The downside to the Big East having sixteen teams is that by the time the quarterfinals of the conference tournament roll around, most of the schools still standing have already locked up an NCAA tournament bid and are essentially playing for seeding. But there’s an upside to having such a stacked conference, too, which is that sometimes, you’ll get a game like the one Syracuse and Connecticut played last night.
Syracuse won the game 127–117 in a ridiculous six overtimes — none of which would have happened if ‘Cuse’s Eric Devendorf had released his apparent buzzer-beater at the end of regulation a mere tenth of a second earlier. But he didn’t, the hoop was waved off, and the game would continue — until 1:22 this morning. It also led to some unreal postgame stats. Among them: It was the longest game in tournament history, and only the fourth college game ever to reach six overtimes; the teams combined for 102 points in overtime alone; eight players fouled out, while six others scored double-doubles; and Syracuse didn’t lead once through the first five overtimes, before pulling away in the sixth. Syracuse next plays West Virginia in a semifinal matchup that, luckily for them, doesn’t start until 9 p.m. tonight.