, with more than five in the first five minutes of the game. Many of those turnovers were from usually steady point guard Tyler Ennis. The Orange had every opportunity early to take the lead, or even the game, but they just could not capitalize.

No one on campus is particularly happy. The slamming of walls and yelling of cuss words could be heard through the walls at the close of the game. We didn't expect this, and rightfully so. We had the best team in the country-unquestionably-after beating Duke on February 1st. Oh, how quickly things change.

Trevor Cooney started the season on fire, hitting everything from three, and even as recently as the game following Duke, scored 33 points. Tonight, however, he literally could not hit anything from three, going 0-4 and just 1-6 overall. He had open looks, too, but just couldn't put them down.

Ennis played well down the stretch, but missed 14 shots. The player of the game for the Orange, C.J. Fair, had a double­-double but, again, missed 10 of 14 shots. Jerami Grant was almost non-existent, scoring only 4 points before fouling out in the last minute.

Syracuse had a chance to win, of course, as they always seem to. It looked like they might pull away after going on a run to take a three point lead with just inside 8 minutes to play, but the Flyers responded with a run of their own. The Orange then came back, cutting it to a three-point deficit with 25 seconds to go. But after a season filled with last second shots made by Ennis, he could not come through.

He took a questionable pull-up two with 14 seconds to go and missed, then took another questionable three at the buzzer, and missed again. Both shots looked good in the air, and seemed to hang there forever. The tension in the room I watched in was palpable, hoping for another incredible moment.

In the aftermath, it feels like a tease. The 25-0 start, the incredible finishes, the final shots from Ennis...

This season just was not to be. Now, as a student body, we wait. For next season, yes, but first, for announcements from Ennis and Grant, saying whether or not they will go return to school. We will be here next season, and hopefully, so will they.

Join the discussion

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jnb1263 March 24 2014 at 8:17 AM


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rchghars March 24 2014 at 7:42 AM

I went to Dayton back in the 60's when we won the NIT and came in 2nd in the NCAA, losing to Lou Alcindor and UCLA., however, this article is disappointing. It'a all about Syracuse !!!

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Chuck March 23 2014 at 6:54 PM

Many have forgot that Dayton has always been a basketball school. As s kid my ears were glued to the radio to hear their games, 50 years ago

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spdaneed March 23 2014 at 6:50 PM

Awwwww, for the record, as a Dayton fan I was glad they got Syracuse. The 'Cuse almost always gets flakey when the chips are on the table. Boeheim has a lot of victories but that in no way gives a good indication of his coaching ability - the way they finish does.

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libertp March 24 2014 at 1:43 PM

wha wha wha........ why do you think they shot poorly? isnt it a function of not getting a good shot? how about crediting dayon's defense to not allow good shots? whoever wrote this column was not only a syracuse fan, but also not a very good basketball fan

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bdenm March 24 2014 at 9:03 AM

It took a while to get into the gist of the article: This is a Syracuse story written by a Syracuse fan. I am a bit perturbed that the media continues to make excuses for Syracuse while giving the short shrift to Dayton. Dayton won fair and square and they should be lauded for the win, not told Syracuse was having a bad day!

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srbuckley44 March 24 2014 at 9:08 AM

Yes, tragic....No, not really. You see Jack, 'incredible finishes' equals 'a house of cards', and the number of close calls to 'lesser' teams pointed to the orange dream train eventually pulling into the loser station, and so it did. Meantime, UD president crowd surfs Sat night. Same game, different Sat nights...

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Ridin My Tractor March 23 2014 at 3:53 PM

Cinderella, having a good time at the ball? Just keep your eye on the clock, don't let it strike midnight before leaving or you'll turn into DUKE! Ha Ha, so long DUKE, until next year.

X- KY fan, but if a KY loss will piss off Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, then so be it.

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