March Madness may be over but we aren’t going to let an important Syracuse Orange Anniversary pass without taking a deeper look back.
That event of course is Syracuse’s 2003 Final Four victory over Rick Barnes’ Texas Longhorns.
On this day 20 years ago:— Christian De Guzman (@CTDeGuz) April 4, 2023
Carmelo Anthony scored a career-high 33 points and Hakim Warrick posterized Royal Ivey to send Syracuse to the 2003 title game with a 95-84 win over Texas.@NunesMagician pic.twitter.com/as4KcMCsoY
The #1 seed Longhorns entered the game as 3-point favorites over the #3 seed Orange, but Syracuse had one advantage over Texas, they had Carmelo Anthony. The Orange star picked a perfect time to put up a career-high 33 points to go along with 14 rebounds. Anthony was 12-19 from the floor (3 of 4 from deep) as Texas simply had no answer for him.
Gerry McNamara had 19 points, 4 assists and 4 steals while Hakim Warrick had 18 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and the ultimate poster against Royal Ivey. The Texas Teabag came at a critical point in the game as the Orange held a 66-62 lead with just over 10 minutes to play.
It looked like Texas might have a chance to grab a rebound and cut the Orange’s lead to one possession. Warrick’s hustle to grab the loose ball, his ability to ignore everything around him and focus on dunking Ivey into the shadow realm, helped propel Syracuse on a 12-4 run to put some distance between themselves and Texas.
The Orange held on down the stretch and earned a trip to the National Championship game against Kansas. It’s been twenty years and other than Johnny Flynn’s dunk on Mike Rosario, we haven’t seen a Syracuse player put an opponent on a poster like this. We might not see one in the next twenty years either, this dunk was just that good.