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Gonzaga-Syracuse game thread

Final thought: This was as impressive a performance as Syraucse has put on all season. If it continues playing this good the Orange won't just make it to Indianapolis for the Final Four it will cut down the nets when it gets there. ---AW

It's over: Syracuse wins, 87-65. The Orange meets the Butler Thursday in Salt Lake City.

3:55: Gonzaga has cut into Syracuse's lead just slightly (81-57), but there won't be a comeback. Surprising SU coach Jim Boeheim still has most of his starters on the court. Might be wise time to empty the bench, Coach. This one is over. ---AW

10:54: The way Syracuse is playing, at least in terms of chemistry, reminds me of the way Florida played during its first national championship in 2006. Len Elmore just said Wes Johnson may be the best player remaining in the tournament and he might be right. Still, Kentucky's John Wall and Ohio State's Evan Turner might have something to say about that. Orange is up 76-46 --RM

11:56: Syracuse, 71-41. ESPN.com's Dana O'Neil on her Twitter feed: "Thinking they may as well have renamed HSBC Arena to Carrier Dome Jr."  Extra thought for the Gonzaga band -- Despite your song choice, this is no "Thriller". -- Mike Harrington

13:19: It's officially a blowout. Syracuse is up 64-38 and the only issue now is by how much will they win by. It was the Andy Rautins Show to start the second half as he scored the Orange's first 11 points to help blow the game open. Gonzaga's leading scorer, guard Matt Bouldin, finally got on the board with a pair of baskets after being held scoreless in the first half, but it's too little and way too late for the Bulldogs. ---Allen Wilson

Halftime: According to an Associated Press report, about a half hour before the game, Gonzaga center Robert Sacre called the Orange "soft" and "a bunch of pretty boys." Syracuse didn't look very soft to me, going on a 9-0 run immediately after starting center Rick Jackson left the game with three fouls. If anyone was soft, it was Gonzaga's Matt Bouldin, who disappeared offensively against the 2-3.

--- Jerry Sullivan

Halftime: Wow. Syracuse up, 47-32 at the half. Visions of Indianapolis are dancing in Orange Heads. Who needs big men? Playing without center Arinze Onuaku, the Orange saw center Rick Jackson pick up his third foul with about 9 minutes left in the half. SU was up 22-21. No problem. Syracuse outscored Gonzaga, 25-11, the rest of the half. What a great offensive show. Very few bad shots taken. The buckets came on: driving layup, open jumper from the key, foul-line jumper by Rautins, wide-open 3 by Wes Johnson, wide-open layup on a good cut, wide-open three by Triche. It's a clinic. I can't imagine what Zags coach Mark Few can come up with in the locker room. -- MG

6:43: Wesley Johnson is playing like an All-American. Already has 12 points. Since Rick Jackson went out, Syracuse is on a 9-0 run. --RM

7:56: Less than a minute after picking up his second foul, center Rick Jackson picked up his third and was forced to the bench. Now DaShonte Riley has to play the rest of the half and perhaps start the second. The Orange officially miss Arinze Onuaku. --RM

8:58: Gonzaga has found a hole in the zone by throwing passes inside to Elias Harris, who makes a weak side cut ... Syracuse needs to do a better job of sealing that up. -- MG

11:13: Elias Harris just had a nice dunk over Wesley Johnson but Syracuse came down on its next possession and went to Andy Rautins who hit a three. The Orange seem to be settling down and finding a groove.

--RM 

14:17 left in the first half: Gonzaga doesn't seem to be having much trouble with the Syracuse 2-3. On the Zags first play they went over the top of it for a layup.

---RM

11:59 am: Almost time for tipoff for the Syracuse-Gonzaga game and Syracuse fans are already loud and ready to go. Syracuse is coming off a first-round blowout of Vermont, while the Zags slipped by Florida State. It will be interesting to see how Gonzaga plays against the Orange's 2-3 zone but on the flipside this is probably the biggest team Syracse has faced all season.

---Rodney McKissic

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