The East Regional final between Syracuse and Marquette took place in Washington D.C., but the players must have been told they were playing in Newark, NJ... aka Brick City. During the first seven mintues, Marquette had seven points and seven turnovers. The two Big East squads eventually limped to a 55-39 finish, as Marquette looked to be on a mission to make Ambien obsolete, while Syracuse sat back in the zone and rode streaks without scoring to advance to the Final Four.
It was an awful performance from both sides, vindicating those deriding college basketball for it's medocrity, exponentially worse this season as the NBA struggles to identify it's top pick -- or for that matter, a top five at all.
Syracuse fans will tout their matchup-zone as the most responsible factor in Marquette's atrocious shooting, and they have a point. 'Cuse has stifled their first two opponents with their unique defense in what had easily been the most impressive aspect of their run to the Elite 8. That speaks volumes to the indiviual quality on the floor for either team. When nobody's on the court showing off -- like Trey Burke did for Michigan, rare moments during this season -- college basketball can be tough to watch. Throw in a defense designed to slow the game down and you find yourself checking to make sure nobody switched your drink with Lil' Wayne's.
But Marquette doesn't have that excuse. The Golden Eagles are familiar with the Orange and already beat the zone once this year, 75-71 just over a month ago.
Whatever Buzz Williams learned between now and then was clearly not applied. At times it seemed like Williams had been overcome by Jim Valvano in ESPN's Survive and Advance because his players refused to give up shooting three-pointers despite ending up just 3-25 from range.
It was the complete opposite to last night's marquee matchup between Kansas and Michigan, which featured NBA talent playing at a high level and two teams each on the same page with each other. Syracuse possessed those qualities defensively, but nobody walked away from the Marquette-Syracuse game feeling like they made a strong impression on the public.
The game epitomized the stench of this season, one we wish we could just cover our noses to forget.
In case you missed any of the details, here's how it went down on Twitter.
Syracuse-Marquette for a trip to the Final Four: Welcome to the Big East's Irish wake.— Rick Bonnell (@rick_bonnell) March 30, 2013
oh, and there will be a fair share of zone from both sides, i imagine. i'm really not excited about this.— Bomani Jones (@bomani_jones) March 30, 2013
ICYMI: Vander Blue opens up about his mother, growing up without a father & what Buzz Williams means to him: usat.ly/121E4UX— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) March 30, 2013
15:33 first half. Syracuse leads 4-3 with MCW going to the line after the break.— Syracuse Basketball (@SyrBall) March 30, 2013
The Syracuse defensive clinic continues. Almost makes you wonder how this team lost a game this season.— Jamie Samuelsen (@JamieSamuelsen) March 30, 2013
For a team that plays in Syracuse' conference, Marquette looking puzzled by the match-up zone so far.— Thyrl Nelson (@Thyrl) March 30, 2013
Marquette hasn't scored in 4min. They aren't sending anyone into the high-post. You have todo that if you want to crack the 2-3 zone.— Troy Machir (@TroyMachir) March 30, 2013
Marquette came out of the time out in a 2-3 zone, switching from man to man and giving Syracuse a taste of its own medicine.— WashTimesSports (@WashTimesSports) March 30, 2013
Marquette off to a stellar 2-11 shooting at 18% or the same as Mark Sanchez's completion percentage.— Tom Tebow (@IamEvilTebow) March 30, 2013
Syracuse up 12-5. Marquette has been bogged down on offense. Will be interesting how Buzz adjusts with no great shooters.— Pete Thamel(@SIPeteThamel) March 30, 2013
Marquette is 310th in three-point shooting % in the country. That makes things difficult.— Shane Ryan (@ShaneRyanHere) March 30, 2013
Marquette's FG-to-TO ratio is now a robust 2-to-6.— David Steele (@David_C_Steele) March 30, 2013
Marquette was on the ropes against Syracuse twice a month or so ago in Milwaukee when I saw them come back and win. #justsaying— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanCBS) March 30, 2013
Marquette: 7 points and 7 turnovers. Yes, I think this whole "zone" thing works pretty well for Syracuse. #analysis— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) March 30, 2013
President Obama at the Verizon Center today for a little March Madness action between Syracuse and Marquette: nydn.us/13fl0ag— New York Daily News (@nydailynews) March 30, 2013
Burst of Marquette scoring (led by Davante Gardner, who had 26 last time these teams played) gets the Golden Eagles back within 7.— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) March 30, 2013
You knew Marquette would find its groove. Cuse in a fight... Have to maintain this lead... 21-16 4:16 left in first half— Frank Saraceno (@frankieESPN) March 30, 2013
Marquette reels off 6-0 run to close within 21-16 but Cadougan went down hard under the rim huff.to/ZufdVV— HuffPost Sports (@HuffPostSports) March 30, 2013
Gardner going nuts. 11-2 Marquette run.Golden Eagles back within 21-18. #Elite8— Dave Schroeder (@SchroederWBAY) March 30, 2013
Syracuse leads, 24-18, at halftime. Orange were in control for most of the half b/c of the 2-3Z & pretty good shooting. #MarchMadness— WashTimesSports (@WashTimesSports) March 30, 2013
No big deal, they were down 11 say the half last time vs. syracuse and still won by 3— Tony Noble (@ToekneeNobull) March 30, 2013
Marquette 7-26 from the field at the half. Syracuse a scorching 9-25. Nah, I think I'll pass on that second half.— Greg Howard (@greghoward88) March 30, 2013
Syracuse not hitting anything so far this half, and that's on top of them only shooting 34% in the first half. (MU shot 27% in 1st)— JP Cadorin (@jpcadorin) March 30, 2013
Vander Blue with good cut and layup and nice pass by Otule. It's 25-21 Syracuse— Jeff DiVeronica (@RocDevo) March 30, 2013
RT @sitimlayden: Marquette Sr. Chris Otule is playing with 1 eye, goggles, huge knee brace (ACL) and custom shoes on oft-broken feet— Seth Davis (@SethDavisHoops) March 30, 2013
The O-zone has held Marquette to 8-of-32 from the field and 1-of-13 from the three-point line.— Syracuse Athletics (@Cuse) March 30, 2013
Marquette and Syracuse a combined 1 for 9 with three turnovers in the 2nd half. If this is the last Big-East-as-we-know-it game ever...— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) March 30, 2013
This Syracuse and Marquette game is just awful— Brian Kennedy (@B_Kennedy23) March 30, 2013
Marquette is 1-13 from three-point range. 8-32 FG overall.— WAER Sports (@WAERSports) March 30, 2013
This Marquette/Syracuse game is the most boring game I've ever watched.— Christian Hyland (@C_Hyland3) March 30, 2013
If you aren't watching Syracuse-Marquette, this is what you've missed:BrickBrickBrickSwish (WOW they made 1!)BrickBrickAirballBrick— NOTSportsCenter (@NOTSportsCenter) March 30, 2013
This Marquette-Syracuse game is painful to watch. Neither team can hit the broad side of a barn.— Barry Goldblatt (@barrygoldblatt) March 30, 2013
Marquette seems to be adopting the unique strategy of trying to win a game without making any shots— Bobby Raham (@b_ram808) March 30, 2013
Explosive Marquette-Syracuse gamzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz— Jerod Smalley (@JerodNBC4) March 30, 2013
Cuse gave up 34, 60, and 50 in first three tourney games. Marquette has 28 w/ 9:30 left. #Defense— Anish Shroff (@AnishESPN) March 30, 2013
Syracuse's 2-3 zone is like the Bermuda Triangle, you're just gunna get lost in it.— Tyler Mah (@MrTylerMah) March 30, 2013
Marquette is shooting 11-of-50...22%— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) March 30, 2013
Marquette is shooting 22.9% from the floor and is 2-22 from three. That's hard to do.— Rob Dauster (@RobDauster) March 30, 2013
Syracuse 55, Marquette 39. When does the second half start?— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) March 30, 2013
Syracuse shoots 38% overall, 29% from 3, wins going away. Says everything about that D.— Eric Koreen (@ekoreen) March 30, 2013
Jim Boeheim clinches his fourth Final Four trip as head coach. 1987, 1996, 2003, and now 2013. Syracuse also went in 1975 under Roy Danforth— Brent Axe (@BrentAxeMedia) March 30, 2013