SU loses championship game against Louisville, heads to NCAA tournament
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NEW YORK CITY -- It's the end of an era for the Syracuse Orange. They left the Big East on a sour note Saturday night, losing to Louisville in the championship game.
Early in the first half, the Orange took a commanding 16-point lead against one of the best teams in the country. But the Cardinals came storming back soon after scoring 29 of the next 33 points. And Louisville was just too much for the Orange, as SU fell 78 to 61.
It was the last Big East game for Syracuse. Next year, they join the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Until the end, SU fans packed a number of Syracuse bars and restaurants to support their team during a rollercoaster season. The team finished the regular season losing four of their last five games.
Last week was a high for Orange nation, with big wins over Pittsburgh and Georgetown; and, fans here at Rosie's in the city are hoping it continues into a long tournament run.
"Syracuse is going to win the whole thing, number one, all the way. Jim Boeheim, we love him and good times," said SU fan, Don Chappell.
History proved to repeat itself because Syracuse lost to Louisville back in the 2009 Big East Championship as well.
Next, the Orange will play in the NCAA tournament.
It wasn't just in Syracuse where Orange fans were sitting on the edge of their seats Saturday night. Thousands decked out in orange and blue traveled to New York City to see the game at Madison Square Garden. Fans leaving the Garden told us it was disappointing to see the Orange lose after holding a 16-point lead in the second half.
"I've been a Syracuse fan for a long time. So, even if we're ahead by 15, 20 points going into the half, I know something else is gonna happen. Unfortunately, it didn't go our way. Louisville had a great second half," said SU fan, Katie Langrock.
"At second half, things didn't really go their way and then they missed a ton of free throws. Free throws really killed them. I think they were shooting like 15 or 14 percent at one point, and that's tough. You can't really win too many games when you're doing that,” said SU fan, Andrew Maley.
Most fans we spoke to said they're still proud of the Orange for what they accomplished in this year's Big East Tournament.
Sunday night is the selection show for the NCAA tournament and YNN will have you covered. We'll break down the brackets inside and out. Our Journey to Georgia selection special is at 11 p.m. We'll also have shows on Thursdays through Sundays, as long as the Orange survive and advance.