Syracuse Defeats Pitt: The Incredibly Improbably Unpredictable Orange

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

Team of destiny? I don't know about that. Team of unpredictability? Absolutely.

The Syracuse Orange were supposed to lose to the Pittsburgh Panthers.

Vegas thought so.

Most college basketball folks thought so.

History said so.

Syracuse fans had talked themselves into it and pre-accepted it.

And with 4.4 seconds left, they were about to.

And then...

Add it to the list of amazing things about the 2013-2014 basketball season. The best Syracuse buzzer-beater since Gerry McNamara (all due respect to Eric Devendorf but his didn't count). Not to mention a shot that will equal Pearl Washington's epic game-winner in Syracuse basketball lore.

This season has had a lot of memorable performances. Trevor Cooney shooting the lights out against Cornell and Notre Dame. C.J. Fair and Jerami Grant's one-two punch against Duke. Tyler Ennis' coming-out party against Cal. All the while the team winning every single game.

And now it has an improbable buzzer-beater from an improbable freshman to garner an improbable victory in an improbable place.

I'm not so hacky as to start talking about how this is a team of destiny or anything. I know the perils and unpredictability of the NCAA Tournament all-too-well to do that. Better teams than this one haven't made it out of the second weekend.

But I think it's official that we can say there is….something...going on this year. This team should not be undefeated. They're not supposed to be No. 1. Tyler Ennis isn't supposed to be this good. Given the state of the depth chart, surely they can't sustain this. Right?

We've heard all the usual complaints. No quality true road wins. Weak schedule. They never leave the Dome. They never leave New York. The refs bailed them out. Boeheim is overrated. Syracuse is lucky.

Great. Fine. You know what, we're used to the complaints. And you know what else, we went to the Final Four last year and we're currently the undefeated No. 1 team in the nation. If you think we're the "worst" version of that, it's still better than anything your team has done.

I don't know where we go from here. Undefeated? ACC Champions? Final Four? National Champions? They all seem impossible and downright irresponsible to predict. But then again so was winning at Pitt on a last-second buzzer-beater by a freshman.

This isn't a team of destiny. But it is a team capable of anything and everything. I'll take that. I'll take that all day long.

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