Greetings from MSG! Chat won't officially start for another 20-25 minutes but in the meantime if you want tickets to come watch tonight's action in person, follow me on Twitter (@darcymaine_espn) and let me know! Have some I'm looking to give away. See you in a few.
Ready to chat! Our first game is the marquee matchup of the day - UConn vs. Syracuse. Here'a fun fact for you, three of their last four meetings in this tournament have gone into OT. I'm banking on another 6 OT-thriller. But that's just me. Anyone else have a prediction to share before tip-off?
2 bad the best game of the day is so early! Should be a close one until the end, think 'Cuse pulls out the win tho.
I would imagine the average college kid isn't even awake yet to watch this one. Hopefully most workers can take an extended lunch break today for this one.
UConn will win in double OT. #FACT
Syracuse by 5!
MVP in the house. Let's hope for another scintillating (always love using that in a sentence) game, that ends in a uconn win!
Rama is here! He's been the Shabazz Napier of this week's chat so far.
Syracuse will win by 13
Husky fans have to hope you're wrong there, Jonah. Not that I would know anything about that.
Will Jim Boheim ever take accountability for his program? A great coach takes responsibility for both the bad and good.
Great question, Mark. SU has been marred in scandal all season long between the Bernie Fine allegations and the more recent Yahoo! Sports investigation. There's no question Boeheim is a great coach but he doesn't seem to feel much responsibility for what goes on off the court. The thing is, he's been with the school for so long, he's not going to change. He would quit before he had to change. Keep in mind, this is a man that claims he's never even sent an email. What you see is what you get with Jimmy B. and that's how it will always be while he's running the show.
More Orange or Blue out there?
More orange. Although that does tend to stand out a little more than navy blue. Syracuse has a huge NYC alumni representation and they come out in FULL force when the team is here. Great crowd though for both schools. Don't think we'll see better the rest of the week.
This should be a good game however in the 2nd half uconn will realize why Syracuse is #2
I think UConn learned that during their first two meetings of the season, Jonah.
And play is underway!
No surprise, Shabazz is the first Husky to score today.
Think USF has a chance against Notre Lame tonight?
Please let the record state, I didn't say 'Notre Lame', Kevin did that. Feel like hat needed to be clarified for job security reasons. South Florida has a chance tonight but only if they get something going on offense. Last night's performance over 'Nova would not cut it against a team like ND.
Have they changed the scoreboard at MSG yet? Your Twitter pic was hilarious.
Thanks Dan. I posted a picture earlier of the pregame scoreboard which featured a score of Syracuse 163, UConn 0. They have since changed it to the accurate 4-3 score. Considering the way this tournament has gone so far, I don't any team will put up a combined 163 points all week.
When was the last time the #1 seed lost in their BE tourney opener? Won't happen today though, GO ORANGE!!
Don't have to look too far back for that one, Kasey. Top-seeded Pitt lost in their BE opener to No. 9 UConn on this day last season.
Tie game behind Tyler Olander's jumper. Even at 8.
Is Olander the great white hope of beating this zone?
He's doing pretty well so far.
I know UCONN has a good streak going in the postseason but can't find the number. Do you know?
Sure do, Aaron. The Huskies are riding an impressive 13-game postseason win streak. Sadly, that's almost as many wins as they had in the regular season.
Looks like we're looking at another low-scoring outing this afternoon. Currently on pace for 52-48. Granted a couple of OTs should bump up the score.
How you like me now?
No need to beg for compliments, Dion. Your 8 points, 3-for-3 shooting does the talking for you.
...Make it 10 points now. 'Cuse jump out to a 6-point lead with just over 8 minutes left in the half.
Syracuse has 6 points on the fast break versus UConn's... 0. That has to please Calhoun.
Syracuse wins this one going away. 17 point win for the Orange
Nice to have you back with us Keith. I'm curious, what's your record with predictions this tourney so far?
This Syracuse team is just too good off the fastbreak. There is a lot of time left but if Uconn wants to win they have to make the most of their possessions and that's a fact.
I think you would be hard pressed to find anyone to argue there. UConn needs to start capitalzing. Napier and Lamb each have 5 but one (or both) of them need to find a rhythm and start leading this team.
4-4. Not as good as your 6-2. Favorites 8-0 against the number.
In the Big East tourney, 4-4 is more than respectable. Who you got for today? (Everyone feel free to weigh in on that one)
See me on the bench? Maybe I'm the Orange's lucky charm this year!
We see you, G-Mac. I'm sure the TV broadcast will be showing you more than once today. McNamara's 2006 BE tourney run to me is the second-most impressive individual tournament performance of all-time, trailing only Kemba Walker's from last year.
Uconn pulls,out the W in this one in ot by 5
I like how many people recognize that UConn can pull a late rally. If you're still not one of them, give Bob Huggins a call. He's got nothing going on today.
Well, well, well. Here come the Huskies! Back within 2 after Andre Drummond's dunk from Ryan Boatright.
Syracuse takes the timeout, 3:50 left in the half.
New drinking game: drink every time they bring up Kemba, Bernie Fine, or 6 OT. Finish your drink if Kemba's mom is shown or Mcnamera is shown. Finish your drink if if calhoun's top button comes undone.
Co-sign. I'm playing with a Gatorade but I fully support whatever beverage people would like to enjoy. And I will not judge that's it before 1 PM.
Is Lamb capable of a kemba type run?
That was definitely one of UConn's big questions enetering the tourney. He played great in the opener vs. DePaul with a 25-point effort but yesterday it was the Shabazz Napier show that really saved UConn from going home. I don't think either of those two have quite the same natural ability and leadership qualities Kemba does but combined, I think they could continue to lead the Huskies on a run today and through the rest of the postseason.
Syracuse, Cincinnati, Marquette, South Florida. Who you got?
(bold predictions) Louisville upsets Marquette in OT by 2. Georgetown will surprisingly blow out Cincinatti. And Notre Dame beats USF by 10 or more.
Bold like the Starbucks coffee I had earlier (which I really don't recommend by the way). Here's my take on the remaining three games today: Cincy, Marquette, ND. Nothing ground-breaking there I know.
Impromptu poll: Better name - Fab Melo or Shabazz Napier?
Halftime at the Garden. Syracuse leads UConn, 27-24.
How come when I type your name into my phone it auto-corrects to '#1 Husky Fan'?
Probably because that's my middle name.
Shooting like 20% and down by 3 to the best team in the country? Isn't that like winning???
Charlie Sheen might agree.
It is a great name. No doubt about it. Almost as good as God's Gift on St. John's.
whose the leading scorer at the half?
Dion Waiters' 10 leads all scorers, Jeremy Lamb has 8 for UConn.
Neither team shooting all that well so far, Syracuse at 33.3% and UConn at 30.3%. Most revealing might be UConn's (completely unsurprising) struggles from the line, they've made just 1-for-4. This should be very concerning for Husky fans in a close game. Those numbers just won't cut it.
do you get to watch any of the other conference tournaments?
Not really, Sam. Wish I could but covering this one is pretty time intensive. Watched a little of the Pac-12 yesterday but had a hard time focusing on any other than the crowd, or lack thereof, in the stands. There were more people waiting to buy sushi at MSG this morning than their entire crowd.
If Syracuse loses this game I will eat my hat.
Noted. Everyone please remember this.
Finally in the Garden!!! Is this game setting up for another Shabazz coming out party??? Lil Kemba
We'll have to see what the second half brings but welcome to MSG! Feel free to send in any interesting things you observe in your section throughout the day.
Second half time.
I keep thinking man it's so hard to repeat as NCAA champs, and then I realized Florida did it, if they can anyone can right?
That's one way to look at it. Not to be a Debbie Downer but that Florida team returned all five of its starters from the '06 Championship team for the '07 season. Hard to top that experience. Womp. Womp.
Boatright with the defensive rebound, layup and the foul. In a UConn rarity, he hits it. Huskies up 32-29. This could also be exemplified by Boeheim's current facial expressions.
Boatright And One!
Omg were leading!!!
'Cuse really struggling from behind the arc. Michael Carter-Williams misses another. Team is now 1-for-9 from 3-point land. UConn is 5-for-15.
How is the crowd now that UC has taken the lead?
The UConn fans in house are LOUD and definitely playing a role for this team right now. Crowd seems almost perfectly split now. 'Cuse fans have certainly quieted down but there's a lot of time to go.
Huskies up 6... Drummond with the layup.
If uconn can keep hitting from the perimeter the Cuse will be stunned and removed from Big East tournament play!
If u think louisville fits were ugly last night u need to see baylor's now thats ugly
Can you please send a picture? Ugly uniforms are something that need to be shared and made fun of together.
SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!!! ANDRE DRUMMONDDDDDDDDDDDDD! Put-back, one-handed jam. UConn up, 39-31. No, that's not a typo.
Oh my goodness Drummond-Sized Dunk Espn Top 10?
Now that was nasty 12 whit 1 hand put back
Wowwwwww that put back dunk from Drummond....
Your thoughts on the Drummond put back dunk???
That definitely would have won this year's dunk contest.
Better Middletown, CT native - Drummond or Joey Logano?
Tough call. Both are so young, it's not even fair to say yet. But not a bad duo for a town to claim. Would anyone else be interested in a buddy-comedy, Odd Couple-esque reality show with them? Think it has VH1 written alllll over it.
Since Cuse is letting UConn feel better about themselves for a few and I need I take my mind off it, where do you think Peyton Manning is gonna end up?
I knew we would get Peyton questions today, I'm almost surprised it took this long. I have a feeling he's going to take his talents to South Beach and play for the Dolphins. Just a hunch. They want him, he already has a house down there and loves it. Dan Marino has already reportedly reached out. We'll see... Now back to basketball.
THE ORANGE/MEN-/-behind rite now-/-HOPE THEY COME THRU$$$(-6pnts.TOU-CONN.)-/-IVEX78@-NO ALIBI???--/--/--
Is that English?
if uconn wins this game who win the torny?
Woah, woah, woah. Pump the brakes there homes. I haven't ruled out Syracuse yet but, if they were to lose, it would totally open the door for a handful of teams. I think Marquette and UConn would be the favorites.
Baylor taking their cues from Louisville last night. You get a look at their uniforms today yet?
Can someone please send me a picture of this??? I had a very interesting conversation with a Louisville fan last night about their new postseason uniforms. She was less than thrilled. And she herself was wearing diamond-encrusted denim.
Kris Joesph hits both his free throws, Syracuse back within 3.
...And a Shabazz turnover. Dion Waiters converts with a layup. Syracuse down 1. UConn timeout. Obviously.
Napier... for three! Huskies back up 4. Crowd for both teams seem tense.
See everyone talking about uconn winning, an lets cuse come back...
That's why I always tell people to never look too far ahead. This is the Big East. Nothing is ever easy or a given. At least until Houston and SMU come to play.
To quote the great Kanye West, that s%$# cray! James Southerland for threeeeeeee. 'Cuse back within 1.
Working on it
Just saw the Baylor uniforms. Fergie just called and even she's insulted. That neon is actually offensive.
Hey Baylor, I want my jerseys back
The Limited 2 is also chiming in to reclaim those jerseys.
And Syracuse takes back the lead, 48-47. Waiters now has 18 points.
UConn can't respond. They're starting to struggle out there.
Another Southerland three! 'Cuse up 4. UConn timeout. Please know how painful that sentence was to write.
Whats uconn shooting % right now?
UConn is 18-for-55 for 32.7% (SU at 37.5%)
Scoop Jardine has played just three minutes this half for the Orange. Will be interesting to see if Boeheim tries to use him in the mix going forward or sticks with this lineup that seems to be clicking.
UConn hasn't scored a FG in over six minutes. Um.
Is it me or do these guys seem to be getting chippy?
I actually think both teams are doing a pretty good keeping their emotions in check. It's very easy to get caught up in these moments and commit dumb fouls.
Napier shoots a three... he misses but Drummond manages to grab it for a defacto alley-oop. UConn within 2.
Not looking good for UConn. 'Cuse up 6 with 43.2 seconds and Kris Joseph is on the line.
Joseph misses. Drummond with the rebound. And that would be an airball for Napier on the three-point attempt. Don't think that's what Calhoun was looking for there.
Looks like I dodged a bullet. My hat will be worn and not eaten for another day.
What kind of hat is it? And, would you have put salt or ketchup on it had you eaten it?
Bummer for the Huskies. They're still tourney bound, right?
Yup, I think yesterday's win completely sealed the deal. A win today would have given them a bump in the seedings though.
One-possession game. Napier misses the FT but Drummond gets the board and the putback. Syracuse up 3.
I dont think the husky's will be dancing
I'll give you Lunardi's take when this goes final but I think they're in.
Orange up three, 4.6 seconds to play. UConn is now out of timeouts.
...And UConn couldn't even manage to foul on that last possession. Syracuse takes it, 60-55. So much for that repeat run for the Huskies.
UConn's run might be over, but I will continue on...
Now that's what I like to hear. Appreciate the dedication, Rama.
FYI: Official score was changed to 58-55, the last-second dunk for 'Cuse does not count. So there's that, UConn fans.
Tasty. Want to make the same bet about any of the other games today?
Taking a timeout to run and grab the tickets I have to giveaway for tonight's games. Follow me on Twitter if you're interested in scoring some free tickets, @darcymaine_espn.
I'm back. As if the mass exodus for UConn fans wasn't demoralizing enough, the escalators have stopped working so I had to hike up about 15 flights of stairs to get the tickets. I saw things on the upper-most level of this arena that no woman should see.
Cincy-Georgetown is underway though. Happy to report, the Bearcats were announced with 'Nastradamus' as their theme song. I'm taking that as a personal victory.
Jim Boeheim in post-game press conference: 'I think that Manning should really come to the Jets, too.'
Tough to watch the end of the first game but it was better than working, I got G'Town in this one, who you got?
I'm taking the Bearcats. Anyone else?
Not a fedora. I am no hipster. Bruins hat and yes, it would have required condiments to get down. I will eat my hat if Marquette does not beat Louisville
I will remember that.
Contest update: I didn't reach my Twitter goal but I'm going to give the tickets for tonight's session away anyway. Let me know on Twitter (@darcymaine_espn) if you want them and will definitely use them in the next 30 minutes. I'll announce the winner at 3:15 PM ET!
Sorry, Rama. In this chat we only refer to him as 'Oh You Yancy, Huh?'. But he's got 6 points for the Bearcats so far.
Georgetown wins by 4!
I was late to the party today. Did you have Syracuse or Uconn? For my record keeping purposes
I took Syracuse, mainly because I didn't want to be a jinx. Clearly that plan did not work out in my favor. At least I'm 1-for-1 on the day. Sigh.
Some breaking college hoops news making the rounds quickly: According to sources, the FBI is probing guard Varez Ward and potential point-shaving in Auburn basketball.
Jim Boeheim and Ben Howland must be thrilled by that distraction. Suddenly recreational drugs don't seem that bad.
Does Cincinati get the award for best uni's. Very sharp. I know a woman of fashion like yourself must be proud.
They're definitely some of the better ones. Not that that's saying anything. Someone at Adidas needs a stern talking to.
Georgetown up 21-19 with 4:55 left in the first half.
Guess who made it onto Rudy Gay's twitter? This guy! Oh and I still think Cinci will win!
So you were! '@hdubb21 @rudygay22 we still have 3 championships to your 1...' Look at you trash talking Hakim Warrick, I'm so proud.
Shocked it has been so long since last point shaving scandal. When was last? Toledo 3 or 4 years ago. Must be tempting for college players
What's everyone talking about today?
I knew that was coming.
Halftime. Georgetown leads, 30-24. Henry Sims and Hollis Thompson both have 8 for the Hoyas.
Is there a ticket winner yet?
Let's do it. And the winner of tonight's tickets is... @jackconboy!
Just saw the Bearcat trying to steal food in the media workroom. Starting to think this might be a 'This is SportsCenter' commerical.
We're back for the second half. Who's still with me? Seems like you all have quieted down in the last half hour or so.
Whew, good to know I'm not talking to myself.
I really question some of the people who ask you leading questions, or answer your easy questions. They have such plain names, like when John asked if you picked a winner yet? C'mon man!
That was probably my boss making sure I picked a winner.
How about some love for rick pitinos cards?
Only if they wear different uniforms tonight. Otherwise I can't do it. It offends my senses.
Told I would share Lunardi's prediction for UConn when I heard it. I'm seeing on Twitter he's guessing the Huskies get a No. 7 seed.
Who is ur fav for the big dance?
Going with the obvious right now and picking a Kentucky-Syracuse final. Syracuse showed today they could beat a tough team down the stretch. Granted with a Calipari squad, a Final Four appearance more than likely wouldn't stay on the books for long. I kid, I kid. Not really.
Let's get everyone's Final Four predictions while we're sort of talking about it.
Hey no repy to my q?
Is that the question?
I like KY CUSE UNC Baylor for the final 4
Final four prediction huh? Cuse, mizzou, Kansas, and duke
Syracuse uk duke unc
My FF, 'Cuse, UNC, Kansas and Missouri
Hoyas up 7 with 11:45 to go. This game definitely lacks the intensity of that last one. Have a feeling the rest of the day is going to feel somewhat like a letdown.
are both games otniht on espn?
Yessir! Louisville-Marquette at 7, USF-Notre Dame at 9:20ish.
Are you on twitter? you havent mentioned it all today
I deserve that.
I realize its because of seeding, but uconn-syracuse needs to be planned for and put as a prime time game...
I'm with you but because of seeding that noon game is supposed to be the most lopsided game of the day, thus the least marketable. The past two years, it obviously hasn't worked out that way. I guess the Big East could consider flex scheduling but that's not really possible for ticket sales. It's a tough call.
Uk gets eliminated early by a BIG EAST TEAM...AGAIN!
Keep those predictions coming. Which BE team do you think would give Kentucky the toughest challenge in some of the earlier rounds? (I said that last part so you DON'T say Syracuse. Let's show some creativity here)
Here come the Bearcats! They're now within 3, 5:21 to go...
USF upsets KY. Calipari gets outcoached by the reigning Big East COY who is trying to prove a point.
Now THAT'S bold. I dig it.
Yes, I really just wanted a chance to say 'dig it'.
Louisville would be good game for ky in the torny
How fun would that be from a rivalry angle? Storylines galore.
Is it to obvious to say uconn would give uk a good game?
It's timely, Adam. We'll accept it. This UConn team is really good and could give any team a legitimate challenge. I wouldn't want to face them early if I was one of the top seeds.
Talent wise can't Uconn bear any given team? And I don't mean that in an nfl any given Sunday kinda way
Definitely. Based on talent alone, they're one of the best teams out there. That's why the expectations were so high to start the season. Their biggest enemy is themselves. When they click, they're a very dangerous team.
What about a Seton Hall?
As an early round threat for Kentucky? I'm not 100% sure they're even in the tournament. I don't think the Wildcats would have too much of a struggle with that matchup.
If UConn is a 7, they could get the 'Cuse again in Boston for the Elite 8
I would think the committee would do what they can to prevent two teams from meeting for the 4th time in a season. Not always easy with the number of BE teams in but I would imagine they would try to avoid that at all costs.
And the Bearcats have taken the lead!!!
Up 1 with 35.6 seconds to go, Georgetown ball...
Dion Dixon on the line... makes 1, misses 2nd. Cincy up 2, plenty of time for G'Town.
OTTO PORTER!!! Makes the jumper to tie it up with 3.6 seconds to go.
And we're going into overtime! Who saw that coming ten minutes ago? Seriously, who?
This has turn out to be a pretty good game.
The basketball gods saw it, that's who...
Cashmere Wright with the Cincy jumper for 1-point lead. I'm searching for some Nick Lachey reaction as I write this.
Henry Sims misses BOTH free throws. That could be the difference maker today.
Jaquon Parker with the rebound and the layup... Cincy up three. Is that their biggest lead of the day/night/whatever time it is?
41.6 seconds on the board...
Nick Lachey is still alive?
I can confirm, he is alive. Cannot confirm his employment status however. But he's been lurking around this tournament the last few days and is a HUGE Bearcats fan. Not literally. He's like 5'4.
It ain't over just yet. Jason Clark drives the lane, makes the layup. G'Town down 1.
Dixon on the line... Makes 1 of 2. Cincy up 2, 12.9. Stop me if you've heard this before.
SHUT UP! Henry Sims... right at the buzzer! We're going into Double OT!
He must still be living off all that 98 Degrees dough!
Amazing how lucrative boy band-ing is.
In honor of this double-ot, I'm going to get (yet another) double-double tim's coffee. I may have a problem.
Doesn't sound like a problem to me. I like your style, Brian.
These have have two tough battles, I hope Pitt and Syracuse have fun in Greensboro and wherever else they play the acc tourney
'But North Carolina State's 21-point win over Boston College today was awesome!' - No one.
And we're tied at 68, 1:02 to go. We might not have a break inbetween sessions at this point. I'm sure the area bars are thrilled by this development.
This year is Atlanta
Details, details. But you're right, JP. The ACC Tourney is in Atlanta this year.
Oh You Yancy, Huh??? Cincy up 2...
Henry Sims responds... all even at 70.
I can't type fast enough today. Cashmere Wright with the jumper off the glass! Bearcats p 2, 7.6 seconds to go.
Thank goodness for a timeout to let my slow typing catch up.
I smell 3OT coming...
Game over! Finally. The Bearcats hold off the Hoyas, 72-70, in double OT. What a game that turned out to be!
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Sounds about right.
Cincinnati will face Syracuse tomorrow night at 7 PM.
Remember that time Vitale said the ACC had a better tournament? #laughable
Maybe we should go with 'misguided' to spare me my job. But anyone who says the Big East isn't the best tournament is crazy. Certifiably crazy.
Serious question: Debating about continuing the chat during the night session or switching to a live blog. Thoughts?
Fun fact: This was the first multiple OT game in the tournament since the 6-OT UConn-Syracuse game in 2009.
Who plays next and should it beat good one?
Louisville-Marquette is up next at 7 PM (on ESPN), followed by USF-Notre Dame (also on ESPN).
Okay gang, on that note, I'm going to take a break and figure out some more ticket contests. In the meantime, leave me your opinion on if I should do a blog or chat for the night session. Your call!
Thanks to everyone for the input. I'm going to do a blog tonight instead of this chat. Would love it if you came to join me there as well and continued to weigh in with your observations, questions, etc. I'll be starting that in about 20 minutes. Thanks for stopping by today!
Are you single?
...And this pretty much solidifies my decision to switch to a blog.