It wasn’t always pretty, but Syracuse Orange alumni team Boeheim’s Army defeated the Men of Mackey (Purdue alumni), by a score of 76-69. Boeheim’s Army will face Sideline Cancer in the Round of 8.
The first half ended with Boeheim’s Army up by 10, but it started much closer. Both teams ended finished the first quarter tied at 19, with Malachi Richardson starting the BA engine early alongside Brandon Triche. Even though the Army pulled ahead, a common theme emerged; Men of Mackey relied on average scoring from all players (they would finish with four players in double digits) while Boeheim’s Army leaned on Eric Devendorf and Malachi Richardson.
While the Orange Alumni’s run in the second quarter put them up 10, bad shot selection would change all of that in the third quarter. Boeheim’s Army would give most of that lead back, with Men of Mackey coming within two, sending the game into the fourth quarter at 58-56.
As the fourth began, both Richardson and Donte Greene played well, but BA’s star was Eric Devendorf, who would finish with 21 points. The Elam Ending set up a first-to-76 situation, and the Army seemed to be far more motivated, pulling ahead 73-66 before winning, 76-69. Greene and Triche finished the game off, sending the Orange on to the Round of 8. Triche wound up hitting the game-winning free throw to lock it up after getting fouled on a layup just seconds earlier.
It clearly doesn’t matter what the situation is, Boeheim’s Army/Syracuse basketball always tends to look the same. Questionable shot selection on offense was bailed out by some fantastic individual efforts with tough zone defense, and the guys in Orange could not compete in the paint; Men of Mackey outscored BA 36-26 in the paint, and in second chance points 13-4. But the Army actually looked great at the line, going 28 of 32 from the charity stripe.
There are some things for coach Ryan Blackwell to address before Boeheim’s Army faces off with Cinderella story, No. 22 Sideline Cancer for a spot in the Semifinals. Still, we’ll take the win this time and hope they can keep the momentum going on July 11 at 4 p.m. ET.