Saturday night at Madison Square Garden, Syracuse and Gerry McNamara pulled off the improbable in the Finals of the Big East Tourney. Not only did the Orange repeat as conference champions by beating No. 15 Pittsburgh 65-61, they also accomplished something no other Big East team could ever do.
In the History of the Tournemant, only 3 teams have won the first three games of the tournament (two teams usually get byes on the first day - 4 teams did this year since the Big East expanded to 16 teams). All seemed to run out of gas on the fourth consecutive day of grueling Big East post-season play. However, Senior Gerry McNamara took his team on his shoulders, and took them from Bubble, to NCAA lock, to Automatic Bid.
Sophomore Josh Wright clinched the title win, making four free throws in the final 17 seconds. However, it was still will be known as "McNamara's Tournemant". The crowd of 19,594 was chanting his name throughout the game, and he was named MVP of the entire Tournament for his late game heroics in the first three rounds.
Pittsburgh also won 3 games to get to the Championhip for the 5th time in 6 years. They have won only 1 of those title games (2003).
Sun 03/12/06, 12:11 pm EST