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Syracuse Basketball: Fab Melo Out Of NCAA Tournament

Update: According to Dana O'Neill, this is related to the previous academic issue:

"This is an academic issue related to the first suspension," a source told's Dana O'Neil. "He was initially cleared after the first suspension but the NCAA has since revisited the case and deemed him ineligible again."

Original: You know how it's cliche to start writing something but saying, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times?" Well I don't care because the 2011-2012 Syracuse Orange basketball season can be summed up in no better way.

The latest development? Fabricio de Melo, Big East Defensive Player of the Year, will miss the NCAA Tournament "due to an eligibility issue."

Syracuse University sophomore men's basketball center Fab Melo did not travel with the team to Pittsburgh, and will not take part in the NCAA Tournament due to an eligibility issue. Given University policy and federal student privacy laws, no further details can be provided at this time.

I don't mean to imply that the sky is falling, but, the sky is falling. We all saw what happened the last time Melo was out of the line-up and the rebounding situation hasn't improved all that much since then. We were already up against a major challenge in the paint against Kansas State and whoever we played beyond that. Now...I feel nauseous

And what the hell is the deal with Syracuse being a No. 1 seed and not having their star center for the NCAAs? Is that a rule we didn't know about?

So many unknowns here and so many possible implications. Is this a Phillip Thomas situation where Fab is just going to leave SU rather than deal with the consequences? Is it academics again or something much worse? Why do the basketball Gods hate us so much? Are we seriously supposed to get excited about Rakeem Christmas and Baye Moussa "Stone Hands" Keita right now?

Excuse me, I'm going for a walk. I suggest you do the same...