Well, speechless is one word you can use to describe the feeling after that.
The Syracuse Orange were out-manned by the Baylor Bears’ perimeter shooting, as they fell 78-69 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Elijah Hughes did all he could with a career high 25 points, but the Orange simply couldn’t contain Baylor’s scoring, sending Syracuse home early in March.
The three-ball killed Syracuse
We knew coming into this game that Baylor could stay in it with the long-ball, and boy did they. Baylor’s 38-37 lead at the half was built on 10 threes, as they finished 16-34 from deep, led by Makai Mason’s 22 points.
Syracuse tried to extend the zone to slow down the senior marksmen, but the quick perimeter passing by the Bears left Syracuse watching three-after-three fall for the Bears. When Syracuse got down, they looked to the zone to keep them in it, but breakdowns and big-time shots by Baylor led to the early exit for the Orange.
Buddy Boeheim left it in Charlotte
After big performances in the ACC tournament, Buddy couldn’t find any rhythm in this one. The known to be marksmen missed his first two threes, and after that, it seemed like Boeheim was just out of sync in general.
Syracuse needed someone to stop the Baylor run late in the second half, but Baylor played the pick and roll well when Boeheim was the ball handler, as he couldn’t find any separation to help him impact the game.
At the end of the day, Tyus Battle isn’t a point guard
Tyus Battle did all he could to help Syracuse stay in it, but Battle excels when he can play off ball as someone else brings the ball up, rather than being relied upon to create the offense. With Battle having to get Syracuse into their sets, the junior guard put up just three shots in the first half.
Battle finished with 16 points on 6-15 shooting, but with Syracuse needing a shot to end Baylor’s run, Battle was left having to force contested jumpers that missed short. With no game plan needed for Saturday, now the question regarding Battle becomes this: was this his last game in orange?