Category Archives: Best of the Week
Summit Auto Group Best of the Week: This was the best season in the history of SU women’s basketball. Quentin Hillsman’s crew won 30 games, got to the finals of the ACC Tournament, earned its first-ever NCAA Tournament home games, won them both to get its first-ever Sweet 16 appearance, then went to Sioux Falls and stunned no. 1 seed South Carolina and long-time power Tennessee to get to its first-ever Final Four, and finally going to Indianapolis and routing Washington before Breanna Stewart and Connecticut brought an end to SU’s championship dreams.
McDonald’s Rewind and Archive: Last weekend, news leaked out that Pearl Washington’s condition, already fragile, was worsening. It gave us all a reason to remember that, as much as any single player, Pearl put SU on the national map in his tenure from 1982 to 1986, with both his big plays and his great personality. Even more than 30 years later, no one is more beloved, which makes the news of his health struggles all the more striking and sad because of the joy he brought to so many, before and after his SU days. The “Pearl” T-shirts SU players wore throughout this season were a fitting tribute.
Eaton Crouse Hinds Community Corner: When SU’s men’s lacrosse team took on Cornell Tuesday night at Schoellkopf Field in Ithaca, it marked the 101st meeting between the Orange and Big Red. When SU won its first unofficial national championship in 1920, it fittingly played Cornell for the first time and won, 5-3. And 100 more would follow, with SU prevailing nearly two-thirds of the time, 64 wins to Cornell’s 35 with one tie. Only three other rivals in college lacrosse history have met more, and when SU won 14-6 a year ago, it gave coach John Desko his 200th win.
The U.S. Army Weekly Recap: When those two SU basketball teams made the Final Four on the same weekend, only one managed to win. The SU men fell to North Carolina 83-66 on April 2 at NRG Stadium in Houston, unable to recover from poor free-throw shooting and the interior dominance of the Tar Heels. However, SU’s women would rely on its defense and turnovers to beat Washington 82-61 in the national semifinal April 3 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis to reach its first-ever NCAA title game, only to get tripped up there by Connecticut, who completed an undefeated season 82-51 as Cicero-North Syracuse’s Breanna Stewart was Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four for a record fourth time.
Summit Auto Group Best of the Week: Is there any question? To the shock of all, SU’s men’s and women’s basketball teams are both at the Final Four. But while the men have gone there before, the women have not, following home wins over Army and Albany in the first two rounds by stunning top-seeded South Carolina and pulling away from historic power Tennessee to win the Sioux Falls Regional and advance to Indianapolis, where a semifinal with Washington awaits on Sunday night.
McDonald’s Rewind and Archive: This is SU’s sixth trip to the men’s NCAA Final Four. But it’s the Orange’s most surprising trip there since that first visit way back in 1975. Roy Danforth was still the head coach, Jim Boeheim an assistant, and SU was lightly regarded going into the NCAA Tournament. But the Orange stunned North Carolina and beat Kansas State in overtime to take the East Regional in Providence before heading out to the Final Four in San Diego. There, Kentucky proved too much for the Orange, the Wildcats prevailing 95-79 to advance to the final, where it lost to UCLA in John Wooden’s last game as a coach.
Eaton Crouse Hinds Community Corner: Amid all of the Final Four fever on the SU campus, the Dino Babers-coached football team wraps up its spring practice with its scrimmage at noon this Saturday, April 2. Later that same day, SU’s men’s lacrosse team, trying to shake off back-to-back overtime defeats to Johns Hopkins and Duke, meets Notre Dame at the Dome, and that starts at 5 p.m. Four hours later, in Houston, the Orange face North Carolina and then, on Sunday, the SU women meet Washington in its Final Four debut after the women’s lacrosse team, 8-3 on the season, hosts Duke. In short, it’s quite a special weekend for SU athletics.
The U.S. Army Weekly Recap: Thought by many to be lucky just to have an NCAA Tournament bid, the SU men’s basketball team proceeded to stick it to all the so-called “experts”. An easy win over Dayton in the first round in St. Louis was followed by a rout of the same Middle Tennessee team that stunned Michigan State a round earlier. Then it was on to Chicago, where SU turned into Comeback ‘Cuse, rallying from nine points down late to upend Gonzaga before the epochal 29-9 run in the last nine minutes to erase a 15-point defiict and stun Virginia to win the Midwest Regional and earn a spot in the Final Four against mighty North Carolina this weekend in Houston.