If you are in town for Saturday's Syracuse game against Duke and you want to visit the shot clock in Armory Square - you'll find it dark, and blocked off.
Armory Square suffered a water main break earlier this week. The trouble near the shot clock was actually one of nearly a dozen water main breaks to occur in the city this week.
In 1954, the clock changed the game of basketball. The shot clock first came to use in 1954 when Syracuse Nationals owner Danny Biasone experimented using a 24-second version during a scrimmage game. In the last pre-clock season (1953-54) teams averaged 79 points per game; in the first year with the clock (1954-55) the average was 93 points, which went up to 107 points by its fourth year in use.
The fact that the clock is down during the most highly anticipated game of the basketball season points to Syracuse's aging infrastructure. The Mayor recently wrote an urgent letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo saying Syracuse needs help paying for critical services. The mayor is seeking more than $16 million dollars for a police garage, police cars, water main repairs, road construction and ice rink and swimming pool upgrades - things she said the city cannot pay for itself.