Much was made about Wednesday’s meeting between No. 6 Syracuse and Connecticut being the last one between the two schools for the foreseeable future with the Orange headed to the ACC at the end of this academic year.
But in the aftermath of the Huskies’ 66-58 win the biggest story was neither the end of a rivalry nor Kevin Ollie’s Huskies showing one more example of the resolve that has resulted in a season more successful than anyone anticipated.
It was the fact that Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim lit into ESPN reporter Andy Katz at the postgame press conference.
Andy Katz: “Jim, what has the series with UConn meant to you and to Syracuse?”
Jim Boeheim: “I’ll answer anybody’s question but yours.”
“Because you’re an idiot,” Boeheim then continued, “and really a disloyal person. And a few other things that I can add, but I’m not gonna go there.”
Why did this happen? There are a few theories that have flown around the internet in the hours following the brief exchange but nothing concrete. In an interview with the Post-Standard on Thursday, Katz stated that the pregame conversation between he and James Southerland rumored by some to have caused this was on the record so it couldn’t have been that.
Boeheim did reveal the reason to Bud Poliquin of the Post-Standard, pointing to a one-on-one interview done in November 2011.
“It’s really simple,” he explained. “I went to New York last year to play in the (NIT Pre-Season Tip-Off) Tournament in November and he (Katz) asked if he could interview me about the tournament. And I said, ‘Yeah, but I can’t talk about the (Bernie Fine) investigation.’
“We got in the room and he put me on camera — there were several witnesses there — and he asked me what I’d told him I couldn’t answer. I kept telling him, ‘I can’t answer that.’ And he asked me, like, 10 times on camera. He never took the camera off me.”
To say the least Boeheim’s had his moments at postgame press conferences, using the platform to offer his thoughts on gun control back in December. And who could ever forget the 2006 Big East Championship, when he defended star guard Gerry McNamara after an anonymous poll declared him to be the most overrated player in the conference?
Wednesday night’s press conference simply joins the list.
Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.
Hofstra tries to keep pace with the conference’s elite as they travel to Delaware on Saturday afternoon. You can watch this CAA battle live on NBCSN at 5:00 p.m. EST.
The Pride (17-8, 9-4) are currently two games behind conference leader UNC-Wilmington and they’re trying to make a run to close out the season. Senior guard Juan’ya Green leads the Pride in points (17.7 ppg), assists (7 apg) and steals (1.8 spg) and he’s surrounded by a dangerous supporting cast.
Delaware (6-18, 1-12) had lost 15 consecutive games before beating Drexel in their last game. The Blue Hens have struggled in CAA play but Kory Holden (17.5 ppg, 4 apg) will try to help lead the upset.
These two teams met on Dec. 31 with Hofstra winning that one, 90-80, at home.
CLICK HERE to watch these games on NBC Sports Live Extra Saturday afternoon.
Zak Irvin scored 22 points and Michigan’s outmanned front line held Purdue’s redwoods to just seven offensive boards, six second chance points and just 22 points in the paint as the Wolverines landed a critical, 61-56, win over the No. 18 Boilermakers.
Depending on who you listen to, Michigan entered the day, at worst, on the bubble and at best, in headed for the 8-9 game.
And they picked up a top 25 win.
So yes, this win was big for them moving forward.
But more important than the win itself was that Wolverine fans got a glimpse of all-american guard Caris LeVert. He played just 11 points and didn’t return in the second half, he didn’t score and he missed the only shot that he took, but LeVert took the court for the first time since Dec. 30th. That day, LeVert rolled his left ankle and most likely reinjured a foot that had had a broken bone surgically repaired twice in the last 20 months. Michigan never confirmed what the actual injury was and never gave a timetable for when he would be back in the lineup, which is what made his brief appearance so important.
LeVert isn’t done for the season.
And since the Wolverines managed to post a 9-4 Big Ten record with LeVert acting as little more than a spectator, they have a chance to make a run in the Big Ten tournament and get into the NCAA tournament.
That will happen with LeVert in the rotation and, if all goes according to plan, the starting lineup.
So even with a loss against Purdue, the Wolverines had a good day. Bolstering their NCAA tournament profile was an added bonus.