Saturday, February 22, 2014

Game Recap: (1) Syracuse vs. (5) Duke

The big storyline of this game will likely be how Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim was ejected with just ten seconds left to seal the win for Duke, but that should not be the case.  The game was an amazing one and tightly contested from start to finish.  Syracuse big men Jerami Grant and C.J. Fair were fantastic all game long, while Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood spearheaded the Duke attack.  Parker was undeniably the player of the game, but if C.J. Fair's potentially game-tying, acrobatic layup had not been disallowed due to a suspect charging call, he could have made a case for the honors himself.  The aspect of the game that will have everyone talking was the charge call.  At that point, Duke was leading 60 to 58, and Syracuse needed a basket, as there was little time left.  Fair drove baseline, and was met by Duke's Rodney Hood, who appeared to have arrived a tad bit late.  According to NCAA rules, the player who is taking the charge must be in position and stationary before the offensive player begins his motion upwards towards the basket.  It is not clear that Hood got there in time, but the technical fouls on Boeheim that followed can not be disputed.  His actions were absolutely deserving of the technicals, which is unfortunate because it will likely overshadow the game itself.  Syracuse's major downfall came in their outside shooting and the play of their two guards, Tyler Ennis and Trevor Cooney.  They shot a combined 3 for 18, which is hugely due to the intense and aggressive defensive play of Duke guards Rasheed Sulaiman and Tyler Thornton.  I hope that when we look back on this game, we won't be talking about the actions of Jim Boeheim or the uncertainty of the charge call, but rather the incredible offensive and defensive performance put on by Duke.

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