The Syracuse Orange (26-9) simply ran out of gas in the Big East Finals on Saturday night against the Louisville Cardinals, but for Louisville (28-5) will likely be a No. 1 seed heading into the NCAA tournament.
The Syracuse-UConn six overtime game will forever define the 2009 Big East Tournament and Syracuse’s one overtime win against the Mountaineers of West Virginia on Friday was just too much for the Orangemen.
Syracuse came into the finals with more than a game and a half more minutes of playing time than Louisville.
Earl Clark had 13-points and 10 rebounds to lead the No. 5 Cardinals to a 76-66 victory over No. 18 Syracuse, giving the regular-season champs their first Big East title.
“Louisville's pressure defense is tough on a team with plenty of rest,” an Associated Press writer said. “It was really troubling for a team that had played nearly an extra game of overtime in a four-day span.”
The win was the 10th straight for Louisville, which will be making its second straight NCAA appearance and 34th overall.
Syracuse was going for a sixth Big East title in its 14th championship.
Despite the Orange's loss, point guard, Jonny Flynn, took home the 2009 Big East Tournament MVP.
In the quarterfinals of the 2009 Big East Tournament on March 12 and 13th, Flynn led the Orange to a 127-117 win in six overtimes over the heavily favored UConn Huskies.
Flynn played 67 minutes on the floor that evening, leading the Orange by scoring 34-points, adding 11 assists and making all 16 of his free throw attempts.
Flynn then played all 45 minutes of Syracuse's 74-69 overtime victory over the WVU Mountaineers in the Big East semifinals, scoring 15-points with 9 assists.
At the finals against Louisville, Flynn, just 10 minutes into the game, marked playing more minutes than any other player in tournament history.
Flynn was the first MVP from a losing team since Victor Page of Georgetown in 1996.
Britney Milazzo is a Contributor for Bleacher Report.