Thirty-nine points will no longer be a punch-line in the history of Syracuse Orange basketball.
Instead, 39 points will be the number that will always remind Syracuse fans about the improbable 2013 Final Four run that was capped Saturday evening with an amazing defensive performance against the Marquette Golden Eagles, who fell, 55-39, to OUR ORANGE in NCAA Tournament's East Regional Final at the Verizon Center.
(Hahahahahahaha. The Verizon Center!!!)
The No. 4-seeded Orange held the No. 3 Golden Eagles, who made just 22.6-percent of their shots, to the lowest total of points in a Regional Final in the shot clock era. In the process, Syracuse forced 14 turnovers, eight in the first half, collected 10 steals and blocked seven shots.
James Southerland led the way with a game-best 16-points, which included a THAT-WILL-DO-IT! 3-pointer that gave Syracuse a commanding 50-36 lead with 2:24 remaining.
The player of the game, and easily for this whole run, was Michael Carter-Williams, who tallied 12 points, eight rebounds, dished out six assists and collected five steals.
C.J. Fair made a few huge shots in the second half, including a key put-back off a MCW miss late in the game, and ended the game with 13 points, six rebounds, three steals and two blocks.
Senior Brandon Triche, who solidifies his career as SU's all-time winningest player, had a quiet nine points, six rebounds and three assists.
However, in the end it was the 2-3 zone defense that JAMES ARTHUR BOEHEIM lives and dies by that got Syracuse where its about to go -- Atlanta.
When asked post-game if he thought this CRAZY-FREAKIN RUN!! was possible a few weeks ago, Boeheim was candid:
"Fortunately, I didn't think about it," said Boeheim. "If I thought about it, I would have said no."
We are with you Jimmy. We are allllll with you.
Congrats all. Be safe and GO CELEBRATE!!
(P.S., before you celebrate share your thoughts here and don't forget to order your Final Four T-shirt here!)