Rushed Reactions: #4 Syracuse 81, #13 Montana 34Posted by rtmsf on March 21st, 2013
RTC is providing game-by-game coverage throughout Thursday from the San Jose pod.
Three Key Takeaways.
- So, Yeah. Every now and again the NCAA Tournament gives us a complete and utter mismatch, and tonight’s Syracuse-Montana game was exactly that with no question about it. Not only did Syracuse’s size and athleticism dwarf the Grizzlies, but the expression on their faces (we’re playing Syracuse? THE Syracuse?) said all that anyone needed to know. For the majority of the game, Montana was well below the point-per-minute threshold. In fact, they never even got close to it after the opening couple of minutes, because the Grizzlies finished with an astounding 34 points for the game. Montana had a really nice season, but they were not in the right frame of mind for this one tonight.
- What Can You Take Away From a Game Like This? Not terribly much other than what was written above, but it does give a glimpse as to why Syracuse is such a scary team when all its cylinders are firing. Among the eight teams that played in this pod today, no other team has the combination of size, length and athleticism that the Orange bring to bear. They have the runway-model look of a #1 seed, but too many Jekyll-and-Hyde performances dropped Jim Boeheim’s team down to a #4 seed. But goodness — that’s a #4 seed that nobody wants to face when they’re holding NCAA Tournament competition to a 20% shooting night.
- Michael Carter-Williams Has Some Russell Westbrook In Him. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who has watched the talented sophomore at times this year, but even in this blowout game where he notched four points, eight rebounds and nine assists, there were still a few times where he simply tried to do things that nobody with his talent at the point guard slot should ever be doing. Passes that had no chance at getting caught by a teammate; over-penetrations that got him in trouble; that kind of stuff. The young man has major talent, but if he really wants to maximize his abilities on his way to the highest level of basketball, he needs to find a way to improve his decision-making.
Star of the Game. Brandon Triche, Syracuse. Among a number of stars for Syracuse tonight, Triche stood out the most. His 20 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the field, four assists, and four steals set the tone for his team and paced the Orange to the easy victory.
Sights & Sounds. Most of the crowd cleared out of this one by halftime, and other than Montana band, which was bound and determined to get its money’s worth with the trip, there wasn’t much else to see or hear. On the never-ending source of entertainment that is Twitter, however, there was this odd thing (h/t @PostStandard):
Quotable. Jim Boeheim on Cal playing a virtual home game against Syracuse on Saturday: “I don’t think about it.”
What’s Next? Syracuse advance to Saturday’s Round of 32 for the where it will face #12 California in a quasi-road game in San Jose .