A nonconference matchup Saturday between behemoth Syracuse and little-known Bryant turned heated during the game and after it.
The contest featured several ejections in the first half after Syracuse’s Judah Mintz and Bryant’s Doug Edert, who gained fame during last year’s NCAA Tournament run with Saint Peter’s, both slapped each other in the face.
But that wasn’t the only fracas to occur. Orange coach Jim Boeheim then got into a testy postgame exchange on the court with Bulldogs coach Jared Grasso following Bryant pulling off a last-second upset win, 73-72, inside the JMA Wireless Dome.
The 78-year-old Boeheim aired out his frustrations at the end of his postgame press conference, giving his side of the situation while calling out Grasso.
“His players didn’t come and shake hands. They ran off the court, two or three of them,” Boeheim told reporters, per team-provided video. “I don’t know why you would do that. We lost and we shook hands. That’s what you do, win or lose. That’s what you do.”
Boeheim didn’t stop there as he ripped Grasso more for the coach’s reaction.
“He gave me a sarcastic apology, which fits him,” Boeheim said. “It really wasn’t an apology that’s why I didn’t really accept it. He said he apologized, it wasn’t that kind of apology.”
The antics, both on the court and off of it, marred a massive win for Bryant, as the team from Smithfield, R.I. found itself in the spotlight already this season.
In their season opener, the Bulldogs destroyed Thomas College, a Division III school in Maine, by 108 points in a 147-39 win, and Grasso defended running up the score. Then there was the incident in last year’s NEC Championship game against Wager, in which a melee broke out in the stands between fans.
It could just be sour grapes from Boeheim having to deal with the embarrassment of losing to a much smaller school that made him lash out, or Bryant might now have a bad reputation that is following the Bulldogs wherever they play.