Rankings: Syracuse (8/7), Minnesota (UNR)
Day & Time: Monday, November 25, 5:30 p.m. EST
Arena: Lahaina Civic Center, Maui, HI
Line: -3, Syracuse
Announcers: Jon Sciambi, Jimmy Dykes
Radio: Syracuse IMG Network
Streak: 1, Minnesota
First Meeting: In the only meeting between the two schools, 2-seed Syracuse suffered a disappointing loss in the 1990 Sweet Sixteen to the 6-seed Gophers, 82-75. It was a bitter end to a year that saw SU start out No. 1 in the nation. In a foreboding stat, SU was 8-of-20 from the free-throw line that day.
School Connections: Head coach Richard Pitino is the son of Rick Pitino, who was once a Syracuse assistant under Jim Boeheim. But you already knew that.
Head Coaches: SU: Jim Boeheim (38th Year, 924-314); Minn: Richard Pitino (1st Year: 5-0)
Last Year: Coming off an good NIT run the previous season, the Gophers were expected to take the next step and get back to the NCAAs. They did just that, finishing 21-13 (8-10) and making it to the Round of 32 before losing to Florida. Despite this improvement, six-year head coach Tubby Smith was fired, making Minnesota this year's "be careful what you wish for" squad.
Head Coach: Pitino The Lesser worked his way up the ladder, only briefly working with Dad at Louisville for two seasons as an assistant and another season as associate head coach. In between was a stint at Florida and following it was a year as FIU's head coach. When Tubby got canned, he got the call from Minny. Now he's got some very big shoes to fill from his papa, not to mention surpassing the solid Minnesota resume that Smith built (but wasn't good enough, apparently).
Fun Fact: Depending on how this game shakes out, the Orange might end up playing at nine in the morning tomorrow.