The Boeheim drama overshadowed a fantastic Duke-Syracuse game
The Syracuse portion of the postgame press conference after the ACC Tournament quarterfinal game started innocently enough. As Mike Krzyzewski and his wife Mickie departed they shared a tearful embrace with Jim Boeheim's wife Juli before the Duke coach left the press room. The Blue Devils and the Orange played a hotly contested game where the outcome was in doubt until the final minute when Jeremy Roach sparked a Duke run with a three-pointer to put the game away and give Duke the 88-79 win.
Then Jim, Buddy, and Jimmy Boeheim took to the microphones at the press conference that lasted 25 minutes, Buddy gave a tearful monologue about his actions against Flordia State yesterday that got him suspended for today's Duke game. He said through tears that he was sorry, he wanted to be the player kids look up to, how he has never thrown a punch in his life but apologizes for throwing a punch(?) that landed in a Florida State player's solar plexus yesterday. It seemed heartfelt but it also seemed a little canned and more sorry that he got punished than for the actual results of his actions. As Buddy finished up his speech, his Dad/Coach laid down the thunder on the ACC.
As far as experience goes, Boeheim has pretty much seen it all. With forty-plus years coaching at Syracuse, Boeheim called this year's team that had two of his sons on it, "His favorite year of coaching. Period." Clearly, emotions were running high as Boeheim and his two kids bid farewell to the press in Brooklyn. Today, Boeheim blurred the line of Dad/Coach at the end there. One of his players threw a punch and it landed and that player got suspended. It just so happened that this player was his son. I don't recall Boeheim ever going to the mat for one of his players as much as he defended Buddy today. It felt like a school board meeting today, not an ACC Tournament press conference. (I think you're allowed to record a school board meeting so there's a difference from the ACC Tournament).
This week can't be easy for Boeheim so I can see why he might be a little testy. After today's loss both his sons depart his team and he just coached against one of his best friends in Coach K for the final time. Maybe today's anger at the press conference was him rallying against Father Time. These last few years I'm sure were special to him and I hope Buddy and his Dad come to a mutual understanding about what happened yesterday and eventually leave it in the rear-view mirror. Today though there was nothing but bitterness. Jim Boeheim will be on the sidelines next year. More and more people that he truly cares about won't.