Syracuse Daily Links - Can Rakeem Christmas Keep Going?

Christmas in March: Can Rak Hold His Own Against Physical Wisconsin? : Orange Fizz
Rak’s next challenge will be even bigger. The Badgers are a dump truck of a team, straight out of B1G central casting. They bring big bodies willing to bang, bring energy to the glass, and will grind the game into a demolition derby in the half court. Can Christmas hold his own? His talent is obvious, he’s a McDonald’s All-American and part of one of the most impressive recruiting classes in recent SU memory. Now it’s about learning on the job, and the way he grew up Saturday has to give Orange fans encouragement.

'Anything seems possible' for Syracuse basketball in Sweet 16 (DeCourcy) | syracuse.com
Why they could win it: In a field where everyone else was at full strength, it stood to reason that SU couldn't get by without key shot-blocker and rebounder Fab Melo. Now? Anything seems possible for a team with a core of veteran guards, a dynamic scorer in Dion Waiters and an overabundance of size, even without Melo.

Michael Carter-Williams Interview by Z89Sports
Michael Carter-Williams clarifies the Free MCW tweet and more...

Syracuse Orange Basketball - Christmas Presence In March
When Fab Melo was deemed to be ineligible right before the NCAA tournament, many fans and national media counted Syracuse out. Little expected Rakeem Christmas to step into Melo’s role and hold things down in the middle. Well not only has he done that, but he’s gone beyond all possible expectations.

NCAA Tournament 2012 Bracket: The East Region's Sweet 16 Breakdown 1.0 - SB Nation New York
The favorite to advance out of the bracket's East Region is Ohio St.

Syracuse Orange Basketball - Orange Recruiting Targets Shine In Tournament
DeMatha high school won the Alhambra Catholic Invitational Tournament (ACIT) over the weekend. In action were 2012 Syracuse commit Jerami Grant, 2013 Syracuse target BeeJay Anya, and 2015 Syracuse target Isaiah Briscoe.

What they're saying about Syracuse's chances in the Sweet 16 | syracuse.com
I’m going to tell you who I think is vulnerable, certainly when I look at the matchup the reason I say they are vulnerable tempo of the game and the ability to shoot the 3 against the 2-3 zone and that would be Syracuse. Now, I’m not picking Wisconsin to beat Syracuse, but I’m saying they are vulnerable.

NCAA Tournament – Luke Winn – SI.com " Posts Many Agonizing Moments in Bracketland "
Syracuse won’t be able to pressure Jordan Taylor into committing enough turnovers, and the Badgers will pull off a very Butler-over-’Cuse-like Sweet 16 upset

Wisconsin Badgers at Syracuse Orange - Preview, Picks, Stats - CBSSports.com Pregame
Both the Orange and Badgers and have the ability to play stifling defense, drain big shots, string together scoring runs and become mired in offensive droughts. With shot blockers and brute strength inside, this matchup will be a battle. And it also could be a perimeter party. It likely will be closely contested, and Syracuse has more firepower to sneak past Wisconsin to the Elite Eight. EDGE: Syracuse

Badger Bits: The pressure is off with Syracuse looming - Bucky's 5th Quarter
That said, it will be nice to play the upstart underdog role for once. The Syracuse Orange looked sloppy and disinterested in a near upset-loss to UNC-Asheville on Thursday. They seemed to pick up their stride against Kansas State, but the point still stands that they have looked plenty beatable recently. There is more pressure on Jim Boeheim's club to make their first Elite Eight since winning the national championship in 2003 than there is on Wisconsin to do anything beyond this point.

NCAA Tournament Opens Up Perfectly For Kentucky, Kansas While Duke Flames Out (Again) - SBNation.com
It won't get more ironic than seeing Syracuse and its roster of great athletes face Wisconsin's collection of unheralded recruits Thursday night. The Orange will be in its trademark zone, while the Badgers will rely on their intense man-to-man defense. Many refute my "zone is for cowards" argument by touting Syracuse's effectiveness. Just remember this -- a zone penalizes teams for being impatient and undisciplined. Has either term ever applied to Bo Ryan's bunch? Can any team afford to squander chances to take possession by losing out on defensive rebounds and expect to beat Wisconsin? This is the time of year when Syracuse's luck usually runs out, and the regional semifinal will be a closer game than many expect.

Big Ten-Big East face off as 'Cuse looks for trip to NOLA - Andy Glockner - SI.com
You never know when you'll have another opportunity for a Final Four or more, especially when you have been one of the two best teams in the nation all season. You don't know how much longer Jim Boeheim will be around. You have a lengthy legacy of tripping up at this Sweet 16 hurdle. This is the moment for the Orange to seize. They were in a similar spot in 2010 and fell to Butler. They should have solid crowd support in Boston, unlike this past weekend in Pittsburgh. They have delivered all season in the face of outside scrutiny and adversity. Time to get 'er done and make it to New Orleans.

Looking back on the NCAA Tournament so far and what's ahead in the Sweet Sixteen:

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