Despite our darnedest efforts to jinx the Syracuse Orange yesterday, SU beat UNC-Greensboro and moves on to the second round of the National Invitational Tournament. As we mentioned, they’ll face the Ole Miss Rebels, who spent Wednesday evening dispatching of Monmouth.
Thankfully, Syracuse won’t have to try and beat Ole Miss on just 24 hours rest. It was announced that the Orange will now host the Rebels on Saturday, March 18 -- a day before the other second round games begin.
The game tips off at 11 a.m. ET (worse than a nooner!) on ESPN. Despite the rest, the early start will probably leave both teams a little lethargic.
If Syracuse manages to defeat Ole Miss, they’ll face off with the winner of the Georgia Tech-Belmont game on the other side of the bracket. Of the four first round games in SU’s region, the Orange were the only favored seed to nab a victory.
As mentioned earlier in the week, Syracuse has never won the NIT in 13 previous tries. They haven’t played in the NIT Final Four (staged at Madison Square Garden) since 2002 — one of just two trips to that tournament’s final weekend.
We’ll have more on the matchup with the Rebels between today and tomorrow. The two programs have actually never faced off on the court (nor have they met on the football field, either).