The NCAA Tournament is a fickle, fickle beast. In the last five seasons, the "worst" Syracuse Orange basketball team is the only one to actually make it to the Final Four. This year's squad, which started the season 25-0 and spent a chunk of time as the No. 1 team in the nation, failed to even get out of the first weekend. Go figure.
It's an emotional time in the moments follow Syracuse's 55-53 loss to the Dayton Flyers in the third round of the 2014 NCAA Tournament. We want someone to blame. Tyler Ennis is the easy target for his poor shot selection on the final two possessions. Of course, Ennis also carried the team on his back and kept them in the game while leading the team in scoring.
You can blame C.J. Fair, too. The senior leader is supposed to will us to victory in situations like this. He did score 14 points and grab 11 rebounds in a game where very few other players showed up, but, it still wasn't enough.
In the ultimate end result for this squad, the team went 0-for-10 from three-point range. Trevor Cooney, whom the Orange were counting on to lead them from beyond the arc, went 0-fer and failed to live up to his earlier success. It's two-straight years when Cooney fell short in the one department we expect him to excel.
Jerami Grant, who has become as reliable as reliable gets, didn't even score until late, finishing with four points and fouling out.
Michael Gbinije was…well, actually, he was pretty good. No complaints expect to tie your laces tighter.
The simple truth is that the team couldn't make their shots. And isn't that just the story of this season? Or at least of the last two months of this season? There was a part of all of us that knew eventually the Orange would crap-out like this. I saw some people complain about Boeheim's inability to get the shooting issues sorted out but, what could he do? He kept giving them the ball. They're the ones who couldn't make the shots.
Plenty of time for dissection and feel free to vent in the comments, but keep in mind how much joy these guys brought you this season, that they're a million times more upset about this than you are, what great Syracuse careers C.J. Fair and Baye Keita have just completed and that we'll all be right back here doing this dance again next season.
But seriously, Boeheim should have put in Roberson and played man-to-man...