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.