6 overtimes. 8 players fouled out. 16 three-pointers made. 59 three-pointers attempted. 64 free throws made. 66 personal fouls. 70 minutes of hoops. 82 field goals made. 93 free throws attempted. 208 field goals attempted. 244 points.
That was just a recipe for the longest NCAA Men’s Basketball game in Big East history. The game got underway at 9:36 PM EST, and when the clock struck midnight at Madison Square Garden, the game was STILL being played. 82 minutes later, the Orangemen of Syracuse University ended up on top with a 127-117 win over the Connecticut Huskies.
In regulation, each team won a half by a score of 37 to 34; Connecticut got the upper hand in the first half while Syracuse took the second half. With 142 points scored in regulation, there was much more to be scored in overtime. Only question was, how much more?
In the first overtime period, both teams scored 10 points. In the second, a total of 12 points were scored. In the third, both teams scored a combined 22 points. In the 4th and 5th overtime periods, each team scored six points per overtime period. The Syracuse Orangemen had never led at ANY point during the first five overtime periods. It was not until Andy Rautins hit a 3-pointer just ten seconds into the sixth overtime period when the Orangemen started to pull away from the Huskies. 290 seconds later, the marathon finally ended with a double-digit victory for Syracuse.
This game was the second-longest basketball game in Division I history. Had the game gone one more overtime period, it would have tied the record for the longest game: Cincinnati’s 75-73 win over Bradley on December 21, 1981.
Earlier in the evening, #2 seed Pittsburgh fell victim to the Mountaineers of West Virginia by a score of 74 to 60. Instead of witnessing a third game between the Panthers and the Huskies, we will instead see the Orangemen and Mountaineers duke it out in the semifinals.
Syracuse Guard Jonny Flynn led his team in points with 34 while A.J. Price scored 33 for the Huskies; both players were on the bench when the opening tip-off occurred. Flynn was perfect from the charity stripe, going 16-of-16 from the foul line; he also added 11 assists, 2 rebounds, and 5 steals in 67 minutes of playing time.
Paul Harris scored 29 points and added 22 rebounds for Syracuse while Rautins scored 20 points, 18 of which came from three-pointers. Eric Devendorf came from the bench to score 22 before fouling out of the game; Orangemen Arinze Onuaku, Rick Jackson, and Kristof Ongenaet also fouled out during the game.
The Orangemen connected on 40 of 51 free throw attempts.
Stanley Robinson scored 28 points and added 14 rebounds. Hasheem Thabeet scored 19 and also had 14 rebounds; Thabeet also blocked 6 Syracuse shots.
After the game, Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said, “I have never been prouder of a team than I am tonight. They just kept fighting, … hanging in there and toughing it out and fighting.”
Flynn said he kept telling his teammates to keep fighting until they won. “This is destined for us. I told them, `We played this long, all we can do is win this game.”
Connecticut’s Kemba Walker grabbed a loose rebound and scored with 1.1 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 71. On the insuing in-bounds pass, Paul Harris threw the ball that was deflected by Connecticut’s Gavin Edwards into the hands of Eric Devendorf, who then released a shot as time expired. The ball went in the basket, and the Orangemen had won…that is…until referees John Cahill and Bob Donato waived off the basket, ruling that the shot came too late. Overtime #1 ensued.
With the score tied at 81 in the dying seconds of the first overtime period, Kemba Walker tried to be a hero again for the Huskies, but his three at the buzzer fell short. Overtime #2 was to be played.
With the score tied at 87, Walker again tried to be the hero; this time, his shot from just inside the half-court line hit the back rim. A third overtime period arrived.
In the third overtime, Connecticut scored the first six points and led by that margin with 2:08 left in the period. However, Paul Harris hit two consecutive field goals to cut the Huskies’ lead to two. Price hit a free throw to give Connecticut a 98-95 lead, but it was Andy Rautins who stepped up, hitting a three with eleven seconds left to tie the game at 98. One missed A.J. Price three-point shot and a missed Jeff Adrien rebound attempt, the two teams had officially played the longest Big East tournament game in history.
With the score tied at 104, A.J. Price had a chance to win it for the Huskies, but missed his drive, giving Paul Harris a chance to win it for the Orangemen. Unfortunately, for Harris, two of his shots were blocked, and the game went to a fifth overtime period.
In the dying seconds of the fifth overtime period, Price missed an NBA-three, and Jeff Adrien grabbed the rebound. Adrien missed on his jumper at the buzzer, and with the score tied at 110, the 19,375 at Madison Square Garden got to witness a sixth overtime period.
At the start of the 6th overtime, each team had four players fouled out, so many walk-ons played the final five minutes of the game.
Prior to this triple-triple overtime game, the only previous triple-overtime game in the Big East tournament was in the 1981 championship game when Syracuse defeated Villanova by a score of 83 to 80. Leo Rautins, father of Andy Rautins, also played for Syracuse in that game.
In addition, the previous highest scoring game in the Big East tournament was played in 1998 when Villanova defeated Pittsburgh in a first round matchup by a score of 96 to 93.
Here are the highlights of the game:
Posted by: WillNeverBackDown