The Maine massacre and a whole lot more

The beginning of December and barely a sniff of snow in Syracuse. The basketball team is ranked in the top 10 and the football season continues again without the Orange. Deck the halls with boughs of holly.

Syracuse residents milled around Saturday afternoon staring at the gray skies, wondering why it was snowing in Pennsylvania and not in the Onondaga County. Beggars should not be choosers—just sit back and enjoy the hot Orange basketball team, 101-50 winners over visiting Maine.


MAINE MADNESS: Halftime Snack had serious déjà vu Saturday night as the Syracuse basketball team unleashed the dunk train on Maine. Throw-down displays of Midnight Madness proportions came from several of the Orange: forward Wes Johnson lifted off just inside the free-throw line on one break, guard Brandon Triche used two hands to put down an Arinze Onuaku miss, wing Kris Joseph wind-milled home another break, and Onuaku nearly brought down the basket support in the second half, bringing his knees to his chest on a Shaq-like finish.

SPECIAL ‘CATS: Big East Conference football jumped back into the national scene (i.e. the Bowl Championship Series) with the undefeated season posted by the Cincinnati Bearcats. All the key ingredients for unblemished college football mixed together for a Cincy team that stared at an early 31-10 deficit.  The final straw—a familiar stir in the 2009 SU Orange drink—came when Pitt botched the extra point on its final touchdown, giving the Bearcats the room to eek out the 45-44 win to post a 12-0 season (7-0 in conference for its second straight Big East title).

DOG DEBATE: The processed meat treat, wrapped up the a bun with a tin foil warmer, is a staple of the Carrier Dome sports experience. Some rapid ‘Cuse fans, like Webster, N.Y. resident Dan DiPaola, prefer to stop at Heid’s of Liverpool. “I’ve been going there since I was a 1-year-old; it’s a game-day tradition,” said DiPaola, a Webster, N.Y. native who has managed to keep his white Syracuse hoodie spotless for over five years. And what about the Dome dog? “There’s no comparison.”

FEMALE SCHOLARSHIP: Med student Sarah Beth Hill earned folk-hero status among a whole bunch of people Saturday night: women, college students, the Alabama football masses. Hill won $123,000 in scholarship money at halftime of the SEC Championship game in Atlanta, Ga., throwing more 10-yard football passes into an inflatable Dr. Pepper can than her male counterpart, Dan, an overzealous Florida fan. Hill, heel up and shoulder in, had a strategy  and it worked. Remember when Halftime Snack offered a strategy to get money for school?

THEY SAID IT: “I guess I stole something from my dad’s playbook.” —SU senior guard Andy Rautins, referencing his father, Leo, when asked about his 3/4-court bounce pass that led to an Orange dunk.

    “I can’t believe you asked that. I really can’t believe it. Let me see: Kentucky Wildcats, No. 4 in the country, I’m hearing four first-round draft choices. And you're asking me how that (game) got away from me. Why don’t you ask John (Calipari) why it was so close?” —an exasperated Charlie Coles, the Miami of Ohio basketball coach, after his Redhawks fell, 72-70, to the Wildcats Nov. 16.

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