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Looking back at Carmelo Anthony & Syracuse's 2003 National Championship run

You like the year 2003, I like the year 2003. Why can't every year be like 2003 in Syracuse?

Al Bello/Getty Images

As Carmelo Anthony leads Team USA into the quarterfinals today, let's take a historical revisionist look into his 2003 NCAA Tournament run with Syracuse.

Syracuse's 2003 NCAA title run started against Manhattan on Friday, March 21 at the TD Garden. Syracuse would cruise to a 76-65 victory as Anthony lead the team in scoring and rebounding with 17 and nine, respectively. He didn't hit from outside but did have a couple vintage mid-range jumpers and a nice tomahawk jam.

In its second game of the tournament, the Orange squared off against Oklahoma State. Anthony would have his worst shooting night of the tournament as he went 5-16 from the floor, good bad for 31.3 percent. He still finished with 13 points and eight rebounds, but Syracuse's role players carried the weight. Billy Edelin and Gerry McNamara had 20 and 14 points respectively while Josh Pace had six points, three steals and eight rebounds off the bench. It also paid dividends to have a guy like Jeremy McNeil anchoring the zone/press who finished with seven boards and four blocks, including the one below.

Syracuse and Carmelo found themselves in hot water against Auburn in the Sweet 16. It would need every one of Anthony's 18 points to get past Marquis Daniels and the Tigers as Syracuse barely advanced 79-78. Hakim Warrick, Pace and Kueth Duany had 15, 14 and 12 points respectively and Syracuse advanced to the Elite Eight for the first time since 1996.

In the Elite Eight, as the basketball Gods had it written, Syracuse beat the entire state of Oklahoma 63-47 in its best defensive game of the tournament. Anthony had a double-double as he poured in 20 and 10. Warrick was the only other player in double figures but it didn't matter. Syracuse was on to New Orleans for the Final Four.

In the National Semifinal, Anthony and Syracuse took on a tough Texas team with a quick guard named T.J. Ford. Carmelo exploded for his best game of the tournament by dropping in 33 points and hauling in 14 boards. McNamara and Warrick helped in the scoring department by pouring in 19 and 18 each. Syracuse would wind up winning 95-84 and would compete for the Nation Championship for the third time under Jim Boeheim.

Syracuse would need another big night from Anthony if it were to take home its first national title, and that's exactly what it received from its star player. Anthony had his third straight double-double of the tournament with 20 points and 10 rebounds. In fact, Anthony finished just three assists shy of a triple-double. McNamara paved the way in the first half with six threes while Edelin and Duany had 12 and 11 a piece. Syracuse got key production from its bench and role players and the Orange defeated Kansas 81-78 and all was well that ended well. Did I say that right?