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Looking back at some memorable Syracuse men’s basketball NCAA Tournament first round games

Richmond and Vermont obviously not included

2004 NCAA 1st Round: BYU v Syracuse Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images

The Syracuse Orange aren’t in action today but we can’t spend St. Patrick’s Day crying in our green beer. Let’s take a look back at some memorable Syracuse NCAA Tournament first round games.

  • 1957: First NCAA game for the Orange as Gary Clark and Vin Cohen combine for 50 points to lead Syracuse past UConn in Madison Square Garden.
  • 1966: Jim Boeheim’s first NCAA game as a player results in a 94-78 win over Davidson in Raleigh. Boeheim scores 14 points on 7-9 shooting while Dave Bing scores 20 points to go with 12 rebounds and 8 assists.
  • 1975: The Orange go on the road to knock off LaSalle 87-83 in overtime. Jim Lee, Rudy Hackett and Chris Sease combine for 68 of the 87 points to kick off Syracuse’s first Final Four run
  • 1987: The 2nd-seed Syracuse squad is trailing at home to Georgia Southern at the half. The Orange rally for a six-point win to advance. A fun fact from this one: Syracuse shot 5-10 from 3 in the game while Georgia Southern was 6-6 from beyond the arc.
Otis Hill Syracuse
  • 1996: Syracuse is sent out West and at the half are only up 4 points on Montana State. A 50-point second half propels the Orange to an easy 88-55 win. Five Syracuse players score in double-figures with Otis Hill getting 17 in only 22 minutes of action.
  • 2004: People wondered how Syracuse would fare without Carmelo Anthony around so Gerry McNamara went out and dropped 43 points on BYU. This remains the Syracuse NCAA record as Gerry shot 9-13 from 3 and 12-16 from the line. Rumor has it this is what inspired the Cougars to grab Jimmer Fredette several years later.
  • 2013: After Seth Davis predicts the Orange to lose, the team goes out and beats Montana 81-34. Great expert prediction.
Montana v Syracuse

What are some of your good memories of Syracuse opening round games?