Syracuse faced its toughest opponent so far in the Florida Gators. The Gators, normally a powerhouse, looked decent at times but struggled with Syracuse's offense and defense. They looked more like salamanders than gators.
I believe that the issue with SEC officials has trickled to the hardwood as Syracuse's Jackson was beat up pretty bad getting his first 10-12 points and no whistles. On the other end of the floor, Onuaku was called for a foul while standing still and being recklessly charged into. Even with the referees' help, they were still no match for the Orange Crush.
Not the prettiest of wins, but still a win.
Florida kept things fairly close most of the game, but Syracuse proved to be too much winning in double figures again. This is a highly explosive offense with a rabid defense. They are ranked No. 7 after starting the season at No. 25. Villanova is also 9-0 but have played no one of significance. The Orange are clearly the beast in the east.
All the returning players are looking better and playing defense extremely well. Triche, Johnson, and the other new players are looking great.
Some of these games aren't even close. It looks like the Lakers vs. my son's basketball teams at times. Syracuse is playing above and beyond the competition thus far.
Florida could have, and at times looked like they might, blemish the Orange's perfect season, but fell short in the final three minutes of the games as Syracuse stepped up the D and had a little scoring run to put them over the top.
Syracuse fans are excited, and reasonably so, as this is probably the best squad Jim Boehiem has had since the 2003 championship they won against a very good Kansas team. Boehiem may be in line for another championship this year as the Orange continue to prove that they are an elite team.
Next on the schedule is St. Francis at 3-5. Sorry Terriers, but you're going to be another bump in the road on the way to the finals. With St. Bonaventure, Oakland, and Seton Hall on the schedule, Syracuse looks to remain undefeated through to 2010.
After another horrible football season, the Orange can always count on the basketball team making a solid run, year after year, with this year's team looking as if they could win it all.