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Inside the Syracuse men’s basketball bubble & Emily Engstler emerges for Orange women (LINKS)

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NCAA Womens Basketball: Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament - Louisville vs Syracuse Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

With the Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team set to tip off on Friday and the women’s squad playing its first round matchup on Sunday, there’s plenty of discussion around both as March Madness returns. Rather than create some long and drawn-out introduction here, check out the links below for today’s stories around Syracuse hoops — plus some additional notes around other Orange squads (including men’s lacrosse, football and softball).

Robert Braswell quietly playing his way into a key backup role with Syracuse (The Athletic)

Braswell has matured, cut down on defensive errors and prioritized a short-term mindset after opportunities. He has bided his time for basically 2 1/2 seasons on the bench, hardly playing behind forwards Oshae Brissett, Marek Dolezaj, Quincy Guerrier and Alan Griffin. He redshirted last season because of nagging pain in his shins, an injury that still plagues him at times. He considered transferring last spring, but he stuck around with the Orange, eager to earn a spot in the rotation. Now his patience is being rewarded.

San Diego State vs. Syracuse: Get To Know The Orange (Mountain West Wire)

Syracuse has gotten a bit of a reputation these past two years for being a three-point shooting team. And while they do that, it’s also an overblown assumption. The Orange are typically at their best when they drive the lane and create open shots for their guards beyond the arc. So it’s crucial for Quincy Guerrier to both have a good game on offense, and find a way to stay out of foul trouble. We don’t have much in the way of experienced bigs this year, so he’s arguably the most important player for SU.

Emily Engstler’s offseason transformation ignites her best year to date (Daily Orange)

Jess Villaplana, Engstler’s mentor and AAU coach, said that WNBA coaches and scouts were in North Carolina’s Greensboro Coliseum watching Engstler’s ACC Tournament performance. ESPN reporter Holly Rowe posted on her Instagram story after the tournament saying she was “obsessed” with the junior guard, Villaplana said.

‘Wrecking machine’ Matt Mitchell ready for Aztecs’ NCAA Tournament start (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Talk about Mitchell’s weight stuck with him like an elite defender. That tells only part of the journey, though, as he became the leader of a team that wrapped up back-to-back conference titles, earned a No. 6 seed in the NCAAs and has won 14 in a row. Confidence in his array of 3-point shots grew, particularly away from the comfy corners of the court that served as his home mailing address as an underclassman. He trimmed turnovers and found the delicate middle ground between attacking and valuing the ball.

Syracuse and the bubble life: 665 pizzas, 19,000 wings, badminton and surviving the cloistered environment (

Aztecs look to break Syracuse’s suffocating 2-3 zone defense (AP)

When Syracuse and San Diego State played on aircraft carrier: Wind-blown shots, errant free throws and sunburn (

Jimmy Boeheim on watching an entire basketball season on TV after Ivy League shutdown (

Boeheim on Guerrier: ‘He Can Be An All-American Player’ (All Syracuse)

San Diego State enters NCAA Tournament with lost season in mind (L.A. Daily News)

Shaq predicts Syracuse to make ‘Elite’ run in NCAA tournament (NYUpstate)

And more...

Syracuse football Pro Day 2021: Which former players are participating? (

Syracuse Remains Heavily Involved with Donovan Clingan (All Syracuse)

How the economics of the 2021 NCAA Tournament affect ACC, FSU (Tomahawk Nation)

Why is Michigan State a First Four team? Big wins (and losses) created tough scenario for NCAA Tournament committee (Sporting News)

Toni Martin’s emergence as Syracuse’s home run leader (Daily Orange)

Inside Syracuse’s latest schedule scramble (US Lacrosse)