Mar 21, 2012; Boston, MA, USA; Syracuse Orange players huddle up around head coach Jim Boeheim (right) during practice the day before the semifinals of the east region of the 2012 NCAA men's basketball tournament at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE
And so, after a week of build-up, a week of hype, a week of breakdowns, a week of puff pieces and a week of Hunger Game references, we made it.
The Sweet Sixteen kicks off Thursday night when the one-seed Syracuse Orange take on the four-seed Wisconsin Badgers in Boston for the right to advance to the Elite 8 where either Ohio State or Cincinnati will be waiting.
The game will be televised on CBS.
The main storyline is how Syracuse's offense will do against Wisconsin's defense. And what a defense it is:
The Badgers' formula for success has hardly wavered over the years under Ryan's guidance, with defense at the forefront of every gameplan. It's no surprise then that UW's defense was not only the best in the Big Ten but tops in the nation among 338 teams, stifling the opposition's attack to the tune of 52.9 ppg. Wisconsin is also among the top-10 teams in the country in field- goal percentage defense at 38.5 percent.
Still, this is the same Syracuse team that found a way to win almost every game it played this season, regardless of opponent. Surely they can do it again.
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