Tom Brennan said it well in the post-game. “When you have two evenly matched teams, and one gets a lead early, that’s often the worst thing that can happen to them. Syracuse was hot early from 3 point range, they thought they were going to roll to an easy win, and they let up emotionally.” Villanova went 8 of 10 from 3-point range in the second half (looking very comfortable against the zone) and it was the Wildcats that rolled to an easy win.
My preview pick Corey Stokes had 18 points, a career high, including 4 of 8 from long range. This surprised the announcers a bit, “He’s only 28% on the year from long range.” But as I said in my preview, he’s getting hot at the right time of the year.
ESPN debuted a Family Circus style red arrow to depict where a player had gone on instant replays. Bilas and Raftery thought it looked like a weather pattern.
The announcers also had the following exchange:
McDonough, “Shane Clark was sluggish earlier this year, suffering from some sort of illness.”
Raftery, “You were sluggish earlier this year too Jay.”
McDonough, “Yes we were concerned about your health earlier this year.”
Raftery, “I was concerned you were coming back.”
Raftery also used the “Reynold’s Unwrapped” phrase at least 3 times.
Mike Rutherford has an even more detailed live blog of the game on his website.
Elsewhere, Dayton escaped with a 1 point win over St. Louis in overtime. Were the Flyers looking past St. Louis and ahead to Xavier? Or were they just playing like the team that went 8-8 in A10 play? Most importantly, I saw no sign of Chris Wright. Apparently he dressed, but unless he makes a miracle comeback tommorrow, the Flyer's season is probably going to be over.
Up next, will Weyinmi Efejuku keep Providence in the game against West Virginia?