At least, that's how it felt roughly six weeks ago. Hell, it still felt possible two weeks ago. In the end, however, they're a 3-seed getting ready to play the 14-seed Western Michigan Broncos while staring at 1-seed Florida Gators and 2-seed Kansas Jayhawks in the distance.
So how did this happen?
We could sit here all day and recount all of the mistakes, bad shooting nights and shockers. The Orange lost (and won) and lot of strange games.
Ultimately, I don't think it was the loss to Duke that doomed us. Nor the loss to Virginia. The loss to N.C. State was rough and might have moved us down a notch or two. Even the Boston College loss, shocking as it was, came at a time when SU still seemed legit.
I think it was the Georgia Tech loss that really sealed the deal.
That was when Syracuse was truly revealed to the nation for the vulnerable, broken machine that they have been. The Yellow Jackets did what Syracuse couldn't, hit clutch shots late in the game, and since then the 25-0 team that started the season is a memory and the team that ended the season on a 3-5 cold streak is the one everyone expects to make it no further than the Sweet Sixteen.
The good news is that the season begins anew on Thursday. We can turn games like the Georgia Tech game into a cute anecdote by recapturing what was working so well beforehand. Or, we'll be looking at that game as an example of what went wrong.
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