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Syracuse Defeats UNC-Asheville: Rapid Reactions


The one-seed Syracuse Orange (somehow) defeated the 16-seed UNC-Asheville Bulldogs in the second round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament on Thursday. Here's what people have to say about it... (gird your loins).

Mike Waters over at said "the Syracuse players looked listless and out of sync" during the game and that the Orange had to survive some scary moments down the stretch.

SBNation NY's Jared Smith tackles the many referee-related controversies of the game, including the lane violation that allowed Scoop Jardine to take an extra free throw.

According to the NCAA Coordinator of Officials John Adams, who was an anaylist after the game ended on truTV, a guard is considered a free-throw shooter and must stay behind the line until the ball hits the rim. The GIF above shows UNC-Asheville junior guard J.P. Primm did just that and the call was correct. (Also, it needs to be mention senior forward Chris Stephenson's foot was inside the paint before Jardine released his shot.)

Here's my in-depth, stats-heavy, analytical initial breakdown of the game:

Dana O'Neil rightly acknowledged that Syracuse's near-loss had nothing to do with the loss of Fab Melo.

Let’s address the obvious first: This had nothing to do with Fab Melo.

Syracuse needed to salvage a second-round win against 16th-seeded UNC Asheville because it debuted in the NCAA tournament as if it wanted to be anywhere but on the court. The Orange looked disinterested and dysfunctional from the opening tip, allowing the Bulldogs to start believing a miracle was possible.

The National Post points out the strange way that Syracuse decided to attack the Bulldogs and how poorly they did it.

Inexplicably the Orange kept shooting 3-pointers and missing. Despite having a huge height advantage – Asheville’s tallest starter was 6-foot-5, bigger only than the Syracuse guards – the Orange kept taking 3s against the Bulldogs’ 2-3 zone, which isn’t as well known as the one Syracuse has played for decades but was just as effective Thursday.

The height advantage didn’t do much for the Orange as far as rebounding went either as they had 33, one more than the Bulldogs.

Bomani Jones, who always hates the zone, really hates the zone: