Friday, July 9, 2010

Flashback Friday: Syracuse vs. UConn - The Tale of Six Overtimes

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell

Coming in this was a match-up of strength. Whichever team came out and flexed their muscle would come away with the win.

In a game of powerhouses, they left us all on the edge of our seats. 

This game was very surprising for several of reasons.

UConn came in the game as the fourth best team in the nation. They were coming off a No. 1 ranking before and looked to get back there with a win over Syracuse.

Syracuse came in ranked No. 22 overall in the nation. 

They had one of the best guards in college basketball, along with great defenders and shooters.

So you knew you were in for one hell of a ride, just not six overtimes.

The game was tight throughout. UConn came out swinging and went up by three at half.

But, after the break, Syracuse answered by coming out and making more plays than UConn.

With Syracuse up by two, under five seconds, UConn's guard Kemba Walker picked up a loose rebound and scored to knot the game up.

After a timeout, Syracuse looked to pass the ball in with 1.1 seconds left. The inbound was deflected at mid-court right into Eric Devendorf hands.

He fired up a three-pointer and nailed it. After Devendorf jumped on the table and nearly ripped his jersey off, the referees reviewed the play and called it off.

In the first overtime, both teams traded shots before UConn took a four-point lead after Stanley Robinson hit a clutch three. Syracuse answered by running Andy Rautins off a pick and he hit a three-point jumper to pull within one.

After a miss by Rautins, Robinson pushed the ball down the court before being fouled intentionally. 

He only came away with one point from the line, which gave Syracuse a chance to pull for the win or extra minutes.

Johnny Flynn came down court, drove the lane and dishes it back to Rick Jackson for the power slam.

Walker tried to answer with a double-clutch three but it was way off and it went to a second overtime.

Both teams combined scored a total of 12 points in the second overtime. However, fans were still on the edge of their seats waiting for the winner to be crowned.

At 12:15 a.m. the third overtime started. UConn looked like they would take this one in triple-overtime after the quick five points by AJ Price.

The Huskies got out to as much as 97-91 and still folded to the Orange. 

Flynn led his team and pulled within two. After sending Price to the line, he missed the chance to put the game away.

So with less than 20 seconds left, the Orange brought up the ball and Rautins shot an off balanced three to tie the game. 

Following the shot, the Huskies ran down and missed two shots before the buzzer sounded off. 

Yes it went into a fourth overtime. In the fourth overtime both big men Jackson and Thabeet fouled out. Harris had three good looks under the net, but all hit rim and it went to a fifth overtime.

The fifth overtime started around 12:50 ET with more players being fouled out the game. Devendorf called for a reaching foul on Price, fouled out. After that, nothing happened and we are into a sixth overtime. 

In the sixth overtime, it was all Syracuse. Rautins hit the first three, Paul Harris made a nifty spinning move to the basket and score to give Syracuse a five point advantage.

Soon after, Harris went in for a slam, missed, but grabbed the rebound and put the ball up for the three-point play. 

The rest can be contributed to Harris and Flynn. They scored the last nine points for the Orange. That kept them in the lead and gave them the win.

The game was the longest in Big East conference and second-longest in NCAA history. The game lasted, exactly, three hours and 46 minutes.

Flynn played a game-high 67 minutes and accumulated 34 points, 11 assist, and six steals.

This game was an instant classic, not just because it went to six overtimes, but they combined to accumulate 224 points and 125 rebounds. This was arguably the best game in the decade for college basketball. It can definitely compete with the Northern Iowa upset of Kansas.

(Flashback Friday is a segment CoHoops does every week. If you missed last weeks segment of Flashback Friday, click here to read. To review the series click here)

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