Down a hobbled Brandon Triche when he was needed most, Jim Boeheim had to rely on Scoop Jardine to handle the ball and serve as the primary playmaker late against Marquette.
It didn’t go well.
One of the most confident – for better or worse – players in all of college basketball, Jardine’s eyes lit up at the opportunity to play savior for the Orange this evening. But as we’ve seen from him for much of the season, nobody ever has a better shot than Jardine’s, and his feast or famine play doomed Syracuse as they were upset by the Golden Eagles in dramatic fashion, 66-62.
Finishing with only six points on 2-8 shooting, Jardine took it upon himself to disregard all four of his teammates on the floor with 19 seconds remaining. Down three but in a great position to force overtime, Jardine hastily brought the ball up the court, dribbled to the top of the key, and instead of maybe looking for an open teammate or continuing to the basket to draw defenders, he jacked up a contested three in transition. The three was off, way off, and there was likely a much better option (Dion Waters, maybe???) to keep Syracuse in the game.
We’ve seen this anxious attempt to play hero from Jardine a few times this season, most notably against UConn last weekend in the Big East semifinals. Sure he made a clutch three to send the game to overtime, but that only perpetuated him to think “shoot first” in the extra session. You know how that game ended.
As Jim Boeheim ages, he’s become more of an easily irritable curmudgeon. You gotta think that his sharp tone with the media is nothing to what he either says or thinks when it comes to Scoop. For fans, it’s no less contentious. Just a quick surf over to Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician, and words like “poison” and phrases like “addition by subtraction” follow Scoop’s name.
I’m not saying Scoop Jardine is a bad basketball player, he’s just not a very smart one.
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Just as we expected, there is absolutely no consensus when it comes to the No. 1 team in college basketball.
In the new Coaches Poll released today, Villanova slots in as No. 1 overall, but Maryland received the same number of first place votes as the Wildcats and seven teams — seven! — received at least one first place vote, including No. 8 North Carolina and No. 9 Michigan State.
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The biggest shock to me?
The No. 1 team in the NBC Sports Top 25, Iowa, received just three first place votes and is ranked fifth by the coaches.
I think the coaches need to pay better attention.
Or they hate Fran McCaffery.
One or the other.
Anyway, here’s the full poll:
1. Villanova (20-3, 11 first-place votes)
2. Maryland (21-3, 11)
3. Oklahoma (19-3, 3)
4. Xavier (21-2)
5. Iowa (19-4, 3)
6. Kansas (19-4, 2)
7. Virginia (19-4)
8. North Carolina (19-4, 1)
9. Michigan State (20-4, 1)
10. West Virginia (19-4)
11. Miami (FL) (18-4)
12. Oregon (20-4)
13. Texas A&M (18-5)
14. Arizona (19-5)
15. Iowa State (17-6)
16. Purdue (19-5)
17. Dayton (19-3)
17. Providence (18-6)
19. Baylor (17-6)
20. South Carolina (20-3)
21. Kentucky (17-6)
22. Indiana (19-5)
23. USC (18-5)
24. Wichita State (17-6)
25. Texas (16-7)
DROPPED OUT: No. 18 Louisville, No. 25 Saint Mary’s
NEW ADDITIONS: No. 23 USC, No. 25 Texas
It may be the day after the Super Bowl, but we still had plenty of stuff to talk about in the college basketball world on Monday.
There’s the question of who in the world should be the No. 1 team in the country. There’s the issue of the top two teams in the country losing to unranked opponents. There’s Oregon, who suddenly looks like they might be the hottest team in all of college basketball.
And that’s before we get into the issue of Louisville’s ridiculous and despicable postseason.
We spent 15 minutes on that before even starting on the games that were played this weekend.
As always, you can listen to the podcast by clicking “play” on the Soundcloud player embedded below. Or you can do so through either iTunes or Stitcher if you so choose. Thanks for listening!