FINAL FOUR BOUND: Syracuse pulls off massive comeback in 68-62 win over No. 1 seed Virginia

first_img Published on March 27, 2016 at 8:21 pm Contact Sam: sblum@syr.edu | @SamBlum3 Facebook Twitter Google+ CHICAGO — Adrian Autry was trying to forget everything he knew about Virginia as he sat helpless on the Syracuse bench. The assistant coach had scouted the Cavaliers for this game. He’d scouted them for the game in January and in other games in past years.Syracuse was down by 16 to a team that didn’t give away leads, a team that controlled tempo and shut down offenses with a purpose.There was a certain hopelessness as he and everyone else on the Orange bench watched London Perrantes hit his sixth three pointer and pound three fingers against his temple, staring down a Virginia bench that stood in applause. There was hopelessness as Mike Tobey, a backup center, found an open dunk to end a 7-4 Orange spurt and bring the lead back to 11.“They always somehow compose themselves and boom, bounce the lead back out,” Autry said. “So I’m just sitting there, just kind of cheering the guys. Not trying to think about what I’ve seen over the years.”It was a lead to end this Syracuse season. Its run to the Elite Eight was improbable, but far from magical. A better team stood in its way, and was about to end any hope at history. And that’s when the magic happened. That’s when a 15-0 run, spurred by 21 second-half points from Malachi Richardson, turned improbable into historical. A 68-62 Syracuse (23-13, 9-9 Atlantic Coast) win over Virginia (29-8), that puts it in the Final Four next week in Houston, where it will play No. 1 seed North Carolina.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textIt was a run that included a boastful “They can’t f*cking guard me” from Richardson in front of the Syracuse fan section. It included a pull-up 3 in the face of Malcolm Brogdon, the best perimeter defender in the ACC. When it was over, Syracuse had a six-point lead. It had a clear path to the Final Four, its first in three years, but the most unlikely of Jim Boeheim’s six trips.“Coach came in and barked at me a little bit at halftime. I just had to pick it up,” Richardson said. “Once I got going, I was hot. And I was going.”It took the Orange nearly 14 minutes to get a basket on the first attempt of a possession. Its offense was almost solely on the offensive putbacks of Tyler Roberson. There were certain sparks, like Tyler Lydon connecting on a 3 with one of his shoes thrown off to the sideline, or an 11-2 run to start the second half. But those moments, the Cavaliers found answers to.Usually it was in the form of a Perrantes 3-pointer. Syracuse had game-planned for him, but UVA was picking apart the zone and it left him wide open atop the key.The run, not the spurt that Syracuse had continued to threaten with, didn’t ever seem like it was on the verge of happening. And then it happened with a force.“It was a great comeback, one of the best I’ve coached in, any team I’ve had,” Boeheim said. “Virginia has beaten us by 15 points three straight times. And they were up by 15 today. They’re a hard team to come back against, and these guys just made some unbelievable plays. They deserved to win.”Richardson said he started feeling it when he got to the basket and got fouled with 8:23 left. That cut a 13-point lead down to 11. Then he got to the basket again and got it to nine on the next possession. He pulled up from the left wing and pushed the Orange’s deficit from nine to six. He was using the isolation offense to get to the rim, and he did it all alone when he put Syracuse ahead by one – inciting bedlam from the partisan SU crowd.His pull-up 3 over Brogdon made it four. Then his offensive rebound and putback made the lead six. No one could defend him. When he scored only two points in the first half, it wasn’t out of the ordinary. He’s been bad this year in that way, he gets in his own way. But when it clicked, he was unstoppable.During the Syracuse shoot-around on Saturday afternoon, Richardson got the chance to meet NBA shooting legend Reggie Miller, who was broadcasting the game for TBS. Assistant coach Mike Hopkins asked Miller if he had any advice for the freshman, who in turn told him that as a shooter, he needed to have a short memory. He couldn’t hold on to the ones he missed. And on Sunday, when things weren’t going well, he thought of that moment.Trevor Cooney never found his 3-point stroke. Michael Gbinije had just 11 points. Everyone else combined for just 26. The offense came from Richardson when there was no one else willing or able to step up.“Malachi’s been awesome, man,” Cooney said. “He took this second half over. I just told him, keep being aggressive. You’re gonna get those foul calls. The ball’s gonna go in for you.”The celebration on the court was wild and all over the place. A blur to everyone who was asked about it. Cooney was hounded by reporters on the court, sweat still dripping from his head as he caught his breath. Dajuan Coleman boasted that his powerful and frustrated slap of his towel on the hardwood when the team went down by 14 was the sign of life, the beginning of a comeback.The walk-ons took selfies with each other. Former Syracuse players Rakeem Christmas, Tyler Ennis and C.J. Fair watched the celebration from afar on the other side of the court. Director of athletics Mark Coyle waited patiently for his turn to climb the ladder and cut down part of the net.There was the coach that has been through it all, with a hoarse voice and a Final Four hat atop his head, and he thanked all the Syracuse fans. He was suspended nine games and no one’s stopped asking him to talk about it since. He got in Richardson’s ear when Syracuse needed him to step up. Most importantly, he kept the Orange from giving up.When he walked into the locker room, all the hoopla had died down. The walk-ons affectionately started yelling “GOAT” at him, a reference to the “greatest of all time”. He picked up some chicken fingers that were being given out to the team. He looked at his cell phone, walked to the corner of the locker room, sat down, crossed his legs and let out a loud sigh.His team, against all odds, had found a way. And it still isn’t over.“I mean, I thought we deserved to be in the Tournament,” the 40-year SU head coach said. “But I certainly didn’t — I wasn’t planning on getting to the Final Four.” Commentslast_img read more

Pedro Morilla: “We want to leave now. Our health is at stake”

first_img“The risk of the coronavirus reaching Spain is high” “We are still waiting for you to tell us how and when we are leaving.” They are the words of Pedro Morilla, one of the Spaniards that continues in Wuhan, the focus of a coronavirus that has already left 132 dead and more than 6,000 infected. The sports director of Wuhan Shangwen Three Lions, whose quarry surpassed that of First Division teams and was chosen only a few weeks ago as the best in China, faces the seventh day of recruitment in the hope of returning soon to Spain. “We want to leave now. Our health is at risk and we need to return home. When the situation returns to normal we will return to Wuhan to continue our work,” he discovers.Morilla says that both he and all the Spaniards around him – “nine coaches, the wife of a partner and two children of two years and three months respectively” – have followed all the indications of the Chinese government: “Society in general it is behaving in an exemplary way. we have been locked up for seven days in a private residential and we only left at first to buy food. “The Spanish says that the greatest moments of nervousness took place a week ago:” On the 22nd we trained normally and the closing of the city caught us by surprise. We found out on television and, for fear of the unknown, we went out to buy supplies. “Pedro Morilla is aware that, upon his return to Spain, he must undergo “the necessary medical checks”. “We want to return because, when our professional activity is paralyzed, we don’t paint anything here. But we don’t want to be a problem either. We demand that we demonstrate that we are well and do not carry the virus inside. We hope to be treated effectively, “adds the Sevillian, sorry for the situation in a city as” cheerful “as Wuhan.” It is positive that everyone is at home complying with government regulations so that the virus does not spread, but it’s a shame to see her like that, “he completes. Yes he got back to Spain Roberto Mickel, Director of Analysis of Shenzhen FC. The canary, already at home, lives worried about all the news that comes from China: “They tell me that the police had to go to my neighborhood for three people suspected of having the disease. People are hiding the first symptoms because they fear suffering a common cold and contracting the coronavirus in the hospital. “Roberto reveals that, to prevent the spread of the virus, the Shenzhen government will compensate with 39 euros daily to all people who contract the disease or are awaiting the results. “In my city there are already 80 cases, but a nurse friend tells me that there are many more of those who communicate,” he adds.Shenzhen is located in the Perl River Delta, a region the size of Extremadura that has a joint population that exceeds those of Canada and Australia together. More of 65 million people located in the path of all who yearn to reach Hong Kong, where free care is provided to those affected by the coronavirus. “It is dangerous because in the area there are many people who are passing through. If they have the virus and they make such trips they can leave a lot of infections along the way,” reveals Roberto Mickel. Spanish is “surprised” by how easy it was to reach Spain. “When you leave China they don’t make you any control. They seem to think ‘if you have the virus and want to go out salt, they will stop you somewhere else’. I escaped in the Emirates and when we arrived in Spain we did not pass any inspection. It is true that the flight did not come directly from China, but there are few who do not stop because it is much cheaper. I think the risk of getting here is very high, “he says.In football, China is paralyzed. The AFC announced today that the Chinese teams will play the first three days of the Asian Champions League away from home. “About the Super League, which should start on February 22, we still have no news. Maybe the games are played behind closed doors or the start of the championship is postponed. They will also restructure the Cup, which seems to reduce the number of participating teams “, reveals Roberto Mickel, concerned about the situation of many of his countrymen. “What worries me most is the situation of the many Spaniards who work in Chinese grassroots football. If the parents decide to withdraw their children, the clubs will have losses and they may be left without work,” he says.center_img Roberto Mickellast_img read more