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big east tournament

Syracuse One and Done in Big East Tourney

After Syracuse jumped out to a lead in their Big East quarterfinal game this afternoon, and Georgetown rallied back to steal the lead away, and Syracuse rallied back themselves to chip away at that lead — all while their respective fans took turns coming alive and settling down — it appeared as though Syracuse had timed their last run just right to coincide with the closing seconds of the game. (Assuming, of course, it didn't go to seven or eight overtimes.) But that last crucial minute was all Georgetown, and the Hoyas would go on to pull off the upset, 91–84.

Georgetown led by as many as nine in the second half — the same as Syracuse's largest lead, from back in the first half. The Orange cut the deficit to four with just under a minute to go, though, thanks to two Hoya turnovers and five points on the subsequent possessions, including a Kris Joseph three that appeared to swing the momentum back to Syracuse. But Syracuse couldn't take advantage of two free throw misses by Greg Monroe, didn't score on their next possession, and let the game slip away from there. Georgetown's Chris Wright led all scorers with 29 points; Wes Johnson led the Orange with 24.

Syracuse has higher aspirations than winning the Big East Tournament, of course, but two straight losses in advance of the Big Dance could cost them a No. 1 seed. Maybe it's a sign that the Orange is struggling at just the wrong time. (It certainly won't help matters that Arinze Onuaku went down with a leg injury late in the game. Jim Boeheim called it a strain, said Onuaku would have an MRI tomorrow, and that they'd know more Monday.) Or maybe it was just statistically bound to happen when two good teams play each other three times, and one of them wins the first two.

Photo: Chris Trotman/Getty Images