Top 5 Syracuse moments from 2009

Syracuse provided no shortage of headlines in 2009. From Syracuse’s dazzling six overtime victory over Connecticut in the Big East tournament to the upheaval in the Orange football program, it has been an eventful year for the Orange faithful. Here are the top 5 story lines from the year:

SIX IN THE CITY

There were nine players on the floor tugging at their shorts, trying to keep from cramping as Syracuse and Connecticut were playing their six overtime in what will surely be remembered as the greatest college basketball game of the decade.

Then, there was Justin Thomas, a Syracuse walk on, doing jumping jacks while playing the seven most important minutes of his life.

Syracuse (then-No. 20 ESPN/USA Today, No. 18 AP) had so few options at the end of their 127-117 victory over Connecticut (then-No. 4 ESPN/USA Today, No. 3 AP) the quarterfinals of the 2009 Big East tournament that Thomas, who had only played nine games that entire season, was inserted into the game.

Thomas would go on to grab a key rebound as Syracuse outlasted Connecticut.

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Review – Avatar

Few movies will leave you with as satisfying a movie-going experience as Avatar, James Cameron’s much anticipated followup to Titanic. Avatar excels on every level from the technical and visual achievements to the engrossing storyline that taps each viewer on a spiritual and emotional level.

The story is set in the year 2154 where humans have completely tapped Earth’s natural resources and have raced to the stars to find replenishment. As it turns out, several light years away, the planet Pandora is ripe for strip mining of a precious metal and all that stands in the way are the indigenous Na’vi. To fully understand them, humans have cloned the 12-foot blue-skinned native and have found a way to control them through use of “avatars.”

Enter the hero of the story, Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) who starts as a paraplegic war veteran. He’s thrusted into the Na’vi world because an avatar was created for his now-deceased twin brother and the avatars are genetically matched to their users.

At first, Jake clumsily stamps his way around the lush planet and finds trouble until he is rescued by the honorable and brave Neytiri (Zoe Saldana). Much of the movie is spent developing Jake as well as the viewer’s understanding of the Na’vi. We learn that there is nothing humans can give them for their land, because it is not theirs to give. They are one with the planet and even if they kill to survive, it still comes with the understanding of the gift that the planet has given.

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