The Syracuse Orange men’s basketball program has a 3-3 record in National Semifinal games. As we wait for the Final Four games to tip off tonight let’s take a look back at those four wins.
1987: Like Duke and North Carolina tonight, this game featured conference rivals meeting with a title game appearance on the line. The Providence Friars were a Cinderella story that season as Rick Pitino’s squad used the 3-point shot to advance to the Final Four in New Orleans. The Syracuse defense shut down Billy Donovan and the PC shooters holding the Friars to 5-19 from 3. Meanwhile the Orange dominated the boards 53-32 and had all five starters in double figures to advance with a comfortable 77-63 victory.
1996: The Cuse was in the House in East Rutherford and the Mississippi State Bulldogs were their opponent. John Wallace and Todd Burgan combined for 40 points as the Syracuse defense contained Dontae’ Jones and Erick Dampier. The game was tied at the half but Syracuse pulled away for a 77-69 win.
2003: This was one of the most exciting Final Four games as the two teams went up and down the floor. The Orange led Texas 48-45 at the break and then kept the pedal down in the second half to pull away for a 95-84 win. Carmelo Anthony dropped 33 points on the Longhorns and Syracuse shot 57% from the field even though this one didn’t count.
Will we see any moments like this tonight? Unlikely but we should be in for a couple of well-contested games. Feel free to use this thread to discuss and root against Duke.