Two plays stand above all others in Syracuse Orange men’s basketball history. There’s the good: Hakim Warrick’s block against Kansas’s Michael Lee to preserve the 2003 national title for the Orangemen. And on the bad side... Keith (effing) Smart.
Obviously we’d prefer everyone remembers “The Block” more than the latter moment. Yet, to our chagrin, annual lists of top March Madness moments seem to blow by the incredible athletic play completely — though they’re happy to list Smart’s last-second shot among the most important plays in the history of the sport.
Such was the case once again when the Sporting News compiled the top 40 moments in the history of the event. Syracuse found its way on the list multiple times. The Orangemen’s 1996 win over Georgia was 39th, and the Richmond loss was No. 22. Smart came up at 14th, and... that’s it. No block, no Boeheim finally winning it all, no Carmelo. To me? No list.
That, plus the rest of your Syracuse-related links below:
March Madness: Ranking the NCAA Tournament’s greatest moments (Sporting News)
39. ‘Cuse can’t lose, 1996. Almost as remarkable as the exchange between Syracuse and Georgia over the final 20 seconds of overtime in their Sweet 16 game is that the whistle never blew. No timeouts. No fouls. Just end-to-end action that left fans breathless and elevated John Wallace to Syracuse hero with five late points to pull out the win.
“Right now he’s a combo guard,” St. Andrew’s coach Mike Hart said. “Last year he was a two-guard. We’ve got him halfway there. As he adds some leadership skills and some vocalness, you’ll see him handling the ball and being that long, tall point guard. Kind of like how Jason Hart played but more of a shooter.”
This spring, Richards is back at linebacker – the position he was recruited for, but one he hasn’t really gotten a chance to learn. Between spending most of his first season working with the scout team, suffering an injury last spring and shifting from ‘backer to end during preseason camp last year, Richards is experiencing his longest consecutive stint as a team linebacker this spring.
This shows just how much more difficult the draws have been for Altman during that span. Nearly half of the tourney games he’s coached have seen him as the lesser seed, and only two coaches have more wins in that same role: Boehim and Izzo. Those are two Hall of Fame coaches with 13 Final Four appearances and two national championships between them.
Would Adrian Autry be a candidate at Virginia Tech? (Syracuse.com)
Spoiler: Tech’s last coach was Marquette’s head coach before he was hired. So, no.
Alton Robinson is Bane? (Twitter)
Jamie Dixon’s UCLA candidacy dependent on buyout being lowered (Jon Rothstein)