Syracuse won the first championship of the young season, with another big performance at Madison Square Garden. Whether it's March at the Big East tournament or November at the Coaches vs. Cancer final, Jim Boeheim always seems to be winning big games at this venue. Their win last night over North Carolina was keyed by Wesley Johnson, who won tournament MVP. The last two nights the Iowa State transfer combined for 42 points and 19 rebounds. Roy Williams can't be too unhappy though--his team outrebounded the Orangemen and scored five times as many points from the line. The 'Cuse shot the ball too well from the floor. Carolina will win a lot of games with rebounding and a free throw edge and as they tighten up the defense, they'll be in position to have another big year.
Ohio State beat Cal in the consolation game. There was another big free throw
advantage here, as the Buckeyes outscored the Golden Bears 20-8 from the charity stripe in a game they won 76-70. Evan Turner and Jerome Randle put on a show for the New York stage. The Ohio State forward poured in 26 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, while Cal's little guard popped in 26 of his own. This tournament was a missed opportunity for Cal to make an early splash, but as you'll hear this page say a thousands time in the next month, don't draw any long-term conclusions in November & December. Coaches are still putting their pieces in place.