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The Conundrum: Syracuse vs Indiana

Everyone knows Marquette plays Miami on Thursday. What might get overlooked by Marquette fans is that Syracuse plays Indiana 30 minutes after the MU game in the same building. This leaves those MU fans with tickets to the Verizon Center with a choice.


If you're going to Washington, D.C., on Thursday for the Marquette game, and you've got tickets, you get to attend both the Marquette-Miami game and the Syracuse-Indiana game. So even though you're going to be celebrating a Marquette win, you may as well get your money's worth and watch the second game.

That leaves you with one question: Which team do you cheer for? Usually in this kind of situation, cheering for a meteor strike would work, except you're *IN* the building. Telling your grandkids about the time you were in a stadium that was struck by a meteor would be a hell of a story except you're probably not going to make it out alive. So that one's out.

Let's look at some possible reasons why you should cheer for both teams:


1) Marquette already beat Syracuse this season. Marquette and Syracuse have only played one NCAA tournament game against each other in their 13 game all time series, and I think we all remember how that went. The important thing to remember about that go-round is Marquette had already beaten Syracuse during the regular season in Milwaukee. MU beat Syracuse in Milwaukee during this year's regular season. I smell a trend! On top of that, Marquette has won three of the last four against the Orange. They know how to beat Syracuse, so that would be a great advantage to have in an Elite Eight game.

2) The East Region is the only chalk region. Look at how the Sweet 16 shook out. Marquette's region is the only one where the 1, 2, 3, and 4 seeds all made it through. That's no fun. Wouldn't it be more fun to see no 1 seeds make the Final Four? That can be guaranteed by 4 seed Syracuse beating 1 seed Indiana.

3) It means Tom Crean flames out of the tournament. I'm as dumbfounded as you that Crean has made it to two straight Sweet 16s. I mean, the concept of Crean winning NCAA tournament games at all is stunning, really, but to have prolonged success? UNHEARD OF. On top of that, getting to the Elite Eight is still a pretty impressive accomplishment, so bombing out in the S16 means Crean looks even more ridiculous for cutting down the nets in an empty Assembly Hall.


1) Traitors and liars shall not be missed. Syracuse is one of the reasons that the Big East no longer exists in the manner in which Marquette joined. I'd be fine with the Orange never succeeding in anything ever again, and the first step on that path is losing a basketball game as soon as possible.

2) It's better for college basketball when the blue bloods are good. Let's be honest: Indiana's a big time program when it comes to college basketball. When people hear "Indiana's playing in the Regional Finals tonight," that's a big deal. I know what you're saying: Isn't that the case with Syracuse? No. It's a relative surprise when Syracuse gets to the Elite Eight: Indiana has the same number of Final Four appearances as Syracuse has Elite Eight appearances. Casual fans know the game's important when Indiana's involved, and that raises the whole sport to a more important level.

3) It'd be frigging awesome to beat the holy hell outta Tom Crean to earn a Final Four spot. And not just to watch the most awkward post game blow by handshake in the history of sports, either. Hey, I know I'm the guy who shut the door on the Tom Crean Era two years ago. It doesn't mean it wouldn't be fantastic to see it happen.

So there's three possible reasons for both sides. Vote in the poll as to which side you're going to cheer for and if you've got a different reason why, speak up in the comments!