You stay classy, Syracuse and UCONN

I’m not breaking news when I say that, in general, we here at MSF aren’t particularly big fans of the two coastal programs that often sit atop the Big East – UCONN and Syracuse.

It’s not just the obscene overexposure and favor granted to these two programs by the biased shills at ESPN, it’s also the unabashed arrogance with which both programs go about their business that we tend to find, shall we say, off-putting.

Yesterday offered two quintessential examples of this arrogance.


Scoop Jardine and Jim Boeheim (Photo by Briles Takes Pictures via Wikimedia Commons)

Jim Boeheim

First, Syracuse was taken to the wire by a feisty UNC-Asheville team. There were a number of calls during the game that observers found questionable, though I tend to agree with Jay Bilas’ stance on such calls, which is that they may have affected the game but they didn’t decide the game. I’ve seen enough Big Ten basketball to know that poor calls are just part of the college basketball experience. You have to win or loss in spite of such calls when they inevitably happen. So I’m not here to argue the merits of the officials’ decisions.

Rather, I’d just like to show you another reason why my respect level for Jim Boeheim continues to plummet by the year, despite the gaudy win totals he has compiled at Syracuse. Click here and watch the third video entitled “Boeheim: I think the better team won.”

When you watch the whole video, you’ll see that Boeheim starts out with the usual coachspeak platitudes about Asheville playing hard and playing well, blah blah blah. Coaches say such things so robotically as to make them almost totally devoid of genuine meaning. But he said them, and I’m not in Boeheim’s head, so he wasn’t totally dismissive of Asheville’s great effort.

But then he said this:

“I don’t think luck had anything to do with this game today,” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said, “and I think the better team won.”

He then follows this statement up by citing a number of impressive stats the #1 seed Syracuse compiled against the 16th-seeded Bulldogs from the Big South, along the way insinuating that Syracuse maintained control throughout. There is nary a whiff of humility or credit given to Asheville for controlling much of the game and putting the heavily-favored ‘Cuse in a position where people could reasonably ask him if luck played a part in the win.

For the record, just like I try not to bitch too much about officiating, I’m also not big on chalking wins and losses up to luck, even though we all know rationally that in small sample sizes luck can have a big impact. Over time it all tends to even out though, so I try not to get too caught up in it.

So fine, Boeheim doesn’t want to chalk the win up to luck. And fine, he believes the better team won. Well, yeah! I hope so! Syracuse is the #1 seed that that has a huge basketball budget and spent much of the year ranked #1 in the country. UNC-Asheville is from a small conference and got an automatic bid plus one of the four worst seeds in the tournament. I agree that the better team won; but instead of spouting off stats compiled during a thoroughly underwhelming performance, why not take the chance to give real, effusive credit to the opposition? Why not shine some light on the little guy whose moment in the sun will be so fleeting, rather than defensively trying to convince everyone that our interpretation of the game we watched was wrong?

I tweeted out late last night that Jim Boeheim can be a real jackwagon sometimes. That’s an example of why.

While Boeheim’s postgame arrogance bordered on infuriating, even though I didn’t have a particular rooting interest in the game outside of my general desire to see upsets, UCONN’s brand of arrogance last night was just humorous.

Jeremy Lamb

In case you missed it, while Iowa State was running out the clock on a thorough beatdown of the defending champions, the Huskies stole the ball and attempted to land a breakaway dunk…for no reason at all. Jeremy Lamb, one of last year’s tournament heroes, decided it would be a good time to attempt the last-second windmill.

He clanked it.


I don’t know Jeremy Lamb. I don’t know the UCONN players. So I’m not making a value judgment on them as people. But I can say that from the UCONN basketball I’ve watched this year, they have appeared to me to be a team that has played lethargically and with an arrogant sense of entitlement that, frankly, doesn’t make it all that disappointing to see them lose.

And considering the lack of sportsmanship they showed here in the face of Iowa State’s show of good sportsmanship, I really didn’t mind seeing that dunk clang of the rim in a moment that will live as an infamous reminder of UCONN’s rather poor defense of its title.

In conclusion, I just want to say that this is not a Big East rant. I’m a big fan of Marquette and its humble, hard-working coach Buzz Williams. I appreciate what Mike Brey does at Notre Dame each year, winning more games than his talent level suggests. South Florida plays a rugged, hard hat-type style that may not be fun to watch but is commendable. No, this is simply a rant against two of the three most annoyingly overexposed and overhyped programs in college basketball (Duke being the other, of course), who are beloved by ESPN and thus shoved down our throats like college basketball cough medicine. So you’ll have to forgive me if I take a little bit of pleasure in their struggles, especially when they lose, or are taken to the brink of living in Tournament infamy, with the same arrogance they win with.

Good riddance UCONN, and *good luck* Syracuse and Coach Boeheim. Here’s hoping Frank Martin’s boys knock the smug right out of you.

About Jerod Morris

I love words. I write for Copyblogger and founded MSF, The Assembly Call, & Primility. I practice yoga, eat well, & strive for balance. I love life. Namaste. Say hi on Twitter, Facebook, & G+.


  1. I’m not sure how a dunk makes you have a sense of entitlement. UConn underperformed majorly this season, but I don’t think it had anything to do with the reasons you mentioned. Just bad chemistry, much like last year’s Michigan St. Spartans. And you do realize that ESPN is located in uh… CT? Which explains their over exposure, much like Red Sox, Yankees, Knicks, Patriots etc. 

    • To me it was just a symptom of a larger problem that seemed to infiltrate UCONN this year. Granted, it was a tough year with Calhoun’s absence and such, but a play like that – to me – just symbolizes either a) a lack of class or b) complete thoughtlessness. If Lamb is a doofus, as you say (I don’t know), then perhaps it’s more the latter. Either way, it was still a unnecessary play to make.

      And yes, I know WHY they are overexposed. And that’s more a critique of ESPN than UCONN.

      • You are right about Uconn, they really do play with a sense of entitlement. They lack leadership, character, and maturity. I’m not sure Lamb will ever be the kind of leader they need. What stood out most to me this year was their post-game comments after losing to Syracuse (some controversial calls there as well). They outright said that they lost because the Refs screwed them over. A good team would have asked themselves why they let the game be that close in the first place. They are far too willing to blame their problems on anyone but themselves. 

      • Don’t disagree. But there’s a reason why it’s that way.

        I hate New England sports for the most part, but it gets viewership, which in turn gives them business. So I understand why ESPN does it.

        And I’d say it was more thoughtlessness. A lot of the guys are gentle giants, but they aren’t the sharpest tools in the shed if you know what I mean.

  2. Well said.  Though I dislike the Big East, teams like Marquette, Notre Dame, USF and others get my respect — but then again, those teams are based outside the northeast.  I think Syracuse and Boeheim, plus UConn & their players & staff embody not only what’s wrong with college hoops, but what’s wrong with the sports media (ESPN LOVES these teams; so does CBS) and many college fans in large markets.  

    In essence, as we see every year (Boeheim, his players and arrogant fans gave Butler NO respect before, during or after BU knocked them out in 2010), schools and coaches represent their fan bases and vice versa.  In this case, it’s done poorly.  Both schools have major corruption issues as well.Thankfully, Connecticut is done and off to probation. Syracuse, as usual, will be done soon too. Haven’t made it past Sweet 16 in a decade.

  3. I’d also like to mention that Lamb is kind of a doofus. So it could just be that.

  4. I’d like to see how much patience you would have in his situation. To have to deal with the issues that Boeheim has faced all year with the media basically trying to lynch him because it makes for good ratings. The media basically said he was guilty by association with the fine scandal, and now  it turns out half the allegations were flat out lies and the others are sketchy at best. How many media idiots were asking for his resignation? They don’t have to be held accountable if they erroneously ruin someone’s reputation. 
    As for the game, most of those 18,000 were bitter WV & Kstate fans that had an agenda and a reason for wanting Cuse to lose. I wouldn’t exactly say they are credible. Boeheim said what he said because he knows how the media will twist any comment he makes and try to use aginst this team. 

    • Funny that you think the media dislikes Boeheim. The media, based out of NY & Conn, loves Syracuse. Majority of ESPN guys attended Syracuse.

      Do you live in the northeast?Stop calling people bitter. WVU is a Big East team, so that’s your group of overrated guys. K-State had a good win and will knock the Orange out tomorrow.Syracuse was awful yesterday.  Give credit to the opponent, Jim. He never does,  Didn’t when ‘Cuse lost to Butler in 2010 either.

      • I think its fair to say the sports media will say and do anything that makes them money(ratings). I admit bitter was a strong word and probably undeserved (Im still bitter that it seemed everyone in world was rooting for cuse to lose). I like WV and K-state and can’t blame them for rooting for the underdog. But how would you feel if your team had a chance to win it all and everyone was rooting against them?
        Also, I wouldn’t be so confident in your Kstate making the upset (Last year’s Kstate perhaps). Syracuse didn’t get to 32-2 by getting lucky (alright maybe one game), but by playing stifling Defense. Cuse has beaten great rebounding teams and their only losses were to teams that  got hot and nailed the 3 (and were good defensively). Kstate doesn’t have enough to win though I expect it to be close, as all cuse games are close but they always manage to win . 

  5. “Here’s hoping Frank Martin’s boys knock the smug right out of you.”

  6. By the way, Buzz Williams is anything but humble and is the epitome of classlessness. Explain him dancing on the WV court after beating an obviously inferior team(young and inexperienced). Act like you belong, you are not UNC-Ashville and definitely not an underdog. I guess he just wants to live it up while he can, because with Crowder gone, their team will be lucky to make the tourney next year. 

    • Well, I have to grant that point. Buzz’s moment of exuberance wasn’t exactly the epitome of class. I will stay that from everyone I’ve read about him, he seems like a much more humble, unarrogant guy than other coaches, but I’ve been far less exposed to him than a guy like Boeheim, so I may have spoken a bit too strongly there about something I don’t know enough about. Still, I wasn’t as put off by Buzz’s dancing as I often am by comments Boeheim makes…but I have 20+ years of Boeheim dislike that has slowly built on itself.

      • This wasn’t a single isolated moment, just the worst offense for Buzz. Coaches have different personalities, and they are not always politically correct. But really, does that give me the right to criticize and disrespect him as a coach and person? I think not. He is a good coach and I respect him even though his style and personality annoy me. Boeheim has short patience for dumb and/or loaded questions like; do you think your team was lucky? (I mean come on…). 
        To say he is arrogant is a disservice to his 30+ year career in which he orchestrated and built Syracuse into the perennial power it is today. 

    • 100% wrong.  If you listened to the dozens of interviews he did the day after that, he apologized, said he was wrong, talked about how lucky and blessed he is to have such a great job, etc, etc. The most humble, contrite, grateful and introspective coach you’ll find. The antithesis of Boeheim.  Time to get your facts correct instead of media soundbytes.

  7. Here’s the incredible Buzz Williams interview with Jim Rome after the WVU incident.  He is everything you want in a coach. The total opposite of Jim Boeheim who exudes arrogance and ego:

  8. Well said, Jerod.  Though I dislike the Big East, teams like Marquette, Notre Dame, USF and others get my respect — but then again, those teams are based way outside the northeast.  I think Syracuse and Boeheim, plus UConn & their players & staff embody not only what’s wrong with college hoops, but what’s wrong with the sports media (ESPN LOVES these teams as most of their staff is SU alumni; so does CBS) and many college fans in large markets.  
    In essence, as we see every year (Boeheim, his players and arrogant fans gave Butler NO respect before, during or after BU knocked them out in 2010), schools and coaches represent their fan bases and vice versa.  In this case, it’s done poorly.  Both schools have major corruption issues as well.Thankfully, Connecticut is done and off to probation. Syracuse, as usual, will be done soon too. Haven’t made it past Sweet 16 in a decade.Hopefully Syracuse will do the right thing and dismiss Boeheim finally once his team chokes this March. Long overdue for a corrupt man with zero class.But hearing that awful chancellor ($625 k/year fool Nancy Cantor) over the years, I doubt she’s take a stand for anything good. That’s Syracuse University:  A place for the rich and privileged from the northeast, lacking principles. I know many who’ve attended there.  A sad group.

  9. OK, MEAC beats Big XII, again, time to pile on MIdwest school that will be bridesmaids to Kentucky going forward…

  10. Hooversagain says:

    You realize that Boeheim’s comment was in response to the UNCA coach saying that the best team did not win. Boeheim is one of the most wel liked and resspected coaches in basketball. He is also among the top, if not the top, fund raiser for the V Foundation. His charitable efforts are unsurpassed in college basketball.
    People who don’t like Boeheim are the first people who would want him as coach of their team. He is brutally honest and defensive to a fault, but he is not arrogant.

  11. I can’t disagree with your analysis one bit. The UConn basketball program as a whole believes it’s untouchable, so to have an “upstart” like Iowa State knock them out is a blow to their ego. Syracuse has that same kind of attitude, as shown with Boeheim’s comments. But, eventually, the mighty (even the self-professed mighty) fall, as the clunk of a dunk shows.

  12. lacesoutdan says:

    Wow. Boeheim’s comments were in response to a reporter telling him that UNC Asheville’s coach said the best team lost that day. You put that quote completely out of context on purpose in order to mislead people and paint Boeheim as a villian. Congrats, you are the definition of a dishonest, bush-league hack.

  13. @GregorianRants says:

    Kansas State did what?

  14. @GregorianRants says:

    Jerod, Lacesoutdan is 100% right and you just showed a classic case of biased, misinformed “journalism” with your out of context reference. Boeheim was responding to what the UNC-Asheville coach said.  And if you outsiders even knew of the time and money Boeheim and his wife put forth in supporting the V Foundation and Coaches vs Cancer, you would be embarrassed for your criticisms.   

  15. This is amazing!  I didn’t know they had internet access in the midwest.  Or do you write this drivel from someplace else?

  16. Wow bitter much? It’s taken away your simple math skills too. No elite 8 in 10 years?? Really did they skip the eilte 8 in 2003.  12 – 3 = what?  I’ll help 9.

     How’d that K-state prediction work out for ya?

    If you bothered to take a minute you could quickly figure out Boheim is anything but arrogant.

    Know your business..

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