As we wait for this year’s NCAA Tournament games let’s look back at the Syracuse Orange’s Elite Eight wins.
1987: Behind Rony Seikaly’s 26 points and 11 rebounds the Orange knocked off the #1 seed North Carolina 79-75. Seikaly was 11-15 from the field as he out-played J.R. Reid. Syracuse grabbed 17 offensive rebounds led by Derrick Coleman’s 7 and the Orange moved on to the Final Four in New Orleans.
1996: After the dramatic win over Georgia, Syracuse had to face the Kansas Jayhawks and a line-up of four future NBA players. Otis Hill and John Wallace had 15 points each and the Orange limited Kansas to 4-25 shooting from 3 to earn the win and let the world know The Cuse is in the House
2003: In front of a large contingent of Syracuse fans in Albany the Orange stifled the top-seed Oklahoma Sooners 63-47. Carmelo Anthony led the way with 20 and 10 as the Orange shot over 50% from the field and held the Sooners to 5-28 from deep. A nation of haters complained about the 4-seed having the in-state crowd advantage but no tears were shed on I-90 that evening.
2013: Even an opponent familiar with the Syracuse zone can get shut down by it in March. The Orange just smothered the Marquette Golden Eagles 55-39 in a game that only a defensive coach could love. Syracuse was 5-17 from 3 which was better than Marquette’s 3-25 showing. James Southerland’s 16 points and Michael Carter-Williams’ 12 point, 11 rebound performance led the Orange.
2016: Syracuse overcame a 14-point halftime deficit by scoring 47 second-half points to stun the Virginia Cavaliers. Most people credit the Syracuse press but Malachi Richardson went NBA Jam “He’s on Fire” down the stretch as the Orange scored on 10 straight possessions late in the game. Richardson finished with 23 points and Syracuse was boosted by 12 offensive rebounds to win this one.
Now onto this year’s games and two things can be true Syracuse Orange fans. The ACC was down this year. The non-conference results showed that in the regular season the conference was not as strong as usual.....and at the same time they are enjoying the best NCAA Tournament of any league as we begin the Elite Eight.
What happened? Well the two most-talented teams (Duke and UNC) are playing up to potential and Miami is getting strong guard play from a veteran team. Can they all advance to the Final Four? It’ll take a strong effort from all three. Duke will have to contend with heavy defensive pressure from Arkansas. Miami’s going to be challenged against the size of Kansas and UNC has to find a way to stop the St. Peter’s Peacocks who are playing with as much confidence as anyone,
Should be a fun weekend of basketball so comment away below