Its only December, but I already have March Madness. Last night, perennial cinderella Cleveland State knocked off #11 Syracuse 72-69 with a stunning 60 foot buzzer beater from guard Cedric Jackson. Said third year Cleveland State coach Gary Waters:
"I have never been a part of one of those types of shots, I had my head down. I told my coaches we were headed for overtime. I didn't expect that to happen. Nobody in the house expected that to happen."
But the game shouldn't just be defined by one long shot. It was an excellent game which saw 16 ties and 15 lead changes. The game was tied at halftime, and Syracuse erased a 5 point deficit with just 26.5 seconds to play before Jackson stole the show. Syracuse fell to 9-1, while Cleveland State improved to 7-4.
I know its early, but Cleveland State is one of those "sleeper" teams I have in the back of my mind should they make it to the big dance. They haven't reached the tournament since 1986 (their only NCAA appearance in their history), but they made a strong run last year and earned an NIT berth. To be honest, they were snubbed last year after posting a 21-13 record. Cleveland State is definitely on my radar come March.
As a result of the buzzer beater, SportsCenter ran one of the best Top 10s in recent memory.
Top 10 Half-Court Heaves