HARTFORD, Conn. — For the final time as Big East opponents, Syracuse and UConn shared the floor on Wednesday night in the XL Center in Hartford. The Huskies upset the sixth-ranked Orange, 66-58 to end the series for now.
However, following the loss Jim Boeheim — after one of the more bizarre press conference moments — told reporters he is open to extending the rivalry outside the Big East Conference.
“We’re open to playing anybody,” said Boeheim.
“It’s been a great series. I think Connecticut and Syracuse have had so many great games over the years. It’s one of those things that goes away and that’s the way it is. The league wasn’t able to be kept together. I feel bad about the whole thing.”
In December, Boeheim mentioned that Syracuse was in talks with Georgetown, St. John’s and Villanova, in hopes of keeping matchups with those teams, all of which play in major cities, alive after this season. Cuse and St. John’s have already agreed to play through 2015.
Regardless of if the Syracuse-UConn series is continued past this season, that last true form of the rivalry was played Wednesday night.
“Your biggest rivalries are going to be against the teams in your league,” said Boeheim.
Boeheim cited two examples: St. Bonaventure and Louisville. Before the Big East was formed, St. Bonaventure was the biggest game of the year, now the Orange and Bonnies have gone years without playing one another. He went on to mention Louisville as a new rival, since the Cardinals joined the league in 2005.
“Even if you play somebody it will never be the same,” said Boeheim.