Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Syracuse Stops Georgetown Streak

Syracuse 72 #12 Georgetown 58 - The rivalry between these two schools just got a little more interesting last night at the Carrier Dome in upstate New York. Syracuse needed a big win to help convince some of the doubters on the NCAA tournament selection committee and they got it with a win over the Hoyas, ending Georgetown's win streak at 11. The Orangemen deployed Jim Boeheim's zone defense to perfection, shutting down the Hoyas inside and out. Some of the numbers were downright embarrassing: Jeff Green, 3-13; Jessie Sapp, 2-12; DaJuan Summers, 1-10. Georgetown shot 30% from the field, including 6-25 (24%) from 3-point land. Demetris Nichols led the scoring parade with 22 points, joining 3 other Orangemen in double figures. Syracuse also forced 19 Georgetown turnovers.

Just two days after Georgetown toppled Pitt from the top slot in the Big East standings, they find themselves even with the Panthers in the loss column again. The Hoyas have one Big East game remaining - vs. UConn on Saturday - while the Panthers close out conference play at home vs. West Virginia tonight and at Marquette on Saturday.

Syracuse moved into a tie with Notre Dame for 4th place at 10-5. The Orange finish Big east play at Villanova on Saturday. While the win over the Hoyas probably clinched a spot in the Big Dance for the 'Cuse, the upcoming Big East tournament will be about gaining better seeding. The Big East may be sending as many as 8 teams into the March Madness fray.

#6 Kansas 67 Oklahoma 65 - Julian Wright and Mario Chalmers scored 18 points each as the Jayhawks improved to 13-2 in the conference. The Jayhawks blew a 17-point lead but rallied late for the road win over the Sooners. The win allowed Kansas to briefly grab a 1/2-game lead over Texas A&M atop the Big 12 standings. They have only one game remaining, but it's a big one, at home against Texas (11-3) on Saturday. The 12-2 Aggies play at Texas on Wednesday and finish up at home with Missouri.

If Texas wins both of their remaining games and A&M beats Missouri, the three teams could end up tied for the conference title at 13-3. All of this makes for an interesting week in the Big 12, which is likely to get three or four NCAA tournament bids at best. With the Aggies, Longhorns and Jayhawks already locked in, only Texas Tech or Kansas State are worthy of consideration.

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