6overtimes.com, Gary McGhee's ankles, the Hotel Pennsylvania: I Miss the Big East Tournament Already
UConn should have been allowed to play in this final version of the Big East tournament, despite its postseason ban. Syracuse was banned from the postseason 20 years earlier, but was still allowed to go to Manhattan.
Then again, some people apparently feel UConn still has a shot at winning this week's tourney. According to bovada.lv, the Huskies have 22-to-1 odds of winning this year's Big East tourney. That's better odds than Villanova, Cincinnati, PC, St. John's, Rutgers, Seton Hall, USF and DePaul are getting. And they're all allowed to actually play in the tourney.
*** My own Big East tournament memories aren't as wide-ranging, since I had never attended one before covering my first in 2000 as the Providence College beat writer for the Pawtucket Times. Over the next four years, PC would win just one BET game, so my stays in Manhattan (usually at the "lovely" Hotel Pennsylvania across the street from the Garden) were always short.
Then, when I took over as the Register's UConn beat writer in 2008, my stays were equally short -- first-round exits in '08, '09 (extended by a whole mess of overtimes) and '10.
Then came 2011, and the most amazing run I've ever witnessed.
Here are a few archives of great UConn BET games over the past few years: the championship game win over Louisville in '11, capping the five wins in five nights run; the semifinal win over Syracuse in '11 that took "only" overtime period; the quarterfinal win over Pittsburgh in '11, won by Kemba Walker's buzzer-beater that forever relegated poor Gary McGhee to Craig Ehlo status; and, of course, the six-overtime thriller against Syracuse in '09, a loss Jim Calhoun is still bitter about.This one was so good, and took so long (and late in the night) to finish, perhaps things were better summed up the following day.