Feb 25, 2013; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Syracuse Orange guard Brandon Triche (20) reacts after committing a foul during the second half against the Marquette Golden Eagles at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. Marquette won 74-71. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Big East Championship Aspirations In Doubt, But The Season Is Not Over For Syracuse

Remember when I said the sky wasn’t falling? Well in terms of the Big East Regular Season Championship, watchyaheads.

Syracuse lost yet another one on the road yesterday, this time falling to Marquette 74-71. The Orange were pushed around inside the paint (sometimes literally), and couldn’t overcome two major surges by the Golden Eagles both at the end of the first half and at the end of the game. The Syracuse offense continued to struggle, and really looked absolutely lost sometimes.

Marquette outscored Syracuse 29-5 from the free throw line. Syracuse committed 22 fouls to Marquette’s 10. Frustrating as that stat looks, The Orange were still in position to win the game. Despite the foul discrepancy in the game, Syracuse still found themselves up 11 in the first half, and 7 in the second half and blew the lead both times. CJ Fair led Syracuse in scoring, but didn’t shoot the ball for the last 13 minutes of play.

While Georgetown fans were celebrating their win in the Carrier Dome over the weekend, they took a page from Mortal Kombat‘s book when talking to Marquette about the game Monday:

Finish them.

Georgetown put Syracuse against the ropes for winning the Big East, and Marquette gave us the KO that many of us kind of felt coming. It would have been a tall order to ask this team to beat Marquette, Louisville, and Georgetown down the stretch to win the conference, and the Orange must now play for positioning in the Big East Tournament. Syracuse needs to get a double bye, or else it could be a quick exit from New York.

It has been a rough few days for this team, who went from being stride for stride in the Big East Championship race, to being two games back with three remaining. Syracuse now needs a lot of help to get back to the top, and with the way Georgetown, Louisville, and Marquette are playing it seems highly unlikely to happen.

Alright, enough with the bad news.

The Big East Championship is all but gone, but things aren’t all bad for the Orange. Syracuse still can win the Big East Tournament, which is always more memorable than the regular season championship anyways in my opinion. The conference tournament defines the Big East, so all is not lost in this sinking ship of a conference.

On top of that, Syracuse still has their final showdown with Georgetown as conference members on March 9th. The Syracuse defense played well enough to beat the Hoyas (despite Otto Porter’s heroic performance), and as much as they struggle I really don’t see the Orange scoring in the 40s again down in DC. Georgetown winning in the Dome sucked, but winning the final game of the rivalry as we know it for Syracuse’s last regular season Big East game ever would sure make me forget that showing on Jim Boeheim court.

Oh yeah, there is also that tournament after the Big East tournament where there are no standout teams. Anyone can make a run this season, and everyone is capable of getting upset. Could Syracuse get upset early? Sure, but so can anyone. As bad as this team has looked at times, it really means absolutely nothing once the tournament starts. The Orange may have lost the regular season Big East Championship, but in the grand scope of things, that is really all they’ve lost to this point.

We know this team has talent, but lacks an inside presence and at times common sense. The mistakes that are made on a lot of their turnovers are so correctible it hurts all Syracuse fans. Luckily, we have one of the greatest coaches in the history of college basketball to help us try and get through it. At any given time our guard play can get hot and although inconsistent, have the talent to be as good as anyone.

Plain and simple, last night sucked. It was a headache of a loss that should have never happened, but I’m not throwing in the white flag just yet. We know this team is athletic and talented, and we know what they are capable of. The season is a long way from being over, and there is still an incredible amount of accolades to play for.

Tags: Basketball Syracuse Orange