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Syracuse vs. Montana: Orange Players Not Distracted, Just Focused On Task At Hand

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The Syracuse basketball players won't be distracted by off-court reports and rumors. They're focused on beating Montana.

USA TODAY Sports

Stop me if you've heard this before.

The Syracuse Orange basketball team is about to begin NCAA Tournament play while off-the-court rumors, reports and issues swirl all around them.

Surely, they're going to fold like an accordian under the pressure and they would admit as much.

What's that you say...THEY WILL NOT GO GENTLY INTO THAT MARCH NIGHT???

"We don’t really care about, we’re not really listening to any of that stuff," Southerland said. "Our focus is on this game coming up. And that’s all we care about."

"It doesn’t have anything to do with us, so we don’t have any say in it," Triche said to a reporter who had described reports of potential violations as occurring a few years ago. "You said it’s going way back. So it doesn’t have anything to do with the guys that are going to be on the floor tomorrow."

So what should Syracuse fans prepare to see? Not even Jim Boeheim knows...

"At the beginning of this season, I think everybody pretty much predicted one or two games in the NCAA Tournament," offered Boeheim before leaving the gray East behind. "Pretty much. And that was it. Then, the thinking changed because we got off to such a good start. But some of that was just circumstances. Things just fell right for us.

"Like, James (Southerland) had that unbelievable game against Arkansas. And then we made plays out of the blue against Louisville and Cincinnati. So, we were kind of fortunate in a couple of games and all of a sudden we were 18-1. But the tough part of our schedule was always ahead of us. So, I don’t know what people should expect."