As we come to the end of March, it’s time for the Final Four games to be played and this is the place to discuss the women’s and men’s games (sorry this missed the opening tip).
The Syracuse Orange women’s basketball program is 1-0 in National Semifinal games. The 2016 Orange beat the Washington Huskies 80-59. Syracuse jumped out to a 23-12 lead at the end of the first quarter and never looked back.
Alexis Peterson had 18 points and 6 assists while Britney Sykes added 17 points. Brianna Day’s 15 rebounds helped the Orange to a 44-24 rebounding edge. Syracuse advanced to the National Championship game to face the UConn Huskies.
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.