Cuse Country

Home Away From Dome for Syracuse Orange Fans

Regression

Posted by Josh on January 18, 2007

  • regression (re-GRESH-uhn); n. (1) the act of reverting to a previous place or state. (2) a relation between values of x and values of y (often used to make predictions).

Due to various circumstances, I was only able to watch slightly more than the first half of the SU-Cincinnati game last night. Which means I saw them build a commanding lead with crisp offense and dominating defense, including a steal and bucket in the last seconds of the half (bucking the recent trend of giving up such baskets). In other words, picking up where they left off. When I had to turn the game off (a couple minutes into the 2nd half) they still were up by a solid margin. So you can imagine my suprise when, upon checking the score this morning, I discovered the insanely slim margin of victory — and even more shocking, that they would probably have lost if UC had made that last one-and-one. Stunning developments — I nearly blew Cheerios out my nose.

Thinking back, I suppose the signs were there in the first few minutes of the second half that I was able to watch. I remember the offense being suddenly sloppy (turnovers on many of the first possessions) and the defense giving up a couple open shots. I can think of only one highly plausible analysis — SU so easily handled the first half that they started to think Cincinnati sucked, and so came out with no fire in the 2nd half. That’s really just a return of the old bugaboo of SU Hoops — the team plays poorly against opponents they feel are inferior. It happened pretty much all December long (and seems to happen *every* December for that matter). This game was an inversion of the usual theme though: the normal script is to start the first half flat (see Northeastern, Canisius, et al). That tends not to happen in conference games because they respect their Big East opponents a priori.

As I said, the signs were there early in the 2nd half; I naively assumed that they’d snap out of it after a timeout, but it seems they instead lost their composure entirely. I can’t say for sure since I did not witness the meltdown but from what I’ve read, it wasn’t pretty. Their regression to an earlier style of uninspired play has cast serious doubt over all those optimistic predictions we made just a couple days ago. (OK, so it’s a math pun. You knew it was only a matter of time.) That clicking sound you hear is all us bloggers furiously rescinding/modifying/qualifying our earlier statements (like most pundits, our opinions change daily).Now we have seen that not only is every BE game winnable, they are all eminently losable too. There’s only one thing to do: Buy stock in Maalox.

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One Response to “Regression”

  1. Man, is this the gasface to end all gasfaces???: http://orange44.blogspot.com/

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