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An Open Letter of Apology to America From Syracuse Basketball

America, we're so sorry we ruined college basketball for you.

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Dear America,

We did not intend for our run to the Sweet Sixteen in the 2016 NCAA Tournament to cause harm or insult to anyone and if you have been offended by our wins over the seven-seeded Dayton Flyers or 15-seeded Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders, we apologize from the bottom of our hearts.

We made a mistake and put ourselves in an environment that does not reflect who we are as people. We regret this lapse in judgment.

Specifically, we want to apologize to certain people, schools and organizations.

To Joe Lunardi, who was very upset that the NCAA committee let us into the tournament despite being a team that he felt was lacking in bona fides. All we've done since is make you look like you really don't know what you're talking about, which must be painful and hard. We did not intend for this to happen and we hope we can make it up to you one day.

To Tulsa and Vanderbilt, who we've made look terrible by winning and, in the eyes of a few, justifying our existence in the NCAA Tournament, while you both lost in your first games and didn't, making it seem as though we were the team the committee got right. That's on us to fix.

To Dayton, who had a great regular season, finished with a very respectable 25-8 record and earned a 7-seed in the NCAA Tournament as a mid-major, which is no small feat. However, because they were matched up with 10-seed Syracuse, they immediately became a bad team in retrospect according to national media members. We should have realized this would happen and we regret not acting quicker to find alternative seeding partners for the Flyers.

To Michigan State, who really would have been a better Sweet Sixteen attendee than us and we understand that. If there was some way we could have made sure the best team in the Big Ten didn't get embarrassed on national television by a team from Conference USA, we would have. We wish we could go back and ensure that the Spartans didn't choke on the big stage and allow a 15-seed to advance without ever leading in the game. It's something we will have to live with for a long time.

To Middle Tennessee State, who was hailed as "the next uber-Cinderella" by Pat Forde until we defeated them by 20 points, at which time Forde immediately downgraded them to an opponent that Syracuse was "gifted."

We look at the way people were describing Middle Tennessee's epic win over Michigan State before they played us. So many people praised them. So many people thought they were the real deal. So many people thought they were legit. And then as soon as we beat them, all of a sudden all of those people those Middle Tennessee sucked again. We cannot apologize enough for this. You deserve better, MTSU.

To Pat Forde, for ruining your above narrative. You worked so hard on that.

To Doug Gottlieb, for distracting you just long enough. We hope you find what you're looking for at Tulane. Seriously. That sounds amazing. We can't wait to watch. Cause we're gonna watch. Oh my God we're going to watch.

To Seth Davis, whom we've prevented from accomplishing all that "real journalism" he does so much of. We feel as though we've robbed the world of it's essence.

To Gonzaga, an 11-seed who is currently being touted as a serious sleeper contender for the Final Four. But after Syracuse beats them, they'll only be described as "an 11-seed that the lucky Orange were gifted on the road to the Final Four." Shame on us.

To all of the 2-Seeds, who have been beating 15-seeds and 7-seeds on the road to the Sweet Sixteen for decades. That used to sound impressive, but now that Syracuse has done it, it's easy and cheap. We didn't mean to take you down with us but unfortunately we have. We assume pundits will always describe any 2-seed who advances to the Sweet Sixteen as lucky from now on.

To Georgetown, who sucks.

To everyone who filled out a bracket, who for one reason or another already had Syracuse out by now. Either because Michigan State is supposed to be here or because you just don't like Jim Boeheim and you hope he falls into a pit of acid. We wish we could make your dreams come true but unfortunately we acted before we thought and now we have to live with the consequences. We do not say that lightly.

To the NCAA, who tried to teach us a valuable lesson by punishing the current players on the team for things that players seven years ago did. We should have said thank you. Instead, we did this, just one year later. It's a slap in the face and the further we go the more we expose the feeble nature of your existence. Again, sorry.

To America, who just wants to enjoy the NCAA Tournament for crying out loud. Can't you just enjoy it without having to see Jim Boeheim and hear about the 2-3 zone and wonder how long Trevor Cooney has been in college and try to figure out how in the hell this Orange team made it this far? That's what we want for you as well and we're working towards making that happen at some point in the future.

In closing, we want you to know that this run to the Sweet Sixteen does not reflect our core values. This is not what Syracuse Basketball is about and it is not what we stand for. We are consulting our pastors, rabbis, and imams for guidance at this troubling hour. We are deeply disappointed that our dominating performance so far has overshadowed the gritty play of Duke, the classy way North Carolina carries themselves, and whatever it is any non-ACC teams that happen to be left in the tournament are like.

We are ready to put this chapter behind us and move forward towards a better NCAA Tournament and a better America.


Syracuse Basketball