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Syracuse Hoops Loses Exhibition Game To ... The LeMoyne Dolphins? Huh?

Sure, it's just an exhibition game. But major college basketball programs aren't supposed to lose to the likes of D-II LeMoyne. But that's exactly what happened to Syracuse Monday, which feel 82-79 to the cross-town Dolphins.

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Assessing Damage Done By Syracuse Loss

It's be a rough week two days for Syracuse athletics. Star WR Mike Williams quit the team (one of four players who broke team rules and got into a car accident). The head football coach was forced to defend QB Greg Paulus, getting emotional and saying he is "a victim of his own success." And then of course there was last night, when the basketball team lost to cross-city Division II Le Moyne in an exhibition game, on a day that, unfortunately, had no World Series, no NFL, no major college football and no big sports story. The result: lead story on this morning's SportsCenter, and Sean Keeley at Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician assessing the damage

"Let's not blow this out of proportion.  It's an exhibition game."  You know what....you're right.  And you're wrong.  You're right from the (tremendous) standpoint that it doesn't count, Boeheim is still working out the kinks and the team didn't play to it's full potential.  But you're wrong because perception is reality.  It's one thing to fly under the radar as a fringe Top 25 team that can play the "nobody believed in us" card.  It's another thing to lose to a DII team and be ridiculed nationwide to the point where you can't find a college basketball fan or pundit who thinks we're going to win 20 games right now.

I have to now listen to Doug Gottlieb, Dana O'Neill, Pat Forde and all of the other Cuse-haters make snide comments for the next three months because nothing we do in that time we erase the stink of this loss.  Only if we make strides in the Big East will everyone be able to look back and laugh about this.  Otherwise, the season hasn't even started yet and we've already defined it.  Awesome.

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Coaches, Players Talk About 'Cuse's Embarrassing Loss

First up, we yield the floor to the man of the hour, head coach of your Division II LeMoyne Dolphins, Steve Evans:

“We’ve got an experienced group,” Evans said. “Did we ever think that a day like this would happen? Probably not. But we put together a game plan. We didn’t want to play Syracuse’s way. We wanted to play our way. It was just one of those days for Le Moyne basketball. The kids will remember this forever.” […]

“I feel bad that the story tomorrow will be, ’What’s wrong with Syracuse basketball?’ I don’t think there’s anything wrong,” he said. “They’ve got tremendous players. It’s an exhibition game. They’re young. They’re going to be terrific.”

Nice try, coach. We see what you’re doing there. Not wanted to take credit away from your guys and all. But really, what’s wrong with Syracuse basketball? Jim Boeheim, your thoughts?:

“Le Moyne really outplayed us from the beginning of the game to the end,” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. “They (the Orange) are very, very young mentally. They really have got to grow up. We couldn’t stop them on the dribble. That’s something we’ve been looking at in practice.”

One of the two not-so-young guys on the team, senior Andy Rautins, called it “embarrassing”:

“It’s just embarrassing the way we played,” said Rautins, born and raised in Syracuse. “It’s embarrassing to ourselves and our fans. It wasn’t luck that they won. They came out and beat us fair and square.”

’Cuse now has five days to correct whats wrong and avoid further embarrassment to another fellow upstate team — they open the real season against Albany next Monday. Then, two short weeks from now, they face a test slightly tougher than your average D-II school when they travel to Berkeley to play No. 12 Cal.

All quotes via AP

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Syracuse Hoops Loses Exhibition Game To ... The LeMoyne Dolphins? Huh?

Yes, you read that headline right. Playing in an exhibition game at the Carrier Dome, the mighty Syracuse Orangemen -- one of the elite college basketball programs in the country each and every year -- lost 82-79 to the not-as-equally mighty LeMoyne Dolphins. Yes, the LeMoyne Dolphins. I promise this is not a joke:

Syracuse trailed by five points with less than a minute remaining, but rallied to take a 79-78 lead on Wes Johnson's 3-point shot with 17 seconds left.

LeMoyne's Christopher Johnson drained a 3-point shot with 8 seconds remaining to put the Dolphins ahead 81-79.

Wes Johnson, who finished with 34 points, had one last 3-point attempt, but the shot drew iron and bounced away.

Get Jim Boeheim some antacids and some muscle relaxers and maybe some antidepressants, because some combination of the three is the Orange's only hope of not having the runningest practices of all-time for the rest of the week. Eesh.

For more on this loss, and all things Syracuse athletics, visit the always brilliant Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician.

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