SYRACUSE -- Here's hoping the bartenders downtown are at the ready because they're about to get inundated with some very happy people.
And with good reason. Syracuse's domination of Villanova not only put the Orange in position to secure the Big East regular-season title but it showcased exactly how Syracuse is going to be an awfully tough out here in the next couple of weeks.
A few observations:
-- Pick your poison, name your player. The Orange can score inside, outside, with their starters and off the bench. Against Villanova, Syracuse took turns figuring out ways to dominate: Scoop Jardine and Kris Joseph with the punch to start the game; Andy Rautins raining threes early in the second half and then Arinze Onuaku taking it inside late. It's why the Orange will be so hard to beat come March. They can mold their offensive game to beat whatever sort of team they face.
-- Villanova is going to need to fix a few problems as it goes forward. For starters, the Wildcats can't rely on Scottie Reynolds all the time. The senior can put the Cats on his back and has, but the rest of his team can't passively wait for him to do it. Villanova also has to find a way to get inside. The Cats just don't have enough reliable shooters to expect to beat people from the outside. Villanova also has to shore up its defense. This Cat team is never going to be great defensively but they have to find a way to get a little better in a hurry.
-- 34,616 people in a dome, smushed around a basketball court can be really loud. The expected record crowd didn't disappoint in intensity, noise and Orange-ness. My ears will be ringing until April.