Friday, August 29, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Six

Syracuse beats Connecticut in six overtimes at the Big East Tournament.

Six

Syracuse´s bench got so thin that Jim Boeheim had to call for the Rockettes. (Julie Jacobson/AP)
Syracuse's bench got so thin that Jim Boeheim had to call for the Rockettes. (Julie Jacobson/AP)

ATLANTIC CITY - I know at least a few of you stayed up, because at the end of each extra session Twitter and my BlackBerry lit up like the string of neon hotel marquees along the Boardwalk.

Maybe some of you gave up at the end of regulation, or after one overtime, or two, or three... or four... or five... or...

Six?

Six overtimes the Syracuse-Connecticut game had at the Big East Tournament tonight, making for the second-longest game in Division I basketball history.

I doubt too many people will remember the 127-117 final score, but they will certainly remember a game that seemed like it would truly never end. I watched the last three overtimes from a bar at the Tropicana, and as each one finished the crowd grew smaller on the nearby dance floor and bigger under the TV sets overhead.

I am too tired to wait around for the efficiency figures to come in, but once they do they'll end up here. What sticks out to me right now is Syracuse's outstanding free throw shooting in the extra sessions. I don't have exact numbers, but you know that a lot of the attempts in Jonny Flynn's perfect 16-for-16 night and Paul Harris' 13-for-14 performance from the line came in the extra sessions.

I am sure there are plenty of you out there who are not too fond of the Orange, but you have to give them - yes, even Eric Devendorf and Jim Boeheim - their due props for pulling the thing out.

If there is one redeeming quality to having our night end this late, is that you know everyone will be talking about this game in the morning. Yes, Villanova won on a buzzer-beater, and Temple knocked out St. Joe's, and the Flyers lost to Alexander Ovechkin's Washington Capitals some five hours ago as I write this.

But I have to believe that the number one question around the water cooler will be how many overtimes you stayed up for.

If you made it through all six, you know that we have received an award of far more consequence than a berth in the semifinals of the Big East Tournament.

At long last, college basketball is the big story on the sports landscape. It has taken us a long time to get there, and you know it won't last for long. But be sure to savor it while it does.

Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
About this blog
Soft Pretzel Logic is Philly.com's college sports blog, with a primary focus on the University of Pennsylvania. You'll also see coverage of the Big 5, other major college sports events in the region, and the annual Penn Relays track and field meet.

Reach Jonathan at jtannenwald@phillynews.com or 215-854-2330.

Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
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