Friday, March 13, 2009

Numbers to Chew On

The Register invites you to share your memories and/or experiences of Thursday night/Friday morning's epic, 6-overtime UConn-Syracuse Big East quarterfinal game.

Meanwhile, here's some numbers from and thoughts on the game to chew on:

  • It's been such a long time. It was tied for the second-longest known Division 1 college basketball game in history, following only Cincinnati's 75-73, seven-overtime win over Bradley on Dec. 21, 1981.
  • Three is a magic number. It was just the third six-overtime game in college basketball history.
  • The elapsed time of the game was three hours, 46 minutes.
  • It was the fifth multiple-OT game and the longest game in Big East tournament history, eclipsing a three-OT thriller in the 1981 championship game. Syracuse won that one, too, 83-80 – thanks to a last-second shot by Leo Rautins, father of current Orange guard Andy Rautins, who buried six 3-pointers and 20 points on Thursday.
  • Iron Man. Last year, Syracuse point guard Jonny Flynn posted a stretch of 313 consecutive minutes played, which featured seven straight complete games. He played the entire game in 11 of the Orange's final 16 games. But he truly outdid himself on Thursday, logging 67 of the game's 70 minutes.
  • Iron-clanging man. Arinze Onuaku is as bad a foul shooter that the Big East has ever seen. He shot 36-for-120 (30 percent) from the line this season. In conference play, he was even worse: a hideous 16.7 percent (10-for-60). Yet sure enough, in a tie game with 2 minutes, 4 seconds left to play in regulation, Onuaku calmly stepped to the line and swished a pair of free throws to give Syracuse a 66-64 lead. Naturally, they were the only two freebies he hit in five attempts on Thursday.
  • Better late than never. Amazingly, Syracuse never held a lead in the first five overtime periods. It trailed by as much as four in the first OT, three in the second, six in the third, two in the fourth and four in the fifth. The Orange's first lead after regulation came on Rautins' 3-pointer 11 seconds into the sixth OT, and they never looked back.
  • Despite the above-mentioned fact, UConn showed plenty of moxie coming back from the brink in regulation. The Huskies trailed by seven with just under 4 minutes to play, by four with 1:23 left and, of course, by two until Kemba Walker's putback with 1.1 seconds to play.
  • Windmill City. With 7:45 left in the first half, Gavin Edwards blocked an Eric Devendorf shot. Kemba Walker grabbed the loose ball and hit a wide-open Stanley Robinson, who sailed in for a windmill jam that put a jolt in the crowd. As soon as Robinson's arm cocked back in windmill mode, Calhoun hopped off the bench, ready to yank Robinson from the game for such unnecessary showmanship. But when the dunk went down, Calhoun regained his composure and let Robinson stay in. Good thing. Without Robinson (28 points, 14 rebounds) UConn would have likely lost in regulation. (Or maybe that's not a good thing).
  • Walker, a freshman, made just his second collegiate start and first since Nov. 17 against Hartford (when A.J. Price sat out with a high ankle sprain). He started over slumping senior Craig Austrie, who hadn't hit a 3-pointer in three weeks. Walker tried to do a little too much and struggled (4-for-18 from the floor, five turnovers). But he did grab 11 rebounds, none bigger than the offensive stickback he made with 1.1 seconds left in regulation, helping to send the game into OT.
  • Austrie's shooting woes continued (2-for-13), but his only field goals were huge: a 3-pointer with 7:37 left in regulation that tied the game at 54, and a 3-pointer with 1:02 left in regulation that brought UConn to within a point.
  • Hasheem Thabeet was called for traveling at one point in the second half. Jim Calhoun shouted to official John Cahill, how made the call. "John!" Calhoun shouted. Cahill turned around. "Good call," the coach said. Don't see that every day.
  • 244: Number of combined points scored by the two teams, easily shattering the prior Big East tournament record of 189 (Villanova 97, Pittsburgh 93, 2OT on March 4, 1998).
  • 209: Combined number of field goal attempts by both teams.
  • 82: Combined number of field goals.
  • 58: Combined 3-point attempts.
  • 70: Number of minutes in the six-overtime game.
  • 67: Number of minutes that Flynn played. ("I can't even feel my legs right now" – Flynn, after the game)
  • 61: Number of minutes UConn's A.J. Price played. ("I felt as best as you probably can feel after six overtimes" – Price, after the game)
  • 34: Points scored by Flynn.
  • 33: Points scored by Price.
  • 27: UConn turnovers.
  • 22: Number of rebounds by Syracuse's Paul Harris.
  • 78.4: Syracuse's team free throw percentage for the game (40-for-51).
  • 64.2: Syracuse's team free throw percentage for the season.
  • 57.1: UConn's team free throw percentage for the game (24-for-42). ("The players are probably exhausted, I'm not. I could practice right now. Foul shooting, probably" – Calhoun)
  • 16: Number of free throws hit by Flynn, in 16 attempts.
  • 8: Number of players who fouled out (four on each team).
  • 4: Number of UConn players with double-doubles.
  • 1: Still UConn's regional seeding for next week's NCAA tournament? Maybe not.
  • 1: Number of Big East tournament wins by the team I covered in six trips to Madison Square Garden (four for Providence, two for UConn). It's all my fault, sorry.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Todd P. said...

UConn had so many opportunities to close out the game. I can not think of a bigger letdown.

Eric Devendorf is a dirty player.

12:30 AM 
Blogger Lobster said...

2Conn

1:54 PM 

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