Friday, March 30, 2012

A Legendary Unibrow Takes the Court This Weekend

It's a big weekend for basketball players with one eyebrow, as the best basketball unibrow of all time hits the court this weekend.....and no, I'm not talking about Kentucky's Anthony Davis - rather I'm talking about one-time Syracuse recruit Tiki Mayben.

The unibrow to end all unibrows
Photo: MassLive

Tiki is in his second season with the International Basketball Association's Albany Legends - the minorest of minor league teams. The Legends play their home games in a high school gym and are coached by a middle school gym teacher. The team kicks off its third season tonight against the Battle Creek Knights in the Albany suburb of Colonie.

It's been an interesting road for Mayben, who after multiple college stops was kicked off the Binghamton basketball team for selling drugs a few years ago.  Mayben was part of a basketball team that had spiraled so far out of control under former and current Georgetown assistant coach Kevin Broadus it nearly destroyed the program.

Tiki appears to be righting the ship now, even if he isn't tweezing the brows, and according to this video has launched a basketball camp for kids in his hometown of Troy N.Y.

So when you see this unibrow in New Orleans....

....remember there's an even better one playing in Albany as well. Here's Tiki in action with the Legends.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Bring Back the Magic Hour

Magic Johnson was part of a group that bought the Los Angeles Dodgers last night for an astounding $2 billion. We have no doubt that Magic will be a fantastic owner.....maybe even better than he was as a late night talk show host.  We feel Magic should ride this new wave of publicity and bring back the Magic Hour - because any time Earvin Johnson and Sheila E get together, it is truly magical.

We now present you with two clips from the only episode of the Magic Hour that was watchable, when Howard Stern took over the show:

And here's part II if it's a slow day at work:


Our friends at Cuse Country point out Chris Rock's show did a hilarious spoof to the Magic Hour - the Chris Mullin Show. It's a shame Magic and Mullen never did work together, it would have been AMAZING.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Syracuse Football Once Again to Star in Friday Night Lights

If you love tailgating on crisp autumn Saturday afternoons, Syracuse N.Y. is not the place for you. Of course, given the success of the football program over the last decade, if you like winning football, Syracuse isn't your first stop either.

For the few remaining fans that actually attend football games (like us), the 2012 home football schedule is shaping up to be another fan unfriendly affair. The University already shipped one of its home games off to the Meadowlands, and thanks to West Virginia royally screwing over the rest of the Big East by leaving immediately (Oliver Luck has the patience and temperament of a 3 year old), there are only five SU home games this fall.

Of those, only three will be on a Saturday, as ESPN just released the 2012 Big East football schedule and the Orange have two Friday night games - both of which are in the Dome. The Pitt Panthers come into town for a Friday October 5th and Connecticut takes the Dome turf two weeks later on October 19th.

For those counting at home, that leaves three Saturday home games - one of which is Stonybrook.

I want to commend SU for not taking the easy road and scheduling another home 1-AA filler (something Rutgers would do) and instead taking a road game with Missouri to fill in the gap. Of course, it would have been nice if the University had managed to secure a return trip from the Tigers, as Rutgers did with Arkansas, so it isn't like they hit a home run here, but it still beats watching SU play  Maine again.

Also, to my knowledge SU doesn't have any control over what ESPN does with the Big East schedule, so I can't pin that on the University, but as an out of town season ticket holder, Friday night games for me are terrible. I've ranted before on the scheduling practices and frankly I don't have it in me today - but for a program trying to build a fan base, Friday night games and moving one home game a year to the Meadowlands doesn't help.

The schedule also doesn't help Doug Marrone, who in the face of what is essentially a make or break year, has the toughest schedule in the Big East.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Syracuse Beats Ohio State*

A full recap from my weekend's adventures in Beantown will be forthcoming.   Keep your chins up Cuse fans.

* 1992 Hall of Fame Bowl

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Red is Orange Today

Our man Champ is on the ground in Boston, prepping for tonight's Elite 8 game and passed along this gem of a photo - Red Auerbach knows Syrause is going to win tonight -- he doesn't bust out the victory cigar for no reason.

  Go Orange.

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Orange Roll Into the Elite 8

A view of the SU-Wisconsin game from the rafters of the TD Garden
Well that was exciting. The Syracuse Orange survived the hottest shooting team to ever lose and game and beat Wisconsin 64-63. Thanks to a brilliant stroke of luck, the kindness of a good friend, and an understanding wife, I was able to shirk parental responsibilities for the night head to the TD Garden for the game.  As you'll notice from the photo above, I wasn't in the front row, rather we were up way high, but it was great nonetheless.

I'm not sure how it looked on TV, but the crowd was obviously very pro-Syracuse and it made for a terrific atmosphere - even if it was 80 degrees outside and almost as hot in. I can guarantee you that the crowd Saturday night is going to be 90 percent Orange fans. Judging by my facebook page and twitter feed, Orange fans are already streaming towards Boston to turn the Garden into the Carrier Dome East. I am now trying to figure out how to get back to Beantown without my wife having Saul Goodman serve me with divorce papers.

As far as the game itself, C.J. Fair and Dion Waiters were obviously outstanding and delivered clutch play after clutch play to counter all the Badger threes. Those two performances really carried the team, but for my money the undervalued story was the play of Baye Keita in the middle.

The sophomore big man has really, really struggled this year - to the point where he wasn't even getting off the bench in some games, however he came in, played 28 minutes and really solidified the interior defense. He gave the team energy and large intimidating presence in the middle that kept Wisconsin from even attempting to work the ball into the middle. Granted, they didn't need to with the way they were shooting, but part of the reason why the ball wasn't coming into the paint was Baye's length. He also has decent feet and really covers a lot of ground in the zone, whereas Rakeem Christmas can get caught flat footed and out of position at times.

The box score said Baye had 4 points and 5 rebounds, but let me reassure you, he contributed far more than that.

Some other observations:

- As you'll see below, I was obviously sitting what the hell up in the balcony. I'm not complaining mind you, I was happy just to be there. However, when you are up that high, you can tell almost immediately based on the trajectory of a shot whether it was going to go in. That will happen when you are looking down at the basket. So let me tell you it was an awful sight seeing shot after shot leave a Wisconsin shooter's hand and knowing it was going to splash through even before it did.

- No one has to be happier than Kris Joseph that SU won that game. It would have been a terrible way to go out, missing a key free throw that could have led to your team's defeat.

- With the sudden rash of warm weather people went into their closets and started pulling out all sorts of summer gear. They did this without regard for whether or not these bad shorts and sandals even fit. It was not a pretty sight at times yesterday. More people need to look in the mirror, because I saw some motley outfits yesterday.

- Based on an unscientific observation, I'd say after Syracuse, Wisconsin had the most fans there. People from Wisconsin travel well. I also have to say as a fan base, these are good people. They cheer hard for their team, they are polite and generally affable. These fans are the opposite of obnoxious - unobnoxious if you will.

- The NCAA really needs to sell beer at these games. It was hand to hand combat to get a drink at the bars near the arena before the game.

- I did make it back to my house in time to feed the baby at 3 am.

- Syracuse is now 3-0 in the Boston Garden in NCAA tournament games I've attended. It's an official stat, you can look it up in the Syracuse record books. Now someone tell my wife I'm needed there on Saturday, maybe if you all explain it, she'll understand.

And now, for your viewing pleasure - some long range, crappy cell phone photos from the game. Yes, we are the only blog on the internet dumb enough to post stuff this bad. Enjoy.

The Syracuse zone, setting up in the first half, most likely before another made three
C.J. Fair, about to make a first half free throw
Jim Boeheim in the huddle, yelling at guys to get out on shooters

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Brief Lesson on Marriage, Responsibility and Parenthood

There is an outside chance I'll actually be in Boston tomorrow night for Syracuse's Sweet Sixteen match up with Vampire Bo Ryan's Wisconsin team. It's a developing situation and one that is not important to the brief story I am about to tell.

In 2003 Champ. Boss and I did some road tripping, attending Syracuse's tournament games in Boston and then Albany on their run to the National Title in New Orleans. This year, with a team that has a legitimate shot at getting back to New Orleans, and not too distant tournament venues in Pittsburgh and Boston, it would have seemed like a no-brainer to get on the road and get cheering.

Alas, how times change. Champ is a father of young children, Boss has relocated to Maryland and I have a two month old son and a new house that isn't even unpacked. Loading up the car, hitting the road and following the Orange around is more difficult these days, especially since our kids are so young and we all have jobs that sometimes get in the way of life's frivolities.

However, that doesn't mean a man can dream - so I present to you a Google chat exchange I had yesterday with a very good friend and huge SU fan (not champ or boss) who is trying to make plans to attend the Elite 8 game in Boston - should SU make  it that far. He is presently located in NYC, whereas I live in Albany.

The names have been changed to protect the guilty:

Mr. X: by the way, if we win thursday, when are you picking me up at the train station in ALB to head over on Sat? The baby will understand when he gets older

Me: you tell me what time you're getting in and I'll figure out how to escape

Mr. X: I love your wife more than anyone, but I'll do your divorce for free (editor note - he's a laywer)

Me: I really need to start taking advantage of free legal services

Mr. X: If we get tickets, its a condition precedent (editors note - this wouldn't be a problem - might not be cheap, but wouldn't be a problem)

Mr. Me: done and done. the kid will be fine - he's too young to think the divorce is his fault

Mr. X: he won't even remember it

Now obviously this was all done tongue in cheek, I'm not divorcing my wife and running off to Boston for the weekend, but there are two important lessons all you kids out there should learn:

1) Never get old
2) Responsibility blows

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Ebay Item of the Week: Mookie Madness

Something missing from your March Madness this year?  We thought so.  We're here to offer up a little Mookie Jones with our Ebay Item of the Week.

T3I Bonus:  Mookie Jones, The Highlight Reel...

Sunday, March 18, 2012

More Frightening Than Bo?

Image: from

It's off to Boston as the good guys from Syracuse outlasted Kansas State 75-59 to earn a birth into the Sweet Sixteen.  Quite honestly, Badger head coach Bo Ryan scares the you-know-what out of us.  The guy just looks way too intense for our comfort level.

How scary is this guy?  Well, let's take a look at a few things not quite as terrifying as Coach Ryan:

Max Cady in Cape Fear

Flying Monkeys from The Wizard of Oz

The Six Million Dollar Man Steve Austin's battle with Bigfoot

The aliens from the old original "V" show

And finally, William Hung

Friday, March 16, 2012

A Few Thoughts on the Syracuse Win and the Aftermath

Syracuse demonstrated how to NOT make the cover of the NY Post

Syracuse survived against UNC Asheville yesterday, but today everyone across the country, and especially on sports talk radio, is still howling about the game - or more accurately howling about the officiating at the end of the game.

Let's get this right out of the way - as Brent Axe has articulated so eloquently, the officiating throughout the entire game was abysmal. While I can certainly understand why UNC Asheville was upset, there were missed calls on both sides that affected the outcome. There was the end of the first half fiasco when Triche was fouled before the shot clock expired, the phantom goaltending call that gave UNCA two points in the first half and a myriad of ticky tack fouls that shouldn't have been called against either team.

At the end of the day, if this game can spur the NCAA can do something to improve officiating, that will be a win. Granted I don't think it will happen, but it is clear something needs to be done.

However, everyone is still talking about the game today for two main reasons:

1) It was a 16 seed almost beating a one seed.

2) Other than the Wichita State - VCU game, it was a day that lacked a lot of drama and close games. In prior years, with upsets and fantastic finishes, people would still be talking, but not to this extent. However, yesterday the games weren't close and went mainly according to seed, so something like this is red meat for everyone who makes their living opining about sports.

What is ironic about the whole situation is the contrast to what  happened to Syracuse in last year's tournament. You remember that - when a missed call cost Syracuse a chance to beat Marquette. Then again, maybe you don't because the incident was barely reported on.  The common thread in both last year's situation and this year's is the fact that announcers working the games didn't know the rules of the college game.

Against Marquette, the missed over and back call against Jardine wasn't emphasized because the announcing team didn't know the rule and thought the call was correct. Against UNCA, Cheryl Miller's brother (who has no business working NCAA games) went nuts on the correctly applied lane violation call and got everyone all spun up.

Look, the officiating was bad, but the refs didn't steal this for UNC Asheville. They didn't help them, but that's life. So Eddie Biedenbach claiming the better team didn't win is just an emotional coach after a tough loss. Again, I get why he said it, but he's wrong.  At the end of the day if Syracuse makes a deep run, no one will remember this game. If they get bounced early, it will live in infamy.

A couple of thoughts on the game

- Syracuse played awful. Scoop, Kris Joseph and CJ Fair have all be MIA for the last 4 games. I have no idea how they turn it around.

- Kansas State should be licking its chops right now.

- How do you come out flat for a game like this?

- Syracuse should have pressed and tried to change tempo. Instead Boeheim sat in the zone and let Asheville hang around. The Orange had twice as many athletes but Boeheim's style let a lesser opponent hang around.  The only answer to why is that JB is stubborn. Sometimes that stubbornness works in his favor, sometimes it does not. Yesterday it did not.

- Besides if you press Baye Keita can actually be useful protecting the rim at the back end of the press.

- That was the least amount of fun I've had watching a game this year - and it's not even close.

- Boeheim escalating a fight with Arne Duncan is Boeheim being Boeheim at this point. He can't NOT be confrontational. The guy probably kills flies with a shotgun.

Syracuse - Kansas State is at 12:15 on St. Patrick's Day. By 2:15 you'll know if you're drinking because you're happy or drinking because you're sad. Right now I have no idea what it will be.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Ebay Item of the Week: Move Over Louie

Way back in 1985, St. John's coach Louie Carnesseca made the above pictured sweater all the rage for Redmen fans.

Cuse fans we're in luck, because this week's Ebay Item of the Week gives Louie's sweater a run for its money.  Just check out this beauty:

We Didn't Lose to a #16 Seed!

Wow, how expectations have changed from "Final Four here we come."



Refs giving us the win?  In a T3I exclusive, we've obtained this statement from NCAA game officials:

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Rest of Fab Melo Still Ineligible

Today Syracuse reaffirmed that Fab Melo's entire body is still ineligible to play in the NCAA's -- joining his left arm which was declared out weeks ago.

NY Post/Reuters
To see how posts like this are done correctly - read the Sports Hernia.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Fab Reactions

Reaction at T3I's Corporate Headquarters:

Now excuse me while I check on my CBI Tournament bracket.

Fab Melo to Miss NCAA Tournament

Breaking news from Syracuse Athletics - Syracuse starting center Fab Melo will miss the NCAA tournament, due to an "eligibility issue." Seeing as how he missed three games earlier this season and was then reinstated, you'd have to think the "issues" are related - and it's not a stretch to wonder if he should have been reinstated in the first place.

There will plenty more reaction coming, but for now all we have to say is:

Monday, March 12, 2012

The More You Know: UNC Asheville

Syracuse starts the NCAA tournament on Thursday against UNC Asheville, and unless you are an alum or just like rooting for one of the thousand teams that use a bulldog as a mascot, you probably don't know much about them. Unluckily for you, we're here to help......sort of.

Let's learn a little more about the Big South champions. Our friends at Cuse Country let us know UNC Asheville plays at a ridiculously fast pace - which can't bode well for them given how good Syracuse is in the open floor. The bulldogs are 5th in the nation in scoring at more than 81 ppg.

Also from Cuse Country we know they are small and play a bunch of guys who are in the 6'5" range. That means former 7'8" center Kenny George isn't walking through that door.

Unfortunately for Kenny, things didn't work out as he had hoped, in 2008 he had half his right foot amputated after a MRSA infection.

900 Irving thinks Michael Bay will make a film like Valentine's Day before we have to worry about an SU loss.  We are fine with that - the Syracuse winning part, not the "more crappy romantic comedies" part.

UNC Asheville is coached by Ed Biedenbach, who gave Texas Coach Rick Barnes his first job. Something tells me Eddie doesn't drop that fact at too many cocktail parties, but he can tell people he's won an NCAA tournament game, as last year UNC Asheville beat Arkansas-Little Rock in one of the first four games....also known as play-in games.

The Bulldogs aren't real deep, as seven players average more double digit minutes and as mentioned above, they aren't big - the team's leading rebounder being 6'4" Jeremy Atkinson.

UNC Asheville isn't a bad team and I'd expect them to play the Orange very tough, but in the end I don't see the Bulldogs pulling off the upset. They play too fast and will give the Orange too many possessions to get back in the game if SU gets off to a slow start.

Now let's enjoy some more Kenny George videos - which was the original excuse for this post. Here Tyler Hansbrough dunks on him.

Here Kenny throws down against Ohio State:

And here Kenny dunks without leaving his feet. I love this guy.

Is Scoop Jardine Flying With Michael Jordan's Daughter?

Black Sports Online has a report that Syracuse Senior Point Guard Scoop Jardine may be dating Michael Jordan's daughter Jasmine, who is a freshman at SU.

Now these two are both adults and if they are dating, while it's none of our business, we wish them the best anyway.  However, as a basketball player, when your girlfriend's father is the greatest player that's ever lived, that has to do a number on your self esteem. I can't imagine walking into a house where a 50 year old guy could still take you one on one.....easily.

One time in college I went to my girlfriend parent's house for the weekend near Ogdensburg and her father actually showed me where he kept the shotgun. It sounds like a cliche, but it was true -- and preferable to MJ showing you his six rings before he hopes in a Bentley and blows 100 grand gambling in an hour because he can.

However, we are hopefully MJ's killer instinct as a player will transfer to #TeamJardine for the next three weeks - because if Scoop plays like MJ the NBA executive, the Orange aren't getting past UNC-Asheville.  Besides, there would be nothing better than Scoop pushing off (and not having it called) against Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to hit the winning shot late on a Monday night in New Orleans.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Beat Cincy

Syracuse and Cincinnati play tonight in the Big East semifinals and there's no doubt the greatest game ever played between the two teams happen in 2006 at the Garden. While I can't believe it's been six years, I can believe that it is still awesome - even if it was more awesome live when I was sitting in the stands.

Besides the obvious, a couple of things really stand out in this clip:

* The look on Boeheim's face after Gerry makes the running three (at the one minute mark) is priceless. After the way that season had gone, you could tell he wasn't expecting that.

* I forgot Andy Kennedy was the coach for Cincy. He took over after the chancellor rode Bob Huggins out of town and I thought he did a good job there. Since then, he's just been average at Mississippi - when he's not getting arrested.

* Devan Downey, the guy who missed the crucial free throw at the end transferred to South Carolina. At last report he's playing pro ball in France.

* Raftery going nuts after the shot went in is priceless, I could listen to that all day long.

* Cincy almost made a half-court shot to win it.

* The post-game press conference was just as memorable as the shot itself, because as you will recall, Jim Boeheim had some thoughts on the Syracuse team's ability to win more than 9 f*cking games without Gerry that year.

Enjoy the shot - hopefully it isn't that close tonight.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Beat UConn

Syracuse and UConn tip at noon today in Madison Square Garden and if you're like me, you've got to work this morning, which means you don't have time to watch the entire 6 OT game (while wearing your Marathon Men t-shirt of course). If you've got 8 minutes, you can watch all the highlights, and luxuriate in UConn hatred here.

I must say, watching Steve Levy point out how UConn had the lead in every OT period until the 6th slays me.

One of the crazier things about the whole game was freshman Kris Joseph, after riding the pine all game, being forced to play center during the last three extra periods. I don't think Kris will be playing the 5 today.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Ebay Item of the Week: Built Forde Tough


For those of you out there that enjoy collecting memorabilia of Internet journalists who publish stories without a single on-the-record source, you're in luck.

This week's Ebay Item of the Week features a young Pat Forde's 1991 press photo, available for a bargain price of $19.98.

Good god, what a bad musical year 1991 was.  At least we get a dash of Ted Nugent to salvage something.   Here you go Axe, your Top 25 hits from 1991:

Yahoo! Sports Yells Fire in a Crowded Theater

As we are sure you are aware Yahoo! Sports is reporting that the Syracuse basketball program violated the school's own drug policies and may have used players that, according to the school's policies, should not have been eligible.

All we do know about this situation is this - the school, via an on the record statement from its spokesperson, said the issue was self-reported to the NCAA months ago.  It turns out that this self-reporting was done over a year ago -- which has been confirmed by the NCAA.

What we don't know is everything else -- because Yahoo! doesn't have a single on the record source in their piece of "investigative journalism." Let me reiterate that - Charles Robinson and Pat Forde wrote over 1,100 words and not one of them directly quotes any person as to what actually happened. That is so absurd that its stunning.

Yahoo! does state is that they have four sources with the ever popular "intimate knowledge" of the Syracuse program, and a fifth source who is a former player. This group of sources claims least 10 players failed drug tests over a 10 year period and either practiced or played when they might not have been eligible.

However, what they don't provide are names of players, the recreational drugs they tested positive for, when these violations were said to have occurred, or how the positive tests were covered up. So basically Forde and Robinson are telling us they trust these sources enough to publish a damning report, but not enough to provide very basic information on supposed violations.

Frankly that's bullshit. If you are going to accuse someone of wrongdoing -- and do it anonymously -- you better damn well provide some details. Sports Illustrated didn't have any problem getting on the record sources to talk about UCLA. Then again, after seeing how much attention that expose got, Yahoo! must have decided it was time to drop this turkey because life is all about timing.

Look, I work with the media and have for most of my career. I get the fact that sometimes anonymous sources are needed to break stories. What I don't get is burying the reputation of an entire school without a single one on the record -- especially given the subject matter.

This is a story about drug testing. It isn't about espionage, child rape or murder. You mean to tell me that Robinson and Forde couldn't find a SINGLE one of their precious sources to say, on the record, this is what happened and this is what I know? What could possibly happen to that person? It's not like Jim Boeheim has Paulie Walnuts and Christopher on speed dial and the whistle blower is going to end up in the Pine Barrens. I could find anonymous sources who say Robinson has inappropriate relationships with hamsters, it doesn't make it true.

Here is what I do know -- it's March, when the spotlight on college basketbal shines brightest. This year Syracuse's star is shining as bright as any in the country.  With UCLA priming the pump for stories about "programs that are out of control," and in a day and age when pageviews rule the roost (and determine advertising rates) there's no better time to drop a "report" with no facts or names associated with it, than now.

ESPN has been running the report on the bottom line crawl all night. It has been talked about during every halftime show. It's a pageview goldmine for Yahoo! -- a struggling, desperate company that is considering thousands of layoffs in an effort to turn around a failing business.

If Syracuse broke rules, news organizations should report that and the school should be punished. I've got no problem with that.  What I have a problem with is dropping a story without any concrete facts and no names attached to it because it is the best time of year to get exposure for the story - yet sadly that's the era we now live in.

The lack of details amps the up the sensationalism, which is exactly what Yahoo! wants. Someone call me when we really know what happened - because frankly Yahoo! hasn't told me a thing -- expect that they want people to talk about them. The public deserves better.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Syracuse Stomps Louisville

James Arthur Boeheim, moments before tip off of what would be SU's 30th win of the year
The Syracuse Orange wrapped up a nearly flawless Big East season by soundly defeating the Louisville Cardinals yesterday 58-49. For this idiot, the game was thoroughly enjoyable, as not only did I get to attend it with a group of my moronic friends, thanks the the extreme generosity of one of these friends, we got to take it in from the first row of the Carrier Dome, which is was pretty awesome.

I took the photo above from my seat - but just to give you a little more flavor - this was my view all game.

Front row seats, not too shabby
We are still debating whether or not to get into the details of the trip, which is an annual event where a bunch of 30 something guys load themselves into a van and pretend everyone is 22 again,. but I can share this, there were copious amounts of adult beverages consumed and of course there was Dinosaur. Glorious, glorious Dinosaur.

A fat guy's best friend, a combo platter from the Dinosaur Barbeque
As far as the game itself, the contest was a microcosm the entire Syracuse season - which only produced on loss all year. The defense was outstanding, the Orange received contributions from multiple players, including the unexpected reemergence of Brandon Triche and James Southerland, and they went on a big run that put distance between themselves and Louisville. It was distance the Cardinals could never make up.

The story of year for this team is how well they defend. In the half court, this isn't a great offensive team. However, when they use their defense to create turnovers and run, they are lethal. There are five teams in the country better on the break than SU and those opportunities come from defense.

And while it is readily acknowledged that the team is long and active in the zone, it is striking to see just how big and long these guys are up close. If this isn't the best defensive team Boeheim has ever coached, I don't know what is. The guys have all bought in and understand completely where they should be - as evidenced by this shaky video I shot in the first half (I'll never be a surgeon).

As far as the game itself, here are a few thoughts:

- Rakeem Christmas getting the hook 45 seconds into the game and never setting foot on the floor again might be some kind of record.

- James Southerland got a lot of CJ Fair's minutes in the first half especially and acquitted himself well. He must have been playing well in practice because his last few outings prior to this one were forgettable.

- It was great to see Triche really step up, especially with Scoop having an off-night. If all three of these guys get going at the same time, look out.

- Speaking of Scoop, Donna Ditota did a fantastic profile piece on him this week. It was great work by her and tells a fantastic story. Scoop's maturity really showed in a game like this where on Senior night he saw a lot of his minutes and opportunities go to Triche and Waiters, yet he was nothing but upbeat and positive on the bench. The kid is a great story and will be a success in whatever he ends up doing in life.

- Fab Melo's defensive presence cannot be overstated. This is a different, much more porous team, with either Keita or Christmas in the middle.

- The Big East tournament really starts on Thursday, I cannot wait. There are 9 potential wins left to cap an amazing season.

Here are a few more random photos I took -- enjoy.

2-3 zone in action

Michael Carter Williams in some first half action
Boeheim working the sideline
Boeheim and Hopkins wouldn't let me into the huddle to call any plays - those selfish bastards
Louisville at the free throw line