UConn-Syracuse, Part III

NEW YORK – On the journey from my Times Square hotel to Madison Square Garden this morning, there was a noticeable fashion trend on the streets of the big city.

Orange seems to be the color of the day.

Syracuse fans have invaded the Big Apple. They are rested and fresh, and ready to cheer their team in their first game of the Big East Conference tournament. Connecticut fans are here too of course, but they are settled in after two victories.

Now UConn and Syracuse meet in the quarterfinals. They know each other well. This is the third game between the long-time rivals since Feb. 11. Syracuse won the first two.

Here's a quick refresher:

Syracuse 85, UConn 67 (Feb. 11, Carrier Dome, Syracuse): Syracuse broke open a close game with a 22-6 run over the final six minutes, 30 seconds. Scoop Jardine scored 11 points during run on the way a season-high 21 points. Jeremy Lamb led UConn with 18. Andre Drummond had 13 points but was limited in the second half after rolling his right ankle. Syracuse got a big lift from its bench with 18 points from Dion Waiters and 14 from C.J. Fair.

Syracuse 71, UConn 69 (Feb. 25, Gampel Pavilion, Storrs): Syracuse led by 17 but UConn rallied to tie the score at 63 with 4:17 to play. Fab Melo's offensive rebound and slam dunk with 31 seconds left gave Syracuse the win. Roscoe Smith (11 points) had a final shot for UConn. It appeared he was fouled but there was no call and Fair blocked the shot. Kris Joseph led Syracuse with 21 points. Lamb led UConn with 19.

Remember UConn's Jim Calhoun was on his medical leave of absence and didn't coach either game. He's back now and ready to take on his friend and rival, Jim Boeheim.

"We're playing one of the best teams in the country – along with Kentucky," Calhoun said.

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