Checking In From XL: Jim Calhoun On The End of A Rivalry

by Categorized: DeAndre Daniels, Enosch Wolf, Jim Boeheim, Jim Calhoun, NCAA, Ryan Boatright, Shabazz Napier, Syracuse basketball, Tyler Olander, UConn men's basketball

HARTFORD – Checking in from XL Center, where UConn and Syracuse will get together in a few minutes.

 Jim Calhoun arrived early, and chatted with his old friend/foe Jim Boeheim before UConn and Syracuse played for the last time as Big East rivals.

“People make decisions in 10 minutes [to end] a rivalry that’s lasted 30-some years,” Calhoun said, as he stopped to talk about 6 p.m. “… I don’t remember a game with Syracuse that wasn’t meaningful.”

Calhoun’s list of UConn-Syracuse games has a special spot for Jan. 16, 1988, when Cliff Robinson  hit a one-and-one with no time left on the clock to beat Syracuse at the Dome, 51-50. UConn came from 10 points down to upset the Orange, and went on to win the NIT two months later. “That game got us over the hump,” Calhoun said. “It meant the most for us.”

(That one is my favorite, too. It’s the game that kind started it all. I remember Dee Rowe on the telecast back to Connecticut.)

The six OT game at The Garden? “Oh, it was a classic,” Calhoun said. “But it was a loss. I didn’t go back to my hotel at 4 a.m. and say ‘what a great day.’”

Calhoun and Boeheim have become good friends over the years. “We’re like heavyweight fights who beat the [heck] out of each other, then hug at the end – and mean it,” Calhoun said. “I have tremendous respect for him.”

Calhoun repeated a familiar theme of his, though, in recent weeks. He was disappointed there wasn’t more buzz in the city on Wednesday. “We need to get the buzz back for games like this,” he said.


The news from Enosch Wolf, who was arraigned in Rockville on Wednesday, is on our main site, click here. Since his next court appearance is scheduled for March 30, the UConn season ends March 9 and he is suspended until the legal process is completed, it would appear there is no chance he will be reinstated this season.


Same lineup for UConn: Tyler Olander, DeAndre Daniels, Shabazz Napier, Ryan Boatright, Omar Calhoun. Big East Refs: Gene Steratore, Ed Corbett, Brian O’Connell.

Phil Nolan will have to play a lot off the bench. UConn coaches believe he will bring some energy, but worry about him getting nervous if things go wrong.

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5 thoughts on “Checking In From XL: Jim Calhoun On The End of A Rivalry

  1. Mike McManus

    What a great game to watch. Congrats to the Huskies for such a gutsy upset, rebounding with intensity, playing inspired defense, and attacking the Syracuse zone with perfection. All UCONN fans should be proud of these guys!

  2. Paul

    Some of my greatest memories growing up as a kid were listening/watching the cuse games. We lived in the middle of no where in Western MA. My dad would get out the rabbit ears so we could get the snowy channel 8 picture. Only problem was the sound didnt come in so we would turn on 1080 and listen to Joe D! The coolest part to me was the radio was always ahead of the tv by a second or 2. I can still hear Joe D go “Nadav for 3…Good!” and we would hear the good when the ball was in the air. Man the memories of watching games like that with my father…good times!

  3. Mark

    coming into the season i was depressed thinking we had a team too thin to compete with a coach that wouldn’t know what to do. this season though has been a complete joy. particularly given how dysfuntional the team was last year. that wasn’t a team last year– that was a roster. last year there was no heart. this years team is all heart. give me heart everytime.


    Thanks Syracuse for 25 years of basketball pleasure. Wish I was at the game. You have entertained this Huskies fan and left memories for a life time. Broken my heart or sent me to bed with a huge smile but either way always kept me in the game until the buzzer. The thrill of victory or the agony of defeat was coined by some one else but these games sure opitimized the phrase. Calhoun, Boeheim are class acts that will be remembered as the “BIG EAST” and will be missed. Great job Huskies and “GO CUSES” in the tourney. A transplanted HUSKIE in Florida.

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