Commentary

Seton Hall shocks Syracuse

Updated: January 27, 2011, 12:27 PM ET
By Dick Vitale | ESPN.com

I was having dinner out on Tuesday night when I was told the final score of the Seton Hall-Syracuse game at the Carrier Dome.

When I heard it was 90-68, I figured the Orange had won easily.

Wrong.

My friends, the score was certainly shock city to me. It may have been the biggest surprise of the season because of the margin. This clearly was part of a hangover for the Orange after back-to-back losses to Pittsburgh and Villanova.

It was a great win for young coach Kevin Willard, clearly the best W in his early tenure with the Hall. The Pirates are certainly a better team with a healthy Jeremy Hazell, and he came up big with 28 points.

For Boeheim, it's a frustrating evening that will send him back to the drawing board. Teams can slip over the long season, but there is plenty of time to regroup. Guys like Kris Joseph and Rick Jackson will look long and hard in the mirror and find a way to bounce back. The Orange have too much talent to struggle like this.

At one point, Syracuse was a top five team! The potential is still there to move up again in the national rankings but, for one night, it was a real stunner. Congrats to the Pirates on an eye-opening win.

I have said it before and I will say it again, if you don't lace 'em up and play hard in the Big East, you will get an L. There are no cupcakes in the conference, and Syracuse found that out the hard way on Tuesday.

Dick Vitale

College Basketball analyst
Dick Vitale, college basketball's top analyst and ambassador, joined ESPN during the 1979-80 season. His thorough knowledge of the game is brought forth in an enthusiastic, passionate style. Vitale also contributes columns to ESPN.com.