Syracuse and Kansas did a fine job Monday reaffirming what most everyone already knew: Both are title contenders. Why else do you think we have them as No. 1 seeds in our NCAA tournament projections?
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|Andy Rautins loves how Syracuse played Monday.
The Orange (20-1) shrugged off a putrid start – they trailed 14-0 after three minutes – and ripped off a 73-56 win against No. 7 Georgetown. The opening left an impression, but it didn't damper Jim Boeheim's enthusiasm for his team's performance.
In fact, it's as good as 'Cuse gets.
"We recovered from the worst start I can remember," said the Syracuse coach. "Our defense picked up and our offense got going. To go into halftime ahead was really unbelievable. To dominate a top-10 team after giving them 14 points is quite an effort. That's as good as we can play. Everybody was looking for each other."
Notable stats: The Orange dished 18 assists on 24 baskets, had an eFG% of 57.8 and held the Hoyas to just .82 points per possession (more than enough to offset Georgetown's 51.0 eFG%; get thee to the free-throw line, Hoyas!).
Speaking of notable stats, at one point during Kansas' 84-65 win against Missouri, the Jayhawks held a 25-point lead despite committing 20 turnovers. Compare that to Missouri's four turnovers at that point, and you can see why this expression rarely left Mike Anderson's face. (Other tempo-free nuggets: KU's eFG% was 57.0 and it scored 1.13 PPP.)
I mean, if I said that Kansas would commit nearly five times as many turnovers as the Tigers and still win by 19, you'd think I was being a homer (and probably do anyway). But that's the thing with Kansas right now. Even on a night when Sherron Collins makes just 2 of 11 shots and finishes with 6 points and 4 turnovers, Kansas (19-1) can dominate the game.
It also helps that Cole Aldrich turned in a game NBA scouts will love – 12 points, 16 boards, 7 blocks and 1 missed shot.
Title contenders? They looked like it Monday. Even if they did play at home.
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