The 2011-2012 edition of Syracuse Basketball will undoubtedly go down as one of the best ever. The team finished 34-3 overall, including 17-1 in Big East play. But that season ended last night with a 77-70 loss to Ohio State.
As good as the Syracuse-Wisconsin game was, last night’s game was a harder game to watch. The referees decided to impact the outcome. Ohio State star center Jared Sullinger was whistled for his second foul with 13 minutes remaining in the first half on a play where he, at most, breathed on Syracuse’s Dion Waiters. Conversely, Syracuse had 12 fouls in the first half compared to Ohio State’s six. And with 12 minutes to go in the second half, Syracuse had 3 players with 4 fouls. The referees just did not let these two great teams play.
Still, Syracuse had its chances to win. It squandered the first half–when Sullinger was on the bench. It settled to contested jump shots, rather than driving to the void at the basket left by Sullinger’s absence. Syracuse also missed several layups. And then down the stretch, Seniors Kris Joseph and Scoop Jardine had three consecutive turnovers to destroy any momentum. A great season coming to a difficult end.
2012-2013 promises to be interesting for Syracuse. There will be lots of questions. Will Fab Melo come back? Will Dion Waiters come back? Who will replace Kris Joseph? Who will replace Scoop Jardine? Will Rakeem Christmas–who played better as a freshman than Fab Melo–make a similar leap in the off season? The one thing that is likely is that a Jim Boeheim-coached team will find a way to keep Syracuse in the spotlight.
I guess one more question–will Syracuse officially be an ACC team for 2012-2013 or will it still be in the Big East? These are interesting times.