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Flashback Friday: Furious rally leads Louisville past Syracuse in 2013 Big East title game

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One of the most amazing script flips in Cardinal hoops history.

Big East Basketball Tournament - Syracuse v Louisville Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Quick Hitters

-This Big East Championship game was played on March 16, 2013.

-Louisville came in ranked 4th and Syracuse was ranked 19th.

-The game was dubbed as the final Big East Tournament Championship just because everything within conferences was changing. Louisville, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, and West Virginia would be leaving the Big East after this season. So it was the last one with some of the more traditional teams before things got much different.

-This one definitely sounded like a home game for Syracuse, and the Orange got out to an 8-0 early lead before Louisville finally scored on a three from Luke Hancock.

-The Cards started out 1/10 from the field.

-Louisville trailed 35-22 at the half, their largest halftime deficit of the season.

-With 15:48 left in the game, Syracuse had their biggest lead at 45-29. What happened after that? Just a little 49-16 run to close the game for Louisville. Yes, read it again. 49-16 run.

-Kevin Ware was really good in this game, particularly in the second half. Syracuse had taller guards, so when he subbed in at a guard spot, he could match up well with Michael Carter Williams. He made a big three and threw down an alley-oop, but his energy on defense was just as important.

-Talk about a game for freshman Montrezl Harrell! All he did was score 20 points, grab seven rebounds, and block one shot in 24 minutes played. He benefitted greatly from the Cards dissecting the zone. Whether it was Siva driving and dishing or Gorgui hitting him with the high-low pass, Trez took advantage of his minutes. Chane was not in foul trouble, he only had one in 16 minutes. But this was just the game for Trez and his length against the zone.

-At one point in the second half when Syracuse kept turning the ball over against the pressure, Jay Bilas said “I think they hear footsteps.”

-Speaking of Jay, it was really cool hearing a game called by Sean McDonough, Bill Raftery, and Bilas.

-Going back to how Louisville attacked this zone…for the most part, they put two players at the high post, usually Gorgui and Trez. This only works if either player can knock down that jumper and either player can score on the block, which they could. Most times, it was Gorgui getting the ball at the free throw line because he was obviously the better shooter of the two.

So when Gorgui got the ball, Trez would drop to the block. What this did was the middle defender of the zone would come up and guard Gorgui (if not, Gorgui knocked down the jumper) and the bottom defender had a decision to make. He had to take Trez on the block or cover an open shooter in the corner. Gorgui was such a good passer and decision maker that he made the right play nearly every time. Syracuse had to leave someone open and the Cards made them pay for it…a lot. It was beautiful to watch and probably really frustrating if you were a fan of the Orange.

-Peyton Siva was named Most Outstanding Player of the Big East Tournament for the second year in a row, joining only one other player to do that…Patrick Ewing.

-This was a fun one to watch again. As always, I appreciate you checking this out. Hopefully the next one will be after a game for THIS SEASON! Go Cards!

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