Feb 25, 2012; Storrs, CT, USA; Syracuse Orange forward C.J. Fair (5) shoots in the first half against the Connecticut Huskies at Gampel Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-US PRESSWIRE
Syracuse looked to be well on their way to an easy win early against UConn, but the Huskies rallied back to make it close. The Orange held on for the win, but in controversial fashion.
In the first half of their massive Big East clash with the Syracuse Orange, the Connecticut Huskies struggled. They went into the break down by 14 points, and deservedly so. The second half was a much different story as UConn performed far better to set up a thrilling finish, but the Orange hung on to win 71-69.
At the under-eight minute timeout in the second half, Syracuse led 61-53. UConn turned it on after that, rallying to tie the score at 63-63 four minutes later. The teams went blow for blow from then through the end of the game, with Andre Drummond making the Huskies' final two baskets, the second of which came on an offensive rebound to tie the game at 69-69 with just under a minute remaining.
On Syracuse's next trip down the floor, the Huskies had no answer for Fab Melo, who scored on a dunk to put his team ahead. Roscoe Smith appeared to draw a foul on UConn's final trip down the floor, but the officials didn't see anything against the rules and C.J. Fair was credited with a clean block.
Syracuse locked up the Big East title with this win, while UConn's NCAA tournament at-large prospects are now in seriously dire straits. They will need to defeat Providence and Pitt in their next two games to feel confident about their chances of getting into the tournament.
For more on the two teams, head over to Syracuse Orange blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and The UConn Blog.