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That’s A Wrap: #3 Boeheim’s Army 73, #1 Golden Eagles 69

The Marquette alumni will not become the second team to win consecutive titles in The Basketball Tournament.

NCAA Men’s Basketball - Boston College vs Wake Forest - February 8, 2006
This is Tyrese Rice. He did not go to Syracuse, but he did score the Elam Ender for the Syracuse alumni team.
Photo by Brian A. Westerholt/Getty Images

After 1: 23-17, Marquette

After 2: 39-32, Marquette

After 3: 58-50, Marquette

After that?? Wellllllllllll..........

#3 seed Boeheim’s Army handed top seeded Golden Eagles a 21-7 run down the stretch to knock off the Marquette alumni team in the quarterfinals of The Basketball Tournament, 73-69. The Syracuse alumni team advance to the semifinals where they will face.... well, someone, I’m not spending a lot of time thinking about it. The MU guys’ run at becoming just the second team to win a TBT title as well as the second team to ever go back-to-back has come to an end.

Golden Eagles went up 62-52 with 7:47 left on the clock on a Vander Blue layup, and that was a pretty big deal. After all, Boeheim’s Army had just cut the game to a 46-45 margin favoring the MU guys with 3:29 left in the third quarter, and Golden Eagles had responded to lead by eight at the start of the fourth. Holding onto a 10 point lead there, with 3:48 to go before the Elam Ending could activate... seemed like a pretty big deal. But a 10-0 run by the Syracuse guys knotted the game at 62, and only a tough Dwight Buycks baseline J just after the four minute mark gave Golden Eagles the advantage at the start of the untimed finale to the game. Quite simply, Golden Eagles never recovered from giving up that lead. They looked out of sorts all through the Elam Ending, and honestly, it was kind of impressive that they managed to staple it together long enough for Buycks to hit a three to move them into a position where if they got yet another stop, a three would push them to the Target Score.

Instead, Tyrese Rice scored his second straight layup, and that was that. Ballgame.

If you wanted to trace the game back to something other than that 21-7 run at the end, you could. Trace it all the way back to this:

Now, part of Boeheim’s Army having 10 second chances at that point was the fact that they were shooting 41% at the time. If you miss a lot, then you can rack up the ORs. But they were getting to a lot of their misses, right around 50% of them at the time, and by the end, the Syracuse guys had grabbed up 44% of their missed shots. Golden Eagles had a chance to put their foot on the throat of Boeheim’s Army early if they had just gotten two or three, maybe four defensive rebounds. Instead, BA got them, that turned into an extra basket here and an extra basket there, and the game stayed closer than it should have the rest of the way.

Rice’s final two layups gave him 20 points to lead Boeheim’s Army to the win, while Dwight Buycks scored 22 points on 8-for-11 shooting. Elgin Cook capped off a superb four game run in this year’s TBT with 10 points on 5-for-7 shooting along with a team high seven rebounds. Four Golden Eagles players tied for the team lead in assists with two, which does kind of outline the trouble that they had scoring down the stretch.

If you’re so inclined, you can watch the highlights of the game, such as they are.