Syracuse In NCAA Tournament: Orange Edge Wisconsin, 64-63; Advance To Elite 8

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NCAA Tournament 2012, Elite 8: Syracuse Vs. Ohio State Game Time, TV Schedule And More

The NCAA Tournament's East Region Elie 8 match-up is set, as the No. 1-seeded Syracuse Orange and No. 2 Ohio St. Buckeyes will face off Saturday at 7:05 p.m. ET on CBS. The Orange (33-2) and Buckeyes (30-7) each earned hard-fought victories in the Sweet 16, and earned the first March Madness meeting between the two programs since 1983. when Ohio St. won, 79-74.

On Thursday, the East Region's top seed, Syracuse, edged No. 4 Wisconsin Badgers, 64-63, while the Buckeyes defeated No. 6 Cincinnati Bearcates, 81-66. The showdown is the second Big East Conference and Big Ten Conference showdown in the East Region. Both league's are 1-1 in the showdowns.

The winner of this contest will face one of four teams in the NCAA Tournament's semifinals: No. 1 North Carolina Tar Heels, No., 13 Ohio Bobcats, No. 11 N.C. State Wolfpack and No. 2 Kansas Jayhawks

For more 2012 NCAA Tournament coverage, follow our StoryStream. Also visit SB Nation for more March Madness coverage. A printable bracket is also available.

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NCAA Tournament 2012, Syracuse Vs. Wisconsin Final Score: Orange Edge Badgers, 64-63; Advance To Elite 8

Despite the opponent making 51.9-percent of its 3-point attempts, the No 1-seeded Syracuse Orange edged the No. 4 Wisconsin Badgers, 64-63, in a NCAA Tournament, Sweet 16 match-up in Boston, Ma. The Orange (34-2) advance to the Elite-8 round to face either No. 2 Ohio St. Buckeyes or No. 6 Cincinnati Bearcats on Saturday.

Sophomore forward C.J. Fair netted a team-best 15 points and collected seven rebounds to lead Syracuse, which controlled the tempo of the game. However, the Badgers' lethal 3-point shooting, including five treys from senior guard Jordan Taylor (game-high 17 points), made it close and resulted in this dramatic finish.

In the end, defense was the key, as no team made a field goal in the game's final 4 minutes, 13 seconds.

"We believe in our defense," said Syracuse's senior point guard Scoop Jardine after the game. "We didn't panic, we stayed with them and we got the stop to win the game."

The contest came down to two free throws from Jardine with 3:50 to play, which gave the Orange a slim 64-61 advantage, after leading by as much as seven points with about 12 minutes to play.

The game got closer, as Wisconsin's sophomore forward Josh Gasser answered with two free throws with 31 seconds remaining, however, the Badgers last chance to earn another March Madness victory disappeared when Taylor's go-ahead shot, with time dwindling down, was short and a final, desperation attempt was way off.

"That's the best game anybody has ever played against us and didn't win," said Orange head coach Jim Boeheim, who has coached at SU for 36 seasons and earned his first Sweet 16 victory since 2003.

"I've followed Wisconsin all year and I've never seen them play like this. They really played a great game."

Jardine finished the contest with 14 points, while sophomore guard Dion Waiters netted 13. Junior guard Brandon Triche added 11. Overall, the Orange shot 55.1-percent from the field (27-for-49), including 5-for-9 from behind the 3-point arc.

Wisconsin and Syracuse were even in rebound margin (23-23), however, the difference was the Badgers 3-point shooting, which also featured three from each junior forward Jared Berggren (17 points) and sophomore guard Ben Burst (nine). The difference, probably, was Berggren sitting late in the first half because of foul trouble.

In the first half, Wisconsin took an early 20-18 lead after beginning the game 8-for-12 from the field, including 4-for-8 from behind the 3-point line.

The Orange used a 15-5 run, which featured six points from Fair and Berggren mostly sitting, to take a 33-23 lead with 2:31 to go. Syracuse ended the half ahead 33-27.

For more on Syracuse, visit Nunes Magician. For more coverage of Syracuse in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, visit SB Nation New York's StoryStream.

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NCAA Tournament 2012, Syracuse Vs. Wisconsin Score: Orange Lead Badgers, 33-27, At Halftime

Junior guard Brandon Triche and sophomore guard Dion Waiters each have netted nine points to help the top-seeded Syracuse Orange earn a 33-27 halftime lead over No. 4 Wisconsin Badgers in a NCAA Tournament, Sweet 16 contest in Boston, Ma. The winner advance to the Elite 8 to face either No. 2 Ohio St. Buckeyes or No. 6 Cincinnati Bearcats on Saturday.

Trailing 20-18 with 7:06 to go in the first half, the Orange (33-2) used a 15-5 run, which featured all six of sophomore forward C.J Fair's points, to take a 33-23 lead with 2:31 to go.

However, two late free throws by Josh Gasser and a transition layup from senior guard Jordan Taylor for Wisconsin, helped trimmed the lead to six heading into the locker room.

Wisconsin began the game 8-for-12 from the field, including 4-for-8 from behind the 3-point line, to take its two-point advantage at around the halfway mark.

Junior forward Jared Berggren has netted a team-high 10 points for Wisconsin, which finished the half shooting 10-for-25 (40-percent). The Badgers have made 5 of their 11 long-range attempts.

Meanwhile, the Orange have out-rebounded the Badgers, 13-9, and have made 63.9-percent from the field.

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NCAA Tournament 2012, Sweet 16: Syracuse Battles Wisconsin For A Trip To Elite 8

A showcase of two conflicting men's college hoops philosophies will take place Thursday, when the No. 1-seeded Syracuse Orange and their patented Jim Boeheim, 2-3-zone defense, square off against the No. 4 Wisconsin Badgers and Bo Ryan's stout man-to-man principals in a NCAA Tournament, East Region, Sweet 16 contest in Boston, Ma. (7:15 p.m. ET on CBS).

The Orange (33-2), led by head coach Boeheim, are the slim favorites to advance to the Elite 8, where they will face either No. 2 Ohio St. Buckeyes or No. 6 Cincinnati Bearcats on Saturday. But there's a wave of support surrounding the Badgers (26-9), Ryan's gritty, slow-paced, yet, effective bunch, that feel the first No. 1-seed of March Madness could fall in this Big East Conference-Big Ten Conference showdown at the TD Garden.


Syracuse vs. Wisconsin: Season Recaps | Backcourt | Frontcourt | X-Factor

Captained by Ryan and senior guard Jordan Taylor, the Badgers run a offensive and defensive style many see as the kryptonite to Syracuse's "up-tempo" offense and patented 2-3 zone defense. During the course of a 40-minute game, Wisconsin's game plan is to slow the contest to a snail's pace, not turn the ball over and beat the zone from the 3-point parameter. All solid formulas to defeat the favored Orange.

However, as the Syracuse' players will tell you, during a 35-game season a squad sees it all and Thursday night will not be the first time a team will try to slow the pace of the game and rely on the 3-point shot to pull of an upset. Odds, as supported by the Orange's overall record, usually do not favor the opponent no matter what strategy its tries to implement.

In what could be one of his best season's, Boehiem has put together a team that can handle all sorts of different styles and game plans. The question now is, how flexible is Syracuse now since the loss of sophomore center Fab Melo, who was ruled ineligible for the NCAA Tournament just over a week ago?

The key to the Orange's flexibility was its depth of its bench, which features the Big East Sixth-Man of the Year, sophomore guard Dion Waiters, and consistent contributors, sophomore forward C.J. Fair and junior forward James Southerland, and the 7-footer's defense in the middle of the 2-3 zone.

Melo, who almost averaged three blocks and six rebounds per game before his departure, was a detractor to opposing lane-drivers and made up for any mistakes made at the top of the zone.

With that gone, Syracuse heavily reliant on freshman forward Rakeem Christmas to filled the void. The current results? So far, so good.

Of course, the Orange's Final Four hopes aren't all on the shoulders of Christmas, but mainly on seniors Kris Joseph, the team's leading scorer at 13.7 points per game, and point guard Scoop Jardine, the squad's top passer 4.9 assists per game and floor general.

Syracuse's arsenal doesn't stop there, however, as junior guard Brandon Triche is capable of going for 20 points on any given night, while Waiters is easily SU's best NBA prospect and Fair has been the team's most consistent player all season despite his troubles in the postseason. That goes without mentioning Southerland, who's the Orange's top scorer in the NCAA Tournament.

Meanwhile, the Badgers are hoping and will need a big game from Taylor, who paces one of the lowest scoring teams in the nation (63.9 points per game) with 14.7 ppg. If things are going to go right for the underdog Badgers Thursday, its more than likely the result of Taylor's creation off the dribble and 3-point shooting.

However, if Ryan and Badgers fans were to have it there way, scoring will not be the key factor in this Sweet 16 contest.

Wisconsin will play possession basketball -- a strategy focused on limiting the opponent's chances of scoring points by not forcing anything on offense (no turnovers or bad shots) and clamping down with suffocating man-to-man defense, which under Ryan has been one of the best in the nation for years.

"That's the great thing about the game of basketball is you can play and approach it in a lot of different ways and be successful," said Boeheim Wednesday. "Coaches have done that over the years. There's a lot of different ways to coach a team and to play the game, and yet you can still be successful."

The Badgers will also come at an opponent using athletic junior forward Ryan Evans, who has a solid inside-and-out game, and sophomore guard Josh Gasser. But the most critical component Thursday, will be the 3-point shot, which for the Badgers has been inconsistent all season long, however, connected on 10 of 33 attemept in their win over Vanderbilt on Saturday.

Overall, this Sweet 16 showdown should be a good one, as it will come down to which coach -- Boeheim or Ryan? -- prepared the best and which players -- Syracuse's or Wisconsin's -- executed the game place to perfection.

For more on the 2012 NCAA Tournament bracket, stay with SB Nation's Selection Sunday StoryStream, and stick around SB Nation's NCAA Tournament hub for a complete printable NCAA Tournament bracket and tons of analysis on who was snubbed, who got the best bracket, and who will make it all the way to New Orleans and the Final Four.

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NCAA Tournament 2012, Sweet 16 Syracuse, Wisconsin X-Factors

1The NCAA Tournament's field has officially been trimmed to the Sweet 16, and local hoops program, the Syracuse basketball team, is still alive and need a few more victories to make the Final Four in New Orleans, La., March 31-April 2.

For the next few days, SB Nation New York will be breaking down the Orange's next March Madness contest against the Wisconsin Badgers on Thursday in Boston, Ma. (7:15 p.m. on CBS). For more on Syracuse vs. Wisconsin, check back to this StoryStream.

Meanwhile, here's Part I of our preview: X-factor


Season Recaps | Backcourt Breakdown | Frontcourt Breakdown

Syracuse Orange (33-2)

The flashy names to be tossed around come Thursday, will be senior forward Kris Joseph, senior point guard Scoop Jardine and sophomore guard Dion Waiters, however, there's no doubting that the defensive play of freshman center Rakeem Christmas (6-foot-9, 222 pounds) will be the x-factor against Wisconsin.

Entering the Orange's Sweet 16 match-up with the Badgers, many experts are focusing on the defense of the Badgers and what their stout man-to-man defense can do against Syracuse "up-tempo" offense. Well, despite what people think, the Orange's offense hasn't been the reason why they have won 33 games, instead, its the 2-3 zone defense which was mainly manned by sophomore center Fab Melo.

Now, that Melo is out for the remainder of the season, the defensive burden has been placed on the shoulder of Christmas, who has the athletic ability to be a defensive stud, however, is still raw and is prone to make mistakes that a first-year player can.

With that said, Christmas has proved himself before, as he played well (eight points, 11 rebounds and three blocks) in the Round of 32 victory over Kansas St. Wildcats, and was stellar (four points, nine rebounds and three blocks) in a start earlier in the season at the Cincinnati Bearcats, another Sweet 16 team.

If Christmas can be as productive against Wisconsin, Syracuse will have a great chance of advancing to the Elite 8.


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2011 - Rakeem Christmas 35 11.4 1.1 2.1 55.6 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.5 0.8 57.1 1.1 1.9 3.0 0.2 0.7 0.3 0.8 1.6 2.7

Wisconsin Badgers (26-9)

Though the Badgers ultimately go as senior guard Jordan Taylor goes, the senior point guard has proven an ability to almost always turn it on the latter portions of games, especially one's in which he struggled early on. For that, he's not necessarily Wisconsin's X-factor moving forward.

Rather, that moniker belongs to Mike Bruesewitz. His recently improved play has ignited the Badgers as they play what appears to be their best basketball of the season. With a productive Bruesewitz, Wisconsin not only gets those prized hustle plays and rebounds, but it gets a player who can do nearly every Sophomore guard Ben Brust thing on offense - shoot from all around the court, drive and dish.

If Bruesewitz continues to play well, a much smaller burden falls on and Wilson to spell the Badgers' starting five. That, of course, bodes well for Wisconsin's balanced scoring, which has been the most noticeable benefit of this recent stretch of strong play.


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2011 - Mike Bruesewitz 35 25.7 2.0 5.1 39.5 0.7 2.4 29.8 1.0 1.5 70.6 2.0 3.2 5.2 1.7 1.1 0.6 0.3 2.5 5.7

-- By Mike Fiammentta (@mikefiammetta)

For more on the 2012 NCAA Tournament bracket, stay with SB Nation's Selection Sunday StoryStream, and stick around SB Nation's NCAA Tournament hub for a complete printable NCAA Tournament bracket and tons of analysis on who was snubbed, who got the best bracket, and who will make it all the way to New Orleans and the Final Four.

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NCAA Tournament 2012, Sweet 16: Syracuse, Wisconsin Frontcourt Breakdown

The NCAA Tournament's field has officially been trimmed to the Sweet 16, and local hoops program, the Syracuse basketball team, is still alive and needs a few more victories to make the Final Four in New Orleans, La., March 31-April 2.

For the next few days, SB Nation New York will be breaking down the Orange's next March Madness contest against the Wisconsin Badgers on Thursday in Boston (7:15 p.m. on CBS). For more on Syracuse vs. Wisconsin, check back to this StoryStream.

Meanwhile, here's Part III of our preview: Frontcourt Preview


Season Recaps | Backcourt Breakdown

Syracuse Orange (33-2)

The most common word to describe the Syracuse Orange this season has been "deep." The Orange all season have featured 10 players that could probably start on any of the remaining 16 teams left in the NCAA Tournament not named Kentucky or North Carolina.

The backcourt is composed of four players who have earned some sort of pre- or post-season honor or will in the near future, while the frontcourt, at one point in the season, showcased two former High School McDonald's All-Americans (sophomore center Fab Melo and freshman forward Rakeem Christmas), one of them the Big East Conference Defensive Player of the Year (Melo), a former Big East Sixth-Man of the Year award winner (senior forward Kris Joseph) and solid role players (sophomore C.J. Fair and sophomore center Baye Keita).

Though Joseph (team-leading 13.7 points per game) and Fair (8.3 ppg and 5.4 rebounds per game) have been consistent contributors to the Orange's season-long success (and don't look for that to change Thursday), the play of Christmas (6-foot-9, 222 pounds) and Kieta (6-10, 220) has been shaky.

And that was the biggest question for top-seeded Syracuse heading into March Madness -- how will the back-line of Syracuse's 2-3 zone hold up without Melo in the middle?

Well, just like the three games during the regular season when the 'Cuse were without their 7-footer, the results have been mixed, but there have been flashes of some really good production.

Case in point, Christmas' six-point, seven-rebound, two-block performance against the UNC-Asheville Bulldogs in the Orange's slim second-round victory last Thursday was lost in the shuffle because of Syracuse's bad overall performance against an inferior opponent.

However, Christmas' third-round performance (eight points, 11 rebounds and three blocks) against a seemingly "tougher" Kansas St. Wildcats was noticed by every Orange fan, and got everyone thinking maybe we will be all right without Melo after all.

The fact is, Christmas has the raw talent to be an outstanding bigman. However, his development was slowed this season because of the rapid offseason development of Melo.

Meanwhile, Keita suffered from the same issue. Last season, the recruit from Senegal was a solid bench option behind Melo, as he averaged 14 minutes, two points, almost four rebounds and a block per game. This year, his numbers have been trimmed to 11 mpg, 2 rpg and 0.9 bpg.

In conclusion, Joseph and Fair are going to do what they do best and it's going to be very hard to stop them. The key to breaking down Syracuse's frontcourt is to get the very raw Christmas to make bonehead mistakes to shake his confidence and possibly get him in foul trouble, and hope that Kieta continues to be shaky like he has all season.

-- By Jared E. Smith (@JaredSmithCNY)

Wisconsin Badgers (26-9)

While guard Jordan Taylor and the younger Josh Gasser are undoubtedly prone to inconsistency, Wisconsin's frontcourt has seen a wide range of performances this season. Ryan Evans, a 6-foot-6, 210-pound junior, has emerged as the Badgers' bona fide No. 2 option behind Taylor. After averaging just 2.8 points per 11.6 minutes of playing time last season, Evans has improved immensely in 2011-12 to average 11.1 points and 6.8 rebounds in 30.5 minutes of playing time per game. He's scored in double figures in each of Wisconsin's last 14 games, thanks in large to part to his versatility. Evans' jumper is sound enough to extend his range close to the 3-point arc, and he can also drive to the hoop and finish with authority.

Elsewhere in the lineup, 6-foot-10, 235-pound Jared Berggren mans the center position. Berggren, a junior, has had his fair share of up-and-down performances, though at his best he's a typical Wisconsin big man -- quick and agile enough to maneuver around the perimeter, as well as coordinated enough to extend his shooting range to 3-point territory. Berggren averaged just 6.9 minutes of playing last year, but now he gets 27.9 and scores 10.3 points, grabs 5.0 rebounds and blocks 1.7 shots per game. Much of his inconsistency comes on the defensive end, as his lanky frame occasionally puts him at a size mismatch with his opponent. This season, Berggren struggled defensively against Ohio State's Jared Sullinger and Michigan State's Draymond Green, Derrick Nix and Adriean Payne.

Most inconsistent among Wisconsin's frontcourt trio, though, has been Mike Bruesewitz. The 6-foot-6, 222-pound junior who traded in one of the nation's most beloved haircuts (something along the lines of a tousled red-orange afro) for a more benign buzz cut is the Badgers' undeniable energy and hustle guy. His games have always been better graded by the number of floor burns he collects as opposed to his points, though Bruesewitz is just recently breaking out of a shooting slump that severely hindered Wisconsin down the stretch. After sinking a 3-pointer at Minnesota Feb. 9, Bruesewitz didn't hit another until the Montana game March 15.

During that stretch, at least, Bruesewitz continued to rebound and make his normal impact on the game aside from offense. Against Montana, he finally seemed to regain his confidence, scoring eight points on 3-for-5 shooting (2-for-3 from 3-point range) and grabbing four rebounds. Against Vanderbilt, Bruesewitz scored 10 points and added three rebounds.

-- By Mike Fiammentta (@mikefiammetta)

For more on the 2012 NCAA Tournament bracket, stay with SB Nation's Selection Sunday StoryStream, and stick around SB Nation's NCAA Tournament hub for a complete printable NCAA Tournament bracket and tons of analysis on who was snubbed, who got the best bracket, and who will make it all the way to New Orleans and the Final Four.

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NCAA Tournament 2012, Sweet 16: Syracuse, Wisconsin Backcourt Breakdown

The NCAA Tournament's field has officially been trimmed to the Sweet 16, and local hoops program, the Syracuse basketball team, is still alive and need a few more victories to make the Final Four in New Orleans, La., March 31-April 2.

For the next few days, SB Nation New York will be breaking down the Orange's next March Madness contest against the Wisconsin Badger on Thursday in Boston, Ma (7:45 p.m. on CBS). For more on Syracuse vs. Wisconsin, check back to this StoryStream.

Meanwhile, here's Part II of our preview: Backcourt Breakdown


More: Season Recaps -- Frontcourt Breakdown

Syracuse Orange (33-2)

Possibly the nation's most underrated group of guards is sprinkled within the 2011-12 Syracuse roster. The Orange may not have the best one in the nation -- though sophomore guard Dion Waiters would tell you otherwise -- or the most dependable, as senior Scoop Jardine and junior Brandon Triche disappear at times. However, depth and compatibility-wise its tough to find a better group -- just ask McDonald's All-American Michael Carter-Williams, who rarely sees any playing time.

For the past two season, the motto has been: "As Scoop goes, as does the Syracuse offense." And there was no more perfect example of that than last Saturday, when the No. 1-seeded Orange downed the Kansas St. Wildcats, 75-59, in the Round of 32.

Ahead just 25-24 at halftime, mainly because Jardine was awful in the first half (zero points and four turnovers), the Orange used 16 points, a handful of assists and two turnovers from its floor general in the second to ease into the Sweet 16.

And if you take a second glance at Saturday's boxscore, one will see Waiters' game-high 18 points, including 12 in the first half. In Syracuse's last four postseason games, Waiters has been the Orange's most consistent player, scorer and spark (he comes off the bench) as he's averaged 19.0 points per game and is shooting a stellar 55.5-percent from the field.

Meanwhile, Triche is the secret weapon. Not only is the junior able to go off for 20 points on any given night (Triche has actually only done it once this season), but he can create havoc in the 2-3 zone defense.

Did I mention there's a dependable High School All-American sitting on the bench?

-- By Jared E. Smith (@JaredSmithCNY)

Wisconsin Badgers (26-9)

This season, senior guard Jordan Taylor's numbers are down nearly across the board. His points (14.7), assists (4.0) and rebounds per game (3.8) have all dropped, as has his field goal (.402), three-point (.359) and free-throw percentages (.785). After being named a preseason All-American, expectations for Taylor's individual statistics were undeniably inflated -- perhaps irrationally so.

Taylor's numbers have still been enough to carry the Badgers into late March, as Wisconsin's offense appears to have rounded into top shape over the last month. With that happening, UW's top-ranked scoring defense (allowing only 52.9 points per game) hasn't needed nearly as much help.

Alongside Taylor, sophomore guard Josh Gasser has built off his impressive freshman season to develop into one of Wisconsin's better all-around players. His numbers (7.7 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game) hardly leap off box scores, though they do reflect Gasser's ability as a player who can shoot from all around the court, rebound and defend. Quite frequently, the latter becomes the most important, as Gasser often defends the opposing team's best guard. Against Vanderbilt, Josh Gasser limited star guard John Jenkins to just 13 points on 3-of-13 shooting.

-- By Mike Fiammentta (@mikefiammetta)

For more on the 2012 NCAA Tournament bracket, stay with SB Nation's Selection Sunday StoryStream, and stick around SB Nation's NCAA Tournament hub for a complete printable NCAA Tournament bracket and tons of analysis on who was snubbed, who got the best bracket, and who will make it all the way to New Orleans and the Final Four.

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NCAA Tournament 2012, Sweet 16: Syracuse, Wisconsin Season Recaps

The NCAA Tournament's field has officially been trimmed to the Sweet 16, and local hoops program, the Syracuse basketball team, is still alive and need a few more victories to make the Final Four in New Orleans, La., March 31-April 2.

For the next few days, SB Nation New York will be breaking down the Orange's next March Madness contest against the Wisconsin Badgers on Thursday in Boston, Ma. (7:15 p.m. on CBS). For more on Syracuse vs. Wisconsin, check back to this StoryStream.

Meanwhile, here's Part I of our preview: Season Recaps


Related: Full SB Nation New York NCAA Tournament StoryStream

Syracuse Orange (33-2)

Since their National Championship run in 2002-03, the Syracuse Orange fanbase has been waiting for a team to match that squad's talent, depth and grittiness to pull out close victories. Now, most Orange followers understand that only once in a lifetime does a talent like Carmelo Anthony walk through the doors of the Carrier Dome, but a Final Four run has been done before with lesser Jim Boeheim teams.

Glimpses of greatness was showcased during the '09-10 season, when veteran leaders Wesley Johnson and Andy Rautins stepped up their games to lead the Orange to an impressive 28-3 regular-season finish and a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. However, an injury to senior center Arinze Onuaku derailed any shot at being a real National Championship contender, as Syracuse fell in the Sweet 16 to the Buttler Bulldogs.

Last season's team showed sparks of what could be, but was still too raw to be a real Final Four threat, and they again exited early in the month of March. The raw talent did give fans hope that this season could be different, but nobody ever imagined something like this.

Despite scandal, criticism, scandal, more criticism and a weekly "breaking news" story, the Orange started the season on a record clip (20-0), raced to No. 1 in the national rankings and eventually cruised to a Big East Conference regular-season title.

By regular season's end, the Syracuse roster featured an All-Big East First Teamer, senior forward Kris Joseph; a second-team selection, senior point guard Scoop Jardine; Sixth Man of the Year, sophomore guard Dion Waiters; and Defensive Player of the Year, sophomore center Fab Melo.

All the good feelings came to an end, though, when the Orange played poorly in a Big East Tournament semifinal loss to the Cincinnati Bearcats, and a few days later, when they lost Melo for the remainder of the season because of an eligibility issue.

With the college-basketball world watching, No. 1-seeded Syracuse struggled but survived against No. 16 UNC-Asheville Bulldogs last Thursday, and left fans feeling a bit better with a convincing Round of 32 victory over the No. 8 Kansas St. Wildcats.

Right now, it's clear that this team has the talent to still make a Final Four run, but the loss of Melo, the constant scrutiny and the Wisconsin defense and shooting could be too much overcome.

-- By Jared E. Smith (@JaredSmithCNY)

Wisconsin Badgers (26-9)

For much of the past two seasons, the Badgers have lived and died by the play of Jordan Taylor. Last year as a junior, the 6-foot-1, 195-pound Taylor emerged as one of the nation's best up-and-coming point guards. With a future NBA draft pick in Jon Leuer and another impressive big man in Keaton Nankivil (now playing in Germany) complementing him, Taylor blossomed into a smart, decisive point guard with an ability to score surpassed only by his ability to keep the offense moving without turning it over (Taylor led the nation with a plus-3.8 assist-turnover ratio).

With three new starters around him and a couple of bench players who played only limited roles in 2010-11, Taylor's done less with less this year. Earlier in the season, he seemed intent on getting his teammates acclimated to their higher-profile roles, fostering plenty of discussion about whether he should've been more focused on carrying the scoring load.

As the Badgers approached the Big Ten season, the oft-skewed numbers of non-conference play settled down. Wisconsin's non-conference slate was notable for two things - a near-upset of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and a stunning (although given how well the rest of their season transpired, perhaps not so much) home loss to Marquette three days later.

The Badgers then began Big Ten play by losing three of their first four games. But before the doom-and-gloom clouds could really gather, they won their next six games -- a streak that wasn't snapped until the Feb. 4 matchup against Ohio State. Wisconsin only lost three times the remainder of the season -- twice to Michigan State and once to Iowa (for the second time).

After that loss to the Hawkeyes on Feb. 23, the Badgers ended the regular season on a four-game winning streak. A 65-52 loss to Michigan State in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament briefly cooled Wisconsin, but the team has set forth two of its finest performances all season in the NCAAs. An impressive rout of 13th-seeded Montana preceded Saturday night's thrilling 60-57 win over fifth-seeded Vanderbilt.

-- By Mike Fiammentta (@mikefiammetta)

For more on the 2012 NCAA Tournament bracket, stay with SB Nation's Selection Sunday StoryStream, and stick around SB Nation's NCAA Tournament hub for a complete printable NCAA Tournament bracket and tons of analysis on who was snubbed, who got the best bracket, and who will make it all the way to New Orleans and the Final Four.

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NCAA Tournament 2012 Bracket: The East Region's Sweet 16 Breakdown 1.0

And the NCAA Tournament 68-team filed has officially been trimmed down to the Sweet 16, and luckily for Syracuse Orange men's basketball fan their team is still alive and will be trying to advance to the Final Four in New Orleans, LA, March 31-April 2.

To get there, the Orange, the No. 1 seed in the East Region of the bracket, will need to first defeat No. 4 Wisconsin Badgers Thursday in Boston, Ma., and if that happens the winner of No. 6 Cincinnati Bearcats vs. No. 2 Ohio St. Buckeyes on Saturday.


East Region's Sweet 16 Game Times, TV Schedule

Interestingly, the East Region features a mini Big East Conference-Big Ten Conference challenge, as the Orange (33-2) and Bearcats (26-10) are from the Big East, while the Badgers (26-9) and Buckeyes (29-7) are from the Big Ten. Currently, the Big Ten programs are a combined 10-3 in the NCAA Tournament and has four teams in the Sweet 16, while the Big East is 11-5 overall and also have four schools in the Sweet 16.

The favorite to advance out of the bracket's East Region is Ohio St.

For more on Syracuse basketball in the NCAA Tournament, check back to this SB Nation New York StoryStream.

For more on the 2012 NCAA Tournament bracket, stay with SB Nation's Selection Sunday StoryStream, and stick around SB Nation's NCAA Tournament hub for a complete printable NCAA Tournament bracket and tons of analysis on who was snubbed, who got the best bracket, and who will make it all the way to New Orleans and the Final Four.

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NCAA Tournament 2012 Schedule: Syracuse Vs. Wisconsin Game Time, TV Schedule, Betting Odds

After earning third-round victories on Saturday, the East Region's top-seeded Syracuse Orange and No. 4 Wisconsin Badgers will square off in the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16 on Thursday at 7:15 p.m. ET on CBS in Boston. The winner advances to the Elite 8 to face either No. 6 Cincinnati Bearcats or No. 2 Ohio St. Buckeyes, which are playing at 9:45 p.m. ET on CBS.

The Badgers reached the Sweet 16 by downing No. 13 Montana Grizzlies, 73-49, in the second round and moved on with a slim victory over No. 5 Vanderbilt Commodores, 60-57, on Saturday. Meanwhile, Syracuse's march to the Sweet 16 can be documented in this SB Nation New York StoryStream.

Currently, the Las Vegas betting odds have Syracuse as a unanimous 4 1/2-point favorite.

For more on the 2012 NCAA Tournament bracket, stay with SB Nation's Selection Sunday StoryStream, and stick around SB Nation's NCAA Tournament hub for a complete printable NCAA Tournament bracket and tons of analysis on who was snubbed, who got the best bracket, and who will make it all the way to New Orleans and the Final Four.

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Syracuse Sweet 16 Opponent Set: Wisconsin Downs Vanderbilt

After dispatching a Big 12 foe on Saturday, the Syracuse Orange will next get a crack at one of the Big Ten's finest when they take on Wisconsin in the Sweet 16.

The Badgers held on for a 60-57 third round win against SEC tournament champion Vanderbilt, sparked by five double digit scoring efforts. Jordan Taylor, Wisconsin's standout point guard, led the way for the Badgers with 14 points, and played all but one minute in the game. Wisconsin also held Vanderbilt's star guard John Jenkins to just 3-13 shooting and 13 points.

The Badgers - who are coached by Bo Ryan - finished 12-6 in Big Ten play during the regular season and entered the NCAA tournament with a 24-9 record.

For more on the 2012 NCAA Tournament bracket, stay with SB Nation's Selection Sunday StoryStream, and stick around SB Nation's NCAA Tournament hub for a complete printable NCAA Tournament bracket and tons of analysis on who was snubbed, who got the best bracket, and who will make it all the way to New Orleans and the Final Four.

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Syracuse Basketball Vs. Kansas State: Reaction From Orange's NCAA Tournament Victory, 75-59

The East Region's top-seeded Syracuse Orange advance to the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16 round Saturday, as they down the Kansas St. Wildcats 75-59in Pittsburgh, Pa. The Orange (33-2) will now face either No. 4 Wisconsin Badgers or No. 5 Vanderbilt Commodores next week in Boston, Ma.

The victory helped the Orange move onto the Sweet 16 for the third time in four March Madness, as last season the Orange lost to the Marquette Golden Eagles in the Round of 32. Syracuse hasn't advance to the Elite 8 since its National Champion run in 2003.


Recap: Syracuse Beats Kansas State, 75-59

Here's the reaction to the victory from Sean Keeley, the creator and manger of SB Nation's Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician:

Here's what SB Nation's Nick Fasulo , the creator and writer of SB Nation's college basketball blog Searching For Billy Edelin, had to say:

Syracuse Rolls through Kansas State - NCAA Recap (via sbnation)

Meanwhile, here's a few GIF from the win. First up, an idea how the Jardine's first half went via head coach Jim Boeheim's face:

Toface_medium

via assets.sbnation.com


Things got so bad in the first half, Jardine didn't even want to be a part of the game:

Scoop_medium

via assets.sbnation.com


Things started to turn around, though, as senior forward Kris Joseph, who tallied 11 points and made this nifty basket.

Cuse_medium

via assets.sbnation.com


In the end, Syracuse used a few good runs in the second half to pull away. The emotions of the victory are all show on former Orangemen Dereck Coleman.

Coleman_medium

via assets.sbnation.com

For a breakdown of Syracuse vs. Kansas State, check back to this SB Nation New York StoryStream.

For more on the 2012 NCAA Tournament bracket stick with SB Nation's NCAA Tournament hub for a complete printable NCAA Tournament bracket and tons of analysis on every March Madness game.

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Syracuse Vs. Kansas State, NCAA Tournament Scores: Orange Beat Wildcats, 75-59

Sophomore Dion Waiters provided the first half fire power, while senior guard Scoop Jardine was the second-half spark the No. 1-seeded Syracuse Orange need to pull off a 75-59 third-round NCAA Tournament victory over No. 8 Kansas St. Wildcats. The Orange (33-2) become the first team to advance to the Sweet 16, where it will face either No. 4 Wisconsin Badgers or No. 5 Vanderbilt Commodores next week.

Waiters netted a 11 of his team-best 18 points in the first 20 minutes, while Jardine rebounded from a terrible first half to net 16, including three 3-pointers, and dish out eight assists for Syracuse, which shot 51-percent from the field, 6-for-9 from behind the 3-point arc. The Orange's bench outscored the Wildcat's bench, 33-0.

"Basketball is two halves," said Jardine to the CBS broadcast team after the game. "The first half, I was sped up a little bit, the defense did a great job of controlling me and not letting me get into the paint to get shots that I want."

"In the second half, coach told me to take my time and take the shots if they give them to me. The first play of the second half, I came out knocked down a shot and got my rhythm going. I was just aggressive from there on out."

In replace of Big East Defensive Player of the Year, sophomore center Fab Melo, freshman center Rakeem Christmas put together a collegiate-best performance of eight points, 11 rebounds and three blocks. Junior forward James Southerland came off the bench to score 15 points and collect six rebounds.

Ahead 36-34 just 4:52 into the second half, the Orange used 9-0 run, started by a Jardine 3-pointer and capped by two free throws by Southerland, to take a 45-34 lead with 12:51 to go.

A brief KSU spurt trimmed the margin to five points, however, a 8-0 run pushed SU's lead to a 55-42 with 9:06 remaining in the game.

From there, the Wildcats' offense, which shot just 31-percent from the floor, 23-percent from long range, couldn't muster enough points to kick start a comeback. Syracuse closed out the victory on a 7-2 run.

Junior guard Rodney McGruder finished the contest with a game-best 18 points, while Jordan Henriquez tallied 10 points and 17 rebounds, 11 on the offensive end.

Despite being without its top rebounder, senior Jamar Samuels, who did not play because of an eligibility issue that propped up a half hour before the game, Kansas State out-rebounded Syracuse 37-31, and 22-8 on the offensive side of the ball.

The Wildcats finish their season with a 22-11 overall record.

For a breakdown of Syracuse vs. Kansas State, check back to this SB Nation New York StoryStream.

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Syracuse Vs. Kansas State, NCAA Tournament Score: Orange Lead Wildcats, 25-24, At Halftime

Sophomore guard Dion Waiters netted all of his game-high 11 points during a 19-2 run that helped the No. 1-seeded Syracuse Orange take a 25-24 halftime lead over the No. 8-seeded Kansas St. Wildcats in a NCAA Tournament third-round contest in Pittsburgh, PA. The winner advances to play either No. 4 Wisconsin Badgers or No. 5 Vanderbilt Commodores next week.

The run gave Syracuse a 23-12 advantage with a little under eight minutes to play in the first half. However, from there the Orange went ice cold from the floor making just one field goal in the remaining time, as Kansas State trimmed the lead to just one point heading into the locker room.

Keeping Kansas State in the game is, not surprisingly, its rebounding. The Wildcats hold an outstanding 25-15 bounding advantage, including 12-2 on the offensive glass.

Junior guard Rodney McGrudger has tallied a team-best 11 points for Kansas State, though he's battling an ankle injury that forced him to the locker room for a new tape job. It seems to have hindered his jumping and cutting ability.

For a breakdown of Syracuse vs. Kansas State, check back to this SB Nation New York StoryStream.

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Jamar Samuels Eligibility Issue: Kansas State Forward Will Not Play Vs. Syracuse; Thomas Gipson Will Start

Jamar Samuels, a 6-foot-7 senior forward for the Kansas St. Wildcats, will not be in uniform Saturday when the No. 8 seeded Wildcats face the top-seeded Syracuse Orange in a third-round NCAA Tournament contest in Pittsburgh, Pa. The announcement was made less than a half hour before the Wildcats and Orange were set to play for a berth in the Sweet 16.

"We do not expect Jamar Samuels to be available for today's game with Syracuse due to an eligibility concern," said Kansas State Athletic Director John Currie. (Here's audio from Currie via OrangFizz.)

One of the keys coming into Saturday's contest was the rebounding advantage that the Wildcats would have over the Orange. Kansas State led the Big 12 Conference in rebounding, while Syracuse has struggled on the boards all season.

Samuels is the Wildcats' leading rebounder and is a double-digit scorer. Freshman forward Thomas Gipson will be starting in Samuels' place.


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2011 - Jamar Samuels 30 26.5 3.1 6.9 44.7 0.6 1.8 32.7 3.2 4.7 68.6 2.7 3.9 6.6 1.4 1.8 0.9 0.7 3.2 10.0


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2011 - Thomas Gipson 32 17.1 2.6 5.2 50.6 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.8 3.2 54.4 1.8 2.8 4.6 0.8 1.4 0.2 0.3 2.1 7.0

For a breakdown of Syracuse vs. Kansas State, check back to this SB Nation New York StoryStream.

For more on the 2012 NCAA Tournament bracket stick with SB Nation's NCAA Tournament hub for a complete printable NCAA Tournament bracket and tons of analysis on every March Madness game.

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NCAA Tournament 2012 Schedule: Syracuse Vs. Kansas State Preview

Less than 48 hours after surviving close-calls in its NCAA Tournament second-round contests, the No. 1-seeded Syracuse Orange and No. 8 Kansas St. Wildcats will face off in the third round (12:15 p.m. ET on CBS). The winner will advance to the Sweet 16 to play either No. 4 Wisconsin Badgers or No. 5 Vanderbilt Commodores next week.

On Thursday, both the Orange (32-2) and Wildcats (22-10) literally needed to survive and advance, as Syracuse edged No. 16 UNC-Asheville, 72-65, in a controversial finish, while Kansas State clipped No. 9 Southern Miss. Golden Eagles 70-64.


NCAA Tournament: Saturday's Game Times, TV Schedule

The results helped setup the third ever meeting between the two schools, the last coming in the 1975 NCAA Tournament regional final that featured Syracuse downing Kansas State 95-87. However, March Madness fans maybe anticipating a different outcome Saturday, as the Orange are playing without sophomore center Fab Melo, who was ruled ineligible for the NCAA Tournament by the university on Tuesday, and struggled to pull off a victory against the Bulldogs.

The lack of a 7-foot center wasn't the issues in Syracuse's second-round contest, however, the Orange struggled to find any offensive rhythm settling for 3-point shots, 23 to be exact and they made just five.

Luckily, three of those 3s were made by junior forward James Southerland, who tallied 13 of his team-best 15 points in the second half to help propel the Orange to victory. Southerland also collected eight rebounds, while senior forward Kris Joseph tallied 12 points and eight boards.

Senior point guard Scoop Jardine had improved play in the second half and ended the contest with 11 points and seven assists, and sophomore guard Dion Waiters netted all of his 12 points in the first half.


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
Kris Joseph 34 31.7 4.6 10.7 42.6 1.5 4.2 35.0 3.2 4.3 74.5 1.6 3.4 5.0 1.6 1.4 1.4 0.6 1.6 13.8
Dion Waiters 34 24.1 4.6 9.7 48.0 1.1 3.2 35.8 2.1 3.0 69.9 0.5 1.8 2.3 2.6 1.3 1.9 0.4 1.8 12.6
Brandon Triche 34 22.4 3.2 7.8 41.4 1.1 3.4 34.2 1.7 2.1 78.1 1.0 1.5 2.5 2.7 1.3 1.1 0.1 1.3 9.3
C.J. Fair 34 26.3 3.1 6.9 45.7 0.2 0.7 26.1 2.0 2.6 75.6 2.0 3.5 5.4 1.0 0.8 1.1 0.5 1.4 8.5
Scoop Jardine 34 24.5 3.3 7.0 46.8 0.9 2.6 34.4 0.9 1.8 52.5 0.4 1.9 2.3 4.8 2.2 1.4 0.1 0.9 8.4
Fabricio Melo 30 25.4 3.3 5.8 56.6 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.3 2.0 63.3 2.7 3.2 5.8 0.7 1.4 0.5 2.9 2.8 7.8
James Southerland 34 16.2 2.6 5.7 45.9 1.0 3.1 32.4 0.6 0.9 69.0 0.9 2.2 3.1 0.4 0.4 0.9 0.9 1.3 6.8
Mookie Jones 7 5.4 0.9 3.1 27.3 0.7 2.4 29.4 0.4 0.7 60.0 0.1 0.4 0.6 0.4 0.1 0.7 0.0 0.1 2.9
Michael Carter-Williams 26 10.3 1.0 2.2 43.1 0.3 0.7 38.9 0.5 0.9 56.5 0.3 1.1 1.5 2.1 0.6 0.8 0.3 1.0 2.7
Rakeem Christmas 34 10.7 1.1 1.9 55.4 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.5 0.8 57.1 1.1 1.7 2.8 0.2 0.6 0.3 0.7 1.6 2.6
Baye Moussa Keita 32 11.7 0.9 1.2 76.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.5 0.7 68.2 0.9 1.3 2.3 0.1 0.3 0.2 0.9 1.8 2.3
Matt Tomaszewski 10 1.9 0.5 0.9 55.6 0.4 0.7 57.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.2 0.3 0.5 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.0 0.3 1.4
Albert Nassar 2 1.0 0.5 0.5 100.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.0
Brandon Reese 13 1.5 0.1 0.6 12.5 0.0 0.2 0.0 0.4 0.5 71.4 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.0 0.1 0.5
Griffin Hoffmann 9 0.9 0.1 0.3 33.3 0.1 0.3 33.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.2 0.3
Matt Lyde-Cajuste 9 1.1 0.1 0.1 100.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.2 0.2 0.4 0.1 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.2 0.2
Nick Resavy 11 1.4 0.1 0.4 25.0 0.0 0.2 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.2 0.2 0.4 0.2 0.2 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.2
Russ DeRemer 3 1.0 0.0 0.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.3 0.0
Nolan Hart 2 1.0 0.0 1.0 0.0 0.0 0.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.5 0.0 0.5 0.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

Meanwhile, Kansas State used a game-best 30 points from junior guard Rodney McGruder to sneak past Southern Miss. McCruder finished the contest 11-for-16 from the field and 2-for-5 from behind the 3-point arc. However, take out McGruder and the Wildcats were 0-for-7 from behind the 3-point line and shot just 10-for-26 from the field.

Junior forward Jordan Henriquez tallied 15 points and nine rebounds, while freshman guard Angel Rodriguez netted 13 points.


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
Rodney McGruder 32 32.8 5.7 12.3 46.6 1.6 4.0 39.1 2.9 3.6 80.0 2.3 3.0 5.3 1.4 1.5 1.2 0.3 1.8 15.9
Jamar Samuels 30 26.5 3.1 6.9 44.7 0.6 1.8 32.7 3.2 4.7 68.6 2.7 3.9 6.6 1.4 1.8 0.9 0.7 3.2 10.0
Will Spradling 32 31.1 2.8 7.7 36.2 1.4 4.3 33.1 2.3 2.8 82.0 0.4 1.7 2.1 2.8 1.7 0.8 0.2 2.6 9.3
Angel Rodriguez 31 21.4 2.5 6.8 36.5 1.0 3.0 31.9 2.2 3.3 67.6 0.5 1.9 2.4 3.2 2.6 1.3 0.0 2.7 8.2
Jordan Henriquez-Roberts 31 19.9 2.7 4.9 55.9 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.9 3.5 56.1 2.0 3.4 5.4 0.6 1.5 0.2 2.5 2.4 7.4
Thomas Gipson 32 17.1 2.6 5.2 50.6 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.8 3.2 54.4 1.8 2.8 4.6 0.8 1.4 0.2 0.3 2.1 7.0
Martavious Irving 30 19.0 2.1 4.6 45.7 0.6 1.8 35.8 0.8 1.1 70.6 0.3 1.4 1.7 1.5 1.0 1.0 0.0 2.0 5.6
Adrian Diaz 22 10.4 1.4 2.5 57.4 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.5 1.2 46.2 1.5 0.9 2.5 0.4 1.0 0.0 0.5 1.5 3.4
Shane Southwell 31 17.1 1.2 3.3 37.6 0.2 0.8 24.0 0.7 0.9 75.0 0.6 1.7 2.3 2.1 1.3 0.4 0.4 1.1 3.3
Jeremy Jones 19 8.4 1.2 2.6 46.0 0.5 1.3 37.5 0.3 0.5 60.0 0.1 0.7 0.8 0.8 0.6 0.2 0.1 0.6 3.2
Nino Williams 12 6.2 0.6 1.8 33.3 0.2 0.9 18.2 0.8 1.1 76.9 0.5 1.6 2.1 0.3 0.1 0.2 0.1 1.1 2.2
Victor Ojeleye 29 6.8 0.5 1.1 43.8 0.0 0.1 0.0 0.1 0.2 60.0 0.5 0.9 1.4 0.1 0.6 0.1 0.1 0.7 1.1
Omari Lawrence 9 2.2 0.2 0.4 50.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.2 50.0 0.2 0.4 0.7 0.2 0.4 0.0 0.0 0.6 0.6
Shawn Meyer 4 1.5 0.3 0.5 50.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.0 0.0 0.0 0.3 0.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.3 0.5
Brian Rohleder 8 1.9 0.1 0.3 50.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.3 0.0 0.6 0.1 0.8 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.0 0.3
James Watson 1 3.0 0.0 2.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

The key to victory for both teams will be offensive flow and rebounding. For the Orange to be successful, they will need to control the offensive tempo forcing a faster pace, while the Wildcats are going to want to slow things down.

To do that, Kansas State will need to continue is domination on the boards -- the Wildcats fished tops in the Big 12 Conference -- and take advance of open 3-point shots against Syracuse's 2-3 zone defense.

Syracuse enters the game as 5-point favorites.

NCAA Tournament: Syracuse Orange Need To Go Red - NunesMagician.com (via nunesmagician)

For a breakdown of Syracuse vs. Kansas State, check back to this SB Nation New York StoryStream.

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NCAA Tournament 2012 Schedule: Syracuse Vs. Kansas State Game Time, TV Schedule And More

After surviving their second-round contest against the No. 16-seeded UNC-Asheville Bulldogs, the East Region's top-seeded Syracuse Orange will face No. 8 Kansas St. Wildcats Saturday at 12:15 p.m. ET on CBS in a third-round, NCAA Tournament matchup in Pittsburgh, Pa. The winner advance to the Sweet 16 to play either No. 5 Vanderbilt Commodores or No. 4 Wisconsin Badgers.

On Thursday, the Orange just avoided becoming the first No. 1 seed in the history of the 64-team field to lose to a No. 16 team, as they edged the Bulldogs, 72-65. Junior forward James Southerland netted 13 of his 15 points in the second half to help Syracuse improve to 32-2 on the season.

Meanwhile, Kansas State battled the Southern Miss. Golden Eagles and advanced to the next round with a 70-64 victory. Rodney McGruder netted a game-best 30 points in the gritty effort that featured the Wildcats shooting over 50-percent from the field, but just 2-for-12 from behind the 3-point arc.

For a breakdown of Syracuse vs. Kansas State, check back to this SB Nation New York StoryStream.

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NCAA Basketball Tournament 2012 Reaction: Syracuse Vs. UNC-Asheville Breakdown

Lucky. That was the word used to describe the Syracuse Orange's second-round NCAA Tournament victory, 72-65, over the UNC-Asheville Bulldogs on Thursday. The top-seeded team in the East region, used 15 bench points from junior forward James Southerland and, most importantly, help from the officials to advance to the Round of 32 where it will face No. 8 Kansas St. Wildcats on Saturday.

The contest was decided by a few key things: 1) The Orange's inability to play against a zone defense; 2) Syracuse's inability to make 3-pointers against a zone defense (5-for-23); 3) Senior forward Kris Joseph and senior point guard Scoop Jardine being terrible in the first half, but, better in the second; 4) the referees; and 5) the amazing play and gameplan by UNC-Asheville.

All of that led to SB Nation's Sean Keely, the creator and manger of the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician, reacting like this after the game:

Syracuse Defeats UNC-Asheville: Instant Reaction - NunesMagician.com (via nunesmagician)

To be honest, for Syracuse fans, that's a perfect reaction (because that's what I was doing all-game long). So many times I screamed, "why are you taking 3s!!!" or "take it to the rim!!!" or "......." It was that sort of game which was going to go down in the history of epic Syracuse losses in the NCAA Tournament.

But then something happened, as Southerland started getting hot, freshman center Rakeem Christmas and sophomore center Baye Keita started playing good defense inside the paint and Joseph and Jardine began to play better (not a lot a lot better, but better).

Then, all this happened and the Orange pulled out the slim victory. Here's what SB Nation's Dan Rubenstein and Bomani Jones had to say about the game:

What's your thoughts? Make sure to post comments over at SB Nation's Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician.

For a breakdown of Syracuse vs. UNC-Asheville ending, check back to this SB Nation New York StoryStream.

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Syracuse Vs. UNC-Asheville: Lane Violation, Inbound Pass, Goaltending, Bad Refs And A Win

The ending to the Syracuse Orange and UNC-Asheville Bulldogs second-round NCAA Tournament contest sure was an ugly one. The No. 1-seeded Orange survived with a 72-65 victory, however, March Madness fans will be talking about the lane violation, bad possession call on an inbound pass and the overall performance of the referees, who all missed calls during the game.

First, lets breakdown the lane violation call that came with 1:20 to go and Syracuse leading 62-58. After an on-the-floor foul call led to a 1-and-1 opportunity at the line for senior guard Scoop Jardine.

Lane_medium

via assets.sbnation.com

Initially, it looks as nothing went wrong and a lane-violation call was an awful one, especially when the call violation was on the guard (pictured left-corner) who was streaking in to snag the rebound. But if you take a look at this angle one can see a clear violation...

Lane2_medium

via assets.sbnation.com

According to the NCAA Coordinator of Officials John Adams, who was an anaylist after the game ended on truTV, a guard is considered a free-throw shooter and must stay behind the free-throw line until the ball hits the rim. The GIF above shows UNC-Asheville junior guard J.P. Primm did just that and the call was correct. (Also, it needs to be mention senior forward Chris Stephenson's foot was inside the paint before Jardine released his shot.)

"It was a clear violation," said head referee Ed Corbett, "(the player) released early before the ball it the rim. We watched the replay 20 times and it was the right call."

Meanwhile, Jardine said this in the locker room:

The second call came a few minutes later, after the Bulldogs trimmed the margin to 63-60 with two free throws from Primm with :35 remaining. Looking to inbound from the baseline, as UNC-Asheville was using the full-court press, a pass from sophomore forward C.J. Fair to junior guard Brandon Triche seemed go through Triche's hands and out of bounds, however, the call went in favor of Syracuse (Orange ball).

Refs_medium

via assets.sbnation.com


The GIF above does show the ball clearly not being caught by Triche, not touched by UNC-Asheville junior guard Jaron Lane (who did foul Triche, but, that doesn't matter with the call), and going out of bounds.

"It certainly looked like the player in white (Triche) knocks the ball out of bounds," said Adams. "I didn't say it was a good call, they gave it back to Syracuse and Syracuse knocked it out of bounds. It might be a case, trying as hard as they can, where the referees might not have gotten the call right."

In the post-game, Triche admitted the referees missed the call, while Corbett said, "No, its not reviewable and its not a play that we'd discuss with one another. I am not going to comment further because its a judgement call."

Overall, the referees were bad in this game and there's no way around it.

There was 42 foul calls, 22 on UNC-Asheville, which ranged from ticky-tack to "did that player just murder the other one?" There's was also a few goaltending calls missed, and they could have helped the Bulldogs too.

When asked about the game in general, UNC-Asheville head coach Eddie Biedenback said, "Syracuse is better than Asheville, but tonight Asheville was the better team."

Then, he said this about the referees:

Syracuse's Jim Boeheim responded to Biedenback's comments saying, "that's why they make scoreboards".

All-in-all, the top-seeded Syracuse survive its first game of the NCAA Tournament without sophomore center Fab Melo, however, many will remember this game as the upset that never happened because of the referees.

  • Quick note: At the end of the first half there was a foul call on a shooting attempt, which was made, by Triche, however, the call was overturned because of a shot-clock violation -- understand, the foul occurred before the violation -- which led to at least two points being taken off the scoreboard. In response to that call Corbett's response was: "We have the ability to look at the clock at the end of the game, that's what we did. The ball was clearly in the shooters hands which negated the shot."

My question is, if a foul occurs before the violation shouldn't there be some reward to the offensive team? I am not saying the refs made up rules, but there should, at least, be two free throws attempts or something.

For a breakdown of Syracuse vs. UNC-Asheville ending, check back to this SB Nation New York StoryStream.

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Syracuse Vs. UNC-Asheville Final Score: Orange Survive Bulldogs, 72-65, Advance In NCAA Tournament

Junior forward James Southerland scored 13 of his game-best 15 points in the second half to help the Syracuse Orange survive their second-round NCAA Tournament game with a 72-65 victory over UNC-Asheville Bulldogs. The Orange, the No. 1 seed in the East region bracket, advance to play No. 8 Kansas St. Wildcats in the Round of 32 on Saturday.

Despite a come-from-behind effort in the second half, Syracuse trailed 34-30 at the break, the Orange seemingly escaped an unbelievable upset by the Bulldogs, with the help of the referees which missed a few calls down the stretch, the most controversial being a lane-violation call on a free-throw attempt with 1:20 remaining and Syracuse leading 63-58.

The call went against UNC-Asheville and allowed Syracuse senior point guard Scoop Jardine another shot a 1-and-1 opportunity at the line, which he proceeded to make both to extend SU's advantage to 64-58.

The Bulldogs trimmed the margin to 64-60 with two free throws from senior guard J.P. Primm, and looked to have gotten the ball back when an inbound pass seemed to have deflected off junior guard Brandon Triche, however, the call went in favor of Syracuse.

From there, Syracuse would cemented the win going 6-for-7 from the free throw line. Sophomore guard Dion Waiter and senior forward Kris Joseph each tallied 12 points, while senior point guard Scoop Jardine had 11 points and seven assists.

UNC-Asheville's Primm finished with a game-best 18 points, while junior guard netted 16 points. The Bulldogs also finished 14-for-16 from the free throw line and took an early first-half lead thanks to seven 3-pointers. Overall, UNC-Asheville went 9-for-23 from behind the 3-point arc.

For a breakdown of Syracuse vs. UNC-Asheville ending, check back to this SB Nation New York StoryStream.

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NCAA Tournament 2012, Syracuse Vs. UNC-Asheville Halftime Score: Orange Trail Bulldogs, 34-30

Behind nine point from junior guard Jaron Lane and a perfectly executed first-half effort, the UNC-Asheville Bulldogs has taken a 34-30 halftime lead over the Syracuse Orange in a NCAA Tournament first-round contest in Pittsburgh, Pa. The Bulldogs are looking to become the first No. 16 seed to knock off a No. 1 and advance to the third round where they will face No. 8 Kansas St. Wildcats.

The Bulldogs are 11-for-22 from the floor, including 5-for-14 from behind the 3-point range and 7-for-7 from the free-throw line. The Orange have settled for 3-pointers and are just 1-for-13.

Sophomore guard Dion Waiters leads Syracuse in scoring with 12 points of the bench, while junior guard Brandon Triche has tallied five points.

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NCAA Tournament 2012 Scores: Kansas State Defeats Southern Miss., 70-64; Syracuse Likely Opponent In Round Three

Junior guard Rodney McGruder scored a game-best 30 points Thursday, to help the No. 9 seeded Kansas St. Wildcats defeat the No. 8 Southern Miss. Golden Eagles, 64-59, in a NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament East region contest at CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pa. The Wildcats (22-10) advance to the Round of 32 to face the winner of No. 1 Syracuse Orange and No. 16 UNC-Asheville Bulldogs on Saturday. No No. 16 seed has ever beaten a No. 1 seed, since the field expanded to 64 teams.

It was a back-and-forth contest, which featured KSU trailing 45-44 with 11:41 to play in the game, but used a small 7-2 run to take a lead it never lose.

Freshman guard Angel Rodriguez scored seven of his 13 points, including shooting 5-for-6 from the free-throw line, in the final few minutes to cement the victory. Junior forward Jordan Henriquez added 15 points and a team-best nine rebounds.

The Golden Eagles finish their season 25-9 overall, and were paced by sophomore guard Neil Watson who scored 16 points.

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March Madness 2012, Syracuse Vs. UNC Asheville: Game Time, Watch Online, TV Schedule And More

The 2012 NCAA Tournament began official Tuesday, however, everybody knows today is the day that everybody gets excited for. And for Syracuse Orange basketball fans their team's March Madness run begins today too, as the No. 1-seeded Orange face the No. 16 UNC-Asheville Bulldogs at approximately 3:10 p.m. ET on truTV.

The contest will follow the game between the No. 8 Kansas St. Wildcats and No. 9 Southern Miss. Golden Eagles, which tips off at 12:40 p.m. ET on truTV. The winners of the two games will face each other in the Round of 32 on Saturday.


Preview: Fab Melo-Less Syracuse Ready For UNC-Asheville, March Madness

Here's the game time, TV schedule and betting odds:

Location: CONSOL Energy Center, Pittsburgh, Pa.

Game time: Approximately 3:10 p.m. ET

TV information: truTV

Online stream/watch live: March Madness official webpage

Betting odds: Syracuse is 15-point favorites.

-- For more on Syracuse, visit Nunes Magician. For more coverage of Syracuse in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, visit SB Nation New York's StoryStream.

For more on the 2012 NCAA Tournament bracket, stay with SB Nation's Selection Sunday StoryStream, and stick around SB Nation's NCAA Tournament hub for a complete printable NCAA Tournament bracket and tons of analysis on who was snubbed, who got the best bracket, and who will make it all the way to New Orleans and the Final Four.

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NCAA Tournament 2012: Fab Melo-Less Syracuse Ready For UNC-Asheville, March Madness

Two days after learning about the ineligibility of sophomore center Fab Melo, the No. 1-seeded Syracuse Orange will begin NCAA Tournament play Thursday as they face No. 16 UNC-Asheville Bulldogs in a second-round contest at the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pa. (3:10 p.m. ET on truTV). The winner advances to the third round to face either No. 8 Kansas St. Wildcats or No. 9 Southern Miss. Golden Eagles on Saturday.

On Tuesday, the Orange (31-2) received some unexpected news, as the Syracuse Athletic Department released a statement saying Melo, the squad's leading rebounder and shot blocker, will be out for the NCAA Tournament. According to multiple reports, Melo's ineligibility mainly stems from an academic problem from the Fall semester that was initially resolved in Feb., however, was again looked at and it was discovered some of the work wasn't done.

The lack of having a 7-foot center, who earned Big East Conference Defensive Player of the Year honors, is a huge blow to Syracuse, especially on the defensive end. Over the course of the Orange's historic regular season, Melo was the defensive enforcer in the middle of the Syracuse's patented 2-3 zone.

"He's one of the best shot blockers in the country and you're going to miss a guy like that," said Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim Wednesday. "Nobody has anybody quiet like him, he's a tremendous physical presence and everybody else is going to have to play better defense."

Whether Melo's absence will lead to a first-round upset to the Bulldogs, who will be striving to become the first ever No. 16 seed to upset a No. 1, will not be determined until late Thursday afternoon.

In the meantime, the Orange still feature seven very good players that can make up some of what Melo brings to the hardcourt.

Led by senior forward Kris Joseph, who's netting a team-best 13.8 points per game, and sophomore guard Dion Waiters, who's the second leading scorer with 12.6 ppg, Syracuse still has the talent and depth to make a run at the school's fifth Final Four appearance, which has been the team's goal since the start of the season.

"One thing everybody was saying about our team is our depth and how deep we're as a team," said senior point guard Scoop Jardine, who's averaging 8.3 ppg and has an assists to turnover ratio of 2.3. "This is an opportunity for everybody. We have to believe in ourselves and everybody has to step it up a notch and we should be fine."

"This is the situation where if he was able to play and he got hurt in the first game," said Joseph, "we would need to play without him. So, that's the way we kinda of see it."

The scenario of being a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and entering it without a center is, surprisingly, not new to either Jardine or Joseph. In 2009-10, which featured both as sophomores, the Orange finished the regular season 28-3, earned a top-seed in its region but didn't have bigman Arinze Onuaku, who was out because of a quad injury. That team was bounced in the Sweet 16 by the Butler Bulldogs, who ended up losing to the Duke Blue Devils in the National Championship game.

The difference between that team and this team, said Boeheim Wednesday, is depth of the roster.

"We were really playing seven players that year, and it was fine because they had multiple positions. But when Arinze went out Ricky (junior Rick Jackson) had to go to center full-time. So, that took away our power forward; and Kris Joseph, who was the Sixth-Man of the Year in the country had to start, we lost our sixth-man."

Trying to make up for Melo's production for the second time this year will be the trio of freshman forward Rakeem Christmas, sophomore center Baye Keita and junior forward James Southerland, who each averaged less minutes than Joseph, Jardine, Waiters, Melo and junior guard Brandon Triche.

The concern, however, is that none of those three combined will make up for Melo's production, as Keita and Christmas will enter the contest against UNC-Asheville averaging no more than 3.0 ppg, 3.0 rebounds per game and 12 minutes per game. Meanwhile, Southerland is netting 6.6 ppg and collecting 3.3 rpg, but has been very streaky during the season.

Earlier in the season when Melo missed games, Boeheim was forced to use the trio in the lineup more, however, the results were mixed, as the team went 2-1 overall but the three bigmen SU faced -- Notre Dame's Jack Cooley, Cincinnati Yancy Gates and West Virginia's Kevin Jones -- combined to average 17.7 ppg and 9.3 rpg. The Orange were out-rebounded 118-86.

However, Boeheim and the rest of the SU players have confidence in their abilities.

"I think these guys didn't (accomplish a 31-2 record) with one player, they did it with 10 players," said Boeheim. "And now, they have nine left and I expect them to be fully ready to play tomorrow."

And as for worrying about the loss of Melo and what college hoops experts might think of the Orange's chances now of winning its second National Championship, Jardine says the goal is the same -- ignore the critics and get ready to play basketball.

"We don't pay it no mind," said Jardine. "The only thing we're worrying about is winning and advancing."

"They were saying we weren't a good team when we had Fab. That's everybody's opinion, but, we still believe in ourselves and we believe we're capable of wining the National Championship."

-- For more on Syracuse, visit Nunes Magician. For more coverage of Syracuse in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, visit SB Nation New York's StoryStream. Click here for a link to our NCAA bracket 2012.

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Fab Melo Out For NCAA Tournament: Previous Academic Issue Forces Syracuse Center To Miss NCAA Tournament

The Syracuse Basketball men's basketball program, a No. 1-seed in the East region of the NCAA Tournament, suffered a huge blow to their National Championship hopes Tuesday as sophomore center Fab Melo has been ruled ineligible to play in the NCAA Tournament.

... a source told ESPN.com's Dana O'Neil: "This is an academic issue related to the first suspension. He was initially cleared after the first suspension but the NCAA has since revisited the case and deemed him ineligible again."

According to CBSSports.com's Jeff Goodman, it seems the NCAA recently found out that Melo didn't do all his make-up work.

"The NCAA went back and looked at his schoolwork," one source told CBSSports.com. "They are looking into the fact that he didn't do some of the work."

The SU Athletic Department was the initial source of the news and has confirmed with local news organizations that no matter how far Syracuse advances in the month of March, the Big East Defensive Player of the Year will not play. Meanwhile, New York Times college sports writer Pete Thamel is reporting Melo intends to enter the NBA Draft.

This is expected to be the end of Melo’s career at Syracuse, as multiple sources, both in the N.B.A. and at Syracuse, have said Melo plans to declare for the N.B.A. draft after this season.

On Tuesday, Melo did not practice or travel with the team, which boarded a flight to Pittsburgh, PA for its Thursday's Round of 64 contest against No. 16 UNC-Asheville Bulldogs (3:10 p.m. ET on truTV).

This scenario is eerily similar to when Melo was initially ruled ineligible earlier in the season, Jan. 21, before a road game at the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The Orange, ranked No. 1 in the nation at the time, suffered its first loss of the season, 67-58.

Melo missed the next two contests, which featured Syracuse defeating the Cincinnati Bearcats and West Virginia Mountaineers, respectively. Less than a week later, Melo was cleared to play and returned to help the Orange down the St. John's Red Storm, 95-70.

From there, Syracuse rallied off eight consecutive victories to polish off its regular season with a school-best record of 31-1.


Bernie Fine Scandal | Syracuse Drug Investigations

On Sunday, the Orange earned a No. 1 seed in the East region of the NCAA Tournament and was one of two favorites -- the other being Kentucky Wildcats -- to win the 2012 National Championship.

Syracuse will now turn to sophomore center Baye Keita, freshman Rakeem Christmas and junior forward James Southerland to fill the void.

In the three games that Melo missed earlier in the year, Christmas (2.5 points per game, 2.6 rebounds per game, 10.3 minutes per game) had mixed results, Keita (2.2 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 11.6 mpg) has really struggled this season after being a reliable bench player last year, while Southerland (6.6 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 15.8 mpg) has been very streaky throughout this year.

Despite the 2-1 record without the 7-footer, the Orange were clearly a different squad without him anchoring their very tough 2-3 zone.

Last season, Melo entered as the top-ranked center prospect, a McDonald's All-American, the Big East's Preseason Rookie of the Year honor and struggled to fulfill high expectations after averaging 2.9 ppg and 1.9 rpg. Melo did start in 24 of SU's 32 games, but averaged just 9.9 minutes per game.

-- For a full rundown of Syracuse's season of twist and turns, visit this SB Nation New York StoryStream.

-- For more on Syracuse, visit Nunes Magician. For more coverage of Syracuse in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, visit SB Nation New York's StoryStream. Click here for a link to our NCAA bracket 2012.

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NCAA Bracket 2012: Syracuse To Play UNC-Asheville In Round Of 64

After earning the No. 1 seed in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, the Syracuse Orange men's basketball program will be playing No. 16-seeded UNC-Asheville Bulldogs in the round of 64 at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, PA. on Thursday. The Orange received an at-large bid from the tournament's selection committee after turning in a 31-1 record during the regular season.

Despite their regular-season success, the Orange lost in the semifinals of the Big East Conference Tournament to the Cincinnati Bearcats on Friday. The loss didn't effect Syracuse's seed in the NCAA Tournament, as the selection committee gave them the No. 2-overall seed and placed them in the favorable East region of the bracket. Syracuse could play two games in Pittsburgh and its Sweet 16 and Elite 8 contests in Boston, MA.

Meanwhile, the Bulldogs finished their regular season 24-9 and earn an automatic invite to the NCAA Touranament by winning the Big South Conference Tournament title. The 24 wins set a new school record, while this will be the second straight season the Bulldogs won the Big South Tournament crown.

Last year, UNC-Asheville lost to the Pittsburgh Panthers, another Big East program, 71-47. Overall, this will be the fourth all-time meeting between these two programs, as the Orange are undefeated against the Bulldogs.

Statistically, UNC-Ashville is paced by Matt Dickey who averaged 13.4 points per game during the season, J.P. Primm isn't far behind with12.7 ppg.

Here is the Bulldogs roster and stats:


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
Matt Dickey 33 33.1 4.6 9.9 46.3 1.8 4.8 38.1 5.5 6.3 86.5 0.8 2.5 3.3 3.6 2.5 1.5 0.1 2.2 16.5
J.P. Primm 33 31.9 4.6 10.8 42.7 2.2 6.0 36.0 3.9 4.7 83.8 0.5 2.8 3.3 4.2 2.4 1.9 0.1 2.5 15.3
Chris Stephenson 32 28.9 5.0 10.2 48.9 0.6 1.9 32.8 2.4 3.3 75.0 1.9 4.4 6.3 2.7 2.9 1.2 0.7 3.0 13.1
Jeremy Atkinson 33 29.3 4.0 7.3 54.1 0.4 1.3 32.6 3.3 4.5 73.8 2.0 4.6 6.6 2.3 1.5 1.2 0.2 2.1 11.7
Jaron Lane 25 25.0 3.8 6.7 57.1 0.5 1.6 29.3 3.2 4.0 79.0 1.2 2.7 4.0 1.0 1.4 0.7 0.4 1.9 11.3
Quinard Jackson 33 20.3 2.0 4.0 51.1 0.3 0.6 45.0 0.8 1.8 42.4 1.5 1.9 3.3 0.9 0.8 0.5 0.3 2.4 5.1
Keith Hornsby 33 12.8 1.5 3.4 43.4 0.5 1.2 36.6 0.6 1.0 63.6 0.8 1.0 1.8 0.5 0.6 0.5 0.2 1.1 4.1
Jon Nwannunu 22 9.4 0.9 2.1 43.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.0 1.2 80.8 1.0 1.0 2.0 0.3 0.6 0.1 0.5 1.5 2.8
Corey Littlejohn 15 5.7 0.9 2.1 45.2 0.1 0.1 100.0 0.5 0.7 80.0 0.5 0.6 1.1 0.6 0.9 0.3 0.0 0.6 2.5
Trent Meyer 28 10.0 0.8 1.9 42.6 0.4 1.1 31.3 0.2 0.3 62.5 0.3 0.4 0.8 1.1 0.4 0.5 0.0 0.8 2.2
Jaleel Roberts 16 5.1 0.9 1.2 73.7 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.3 50.0 0.4 0.9 1.3 0.2 0.3 0.2 0.6 1.1 1.9
Chudier Pal 8 3.0 0.6 0.9 71.4 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.3 0.6 40.0 0.9 1.3 2.1 0.3 0.3 0.1 0.5 0.3 1.5
Jeremy Harn 22 6.5 0.6 1.0 61.9 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.3 42.9 0.3 1.1 1.4 0.2 0.2 0.3 0.2 0.9 1.3
Josh Seligson 10 2.3 0.2 0.5 40.0 0.0 0.1 0.0 0.3 0.4 75.0 0.1 0.1 0.2 0.0 0.4 0.1 0.0 0.5 0.7
Madison Davis 10 2.5 0.1 1.0 10.0 0.0 0.8 0.0 0.2 0.6 33.3 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.0 0.3 0.4

-- For more on Syracuse, visit Nunes Magician. For more coverage of Syracuse in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, visit SB Nation New York's StoryStream. Click here for a link to our NCAA bracket 2012.

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NCAA Tournament 2012 Bracket Update: Syracuse Is No. 1 Seed, Will Face UNC-Asheville On Thursday

Syracuse earned a No. 1 seed in the East Region after finishing the regular season at 30-1 and 17-1 in the Big East Conference.

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Syracuse Vs. Cincinnati Final Score: Bearcats Shock Top-Seeded Orange, 71-68

In what was the biggest stunner of the day, Cincinnati beat Syracuse 71-68 in a nail-biter to end the 2012 Big East Tournament for the top seed.

The fourth-seeded Bearcats (24-9, 12-6) toppled the heavily-favored Orange with a barrage of 3-point shots early in the game. Cincinnati ran out to a 22-8 lead early on and never relinquished the advantage.

Syracuse (31-2, 17-1) just couldn't get it going on either end for long stretches. Jim Boeheim saw his famous 2-3 zone thrashed by the Bearcats hot shooting from the perimeter, which led to easy buckets down low.

On offense, the Orange could only shoot a pedestrian 40.4 percent from the field. Dion Waiters did all he could off the bench with a game-high 26 points and seven 3-pointers, but it wasn't enough. Fab Melo was his only teammate to play up to standards with 11 points and eight rebounds.

Cincinnati was able to provide a balanced attack throughout the evening with four starters scoring in double digits. Sean Kilpatrick had a tremendous evening with 18 points, five steals, four assists and three rebounds. Cashmere Wright also played well with 11 points complimented by eight assists and five boards.

While the loss will leave a bad taste in Syracuse's mouth, it will still likely be a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Bearcats on the other hand continue to see their stock rise. They'll now await the winner of Louisville and Notre Dame in the Big East Tournament Final.

For more coverage of the Big East Tournament, be sure to check out Big East Coast Bias and our constantly updated tournament stream. For Syracuse news and updates, head on over to Nunes Magician.

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Big East Tournament 2012 Semifinals: Syracuse Vs. Cincinnati Game Time, TV Schedule And More

Thirty-two games into their already historic season, the No. 2-ranked Syracuse Orange men's basketball program still has some unfinished business. No, it has nothing to do with the upcoming NCAA Tournament or a possible National Championship, its a rematch with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, the only school to upend the Orange (31-1) this season.

To set up a possible rematch with the Irish in the finals of the Big East Conference Tournament, top-seeded Syracuse will need to earn a victory over the No. 4 Cincinnati Bearcats Friday night at Madison Square Garden (7 p.m. on ESPN).

On Wednesday, the Orange used 18 points from sophomore guard Dion Waiters and 10 from junior forward James Southerland, all coming in the game's final eight minutes, to knock off No. 9 Connecticut Huskies, 58-55, in the quarterfinals.

Just 40 minutes and two overtimes later, the Bearcats edged No. 5 Georgetown Hoays, 72-70. Junior guard Cashmere Wright banked in the game-winning shot, which was let go just inside the free-throw-line, with about nine seconds remaining in the second extra session. Senior forward Yancy Gates led all scores with 23 points.

Earlier this season, Jan. 23, these two teams met in Cincinnati with Syracuse coming out on top 60-53. The contest was played just two days after the Orange suffered their first and only loss of the season at Notre Dame, 67-58. The game also didn't feature the Big East Defensive Player of the Year, SU's sophomore center Fabricio Melo, who was not playing due to an academic issue.

Despite the lack of its interior presence, Syracuse was able to pull out the victory behind 17 points from its leading scorer, senior forward Kris Joseph. The Orange would use that win to spur their current 11-game winning streak.

Meanwhile, Cincinnati has earned wins in eight of its last 10 games, which helped them earn the No. 4 seed and a double-bye in the Big East Tournament.

Sophomore guard Sean Kilpatrick paces the Bearcats in scoring with 14.5 points per game, while senior guard Dion Dixon averages 13.5 ppg. The players to key on, however, are Gates, a versatile 6-foot-9, 290-pound forward, and Wright, who nets just over 10 ppg and attempts close to 10 3-pointers a contest.

The winner will advance to the Big East Tournament's finals against either Notre Dame or No. 7 Louisville Cardinals on Saturday at 9 p.m. ET.

For complete coverage of the Big East Tournament, check back to this SB Nation New York StoryStream.

For more on the Big East Conference, visit the SB Nation blog Big East Coast Bias. If you're a college basketball nut, well, SB Nation's college basketball hub will solve your hoops cravings. Check out, the SB Nation's blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician for everything Orange, while Down The Drive is all about the Bearcats.

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Big East Tournament 2012, Syracuse Vs. UConn Final Score: Orange Edge Huskies, 58-55

Sophomore guard Dion Waiters scored a team-best 18 points and junior forward James Southerland netted all 10 of his in the second half to help propel the Syracuse Orange past the Connecticut Huskies, 58-55, in a Big East Conference Tournament quarterfinal game at Madison Square Garden.

The Orange (31-1) advance to the semifinals where they will play Cincinnati Bearcats, who defeated the Georgetown Hoyas, 72-70, in double overtime. The Huskies (20-13) now await their NCAA Tournament seed on Selection Sunday.

Trailing 47-43 with 8:16 to go in the game, Syracuse used a 13-2 run, which included two 3-pointers by Southerland, to earn a 56-49 lead with 4:59 to play in the game. The Orange (31-1) cemented the game by clamping down on defense and going 3-for-4 from the free throw line, two from Southerland, in the final minute.

Senior forward Kris Joseph netted 10 points for Syracuse, while junior guard Brandon Triche and sophomore center Fab Melo each added seven. Melo collected seven rebounds and Triche had six.

Meanwhile, sophomore guard Shabazz Napier scored a team-best 14 points for UConn, which shot 34.4-percent from the field and made just 26.1-percent of its 21 long 3-point attempts.

Check out, the SB Nation's blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician to discuss everything on the Orange, while the The UConn Blog is all about, well, UConn. Make sure to follow along on Twitter at SBNationNY or JaredSmithCNY, as we live blogged from the Carrier Dome.

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Big East Tournament 2012, Syracuse Vs. UConn Halftime Score: Orange Lead Huskies, 27-24

Sophomore guard Dion Waiters has netted 10 points for the Syracuse Orange men's basketball team, who leads the Connecticut Huskies 27-24 at halftime of a Big East Conference Tournament quarterfinal game at Madison Square Garden.

The Orange, the tournament's No. 1 seed, led by as much as eight points, 23-15, with 5:38 to play in the first half, however, a small 6-0 run by UConn trimmed the margin to just 23-21 with 3:54 to go. From there, both teams traded baskets until SU's junior guard Brandon Triche capped the half's scoring with a putback slam with just under a minute to go.

Both teams have made less than 32-percent of their shots.

Sophomore guards Jeremy Lamb and Shabazz Napier each have tallied a team-high five points for UConn, which advanced to the semifinal-round by defeating the DePaul Blue Demons and West Virgina Mountaineers, respectively.

The Orange are playing their first game of the five-day event as they earned a double-bye.

Check out, the SB Nation's blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician to discuss everything on the Orange, while the The UConn Blog is all about, well, UConn. Make sure to follow along on Twitter at SBNationNY or JaredSmithCNY, as we live blogged from the Carrier Dome.

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Big East Tournament 2012, Syracuse Vs. UConn: Orange, Huskies Renew Postseason Rivalry

The greatest Big East Conference Tournament rivalry will be renewed Thursday afternoon, as the No. 2-ranked Syracuse Orange faces the Connecticut Huskies in a men's basketball game at Madison Square Garden. The Orange (30-1) and Huskies (20-12) will meet for the third time this season and 14th time in Big East Tournament history.


Big East Tournament: History Of Syracuse Vs. UConn

On Wednesday, the Huskies earned their third straight victory, the second in the tournament, by defeating the West Virginia Mountaineers, 71-67, in overtime. Sophomore guard Shabazz Napier netted a game-best 26 points and dished out six assists, while sophomore guard Jeremy Lamb netted 22, including a 3-pointer in the extra session.

Entering the tournament, UConn was a NCAA Tournament bubble team, however, that has changed with the back-to-back victories.

Meanwhile, Syracuse has nothing to gain from the Big East Tournament expect to earn its sixth crown. According to the NCAA tournament committee chairman, the Orange and Kentucky Wildcats are the top two teams in the nation and have solidified their No. 1 seeds in the 68-team field.

This will be the first game for the Orange since downing Louisville, 58-49, in their regular-season finale on Saturday. Behind junior guard Brandon Triche, who netted a team-high 17 points, Syracuse capped its best regular season in program and Big East history.

In their final games at the Carrier Dome, senior forward Kris Joseph, the team's top scorer with 14.0 points per game, netted 11, while senior point guard Scoop Jardine, a All-Big East Second Team selection, dished out four assists.

The Orange also feature the Big East's Sixth-Man of the Year, sophomore guard Dion Waiters, and the Big East's Defensive Player of the Year, sophomore center Fabricio Melo.

The contest with UConn will tip off at noon ET and will be shown on ESPN. The Orange enter as 7 1/2-point favorites.

Check out, the SB Nation's blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician to discuss everything on the Orange, while the The UConn Blog is all about, well, UConn. Make sure to follow along on Twitter at SBNationNY or JaredSmithCNY, as we live blogged from the Carrier Dome.

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Syracuse Basketball: Top-Seeded Orange To Face Rival UConn In Third Round Of Big East Tournament

The No. 2-ranked Syracuse Orange men's basketball team found out who they're playing in the third round of the 2012 Big East Tournament, as the Connecticut Huskies defeated the West Virginia Mountaineers, 70-67, in overtime during the first game of Wednesday's second round. The Huskies, the No. 9 seed, were led by sophomore guard Shabazz Napier's 26 points and six assists.

The result advances UConn (20-12) to day three of the five-day, single-elimination event at Madison Square Garden and sets up the third meeting with Syracuse this season. The Orange (30-1) already defeated the Huskies, 85-67, Feb. 11, and 71-69, Feb. 25.

Obviously, the end results of those games have fostered some hard feelings from UConn, which defeated Syracuse in last year's Big East Tournament quarterfinals -- we all remember what happened from there.

However, last year's game will not be talked as much as 2009's epic six-overtime thriller against UConn that ended with the Orange winning 127-117.

Syracuse vs Connecticut Recap March 12 2009 (via bendreizehn)

In the history of the Big East Tournament, these two program have meet a bunch of times. Here's a rundown of the history and results:

2011: UConn 76, Syracuse 71 (OT) -- Semifinals
2009: Syracuse 127, UConn 117 (6OT) -- Quartefinals
2007: Syracuse 78, UConn 65 -- First Round
2006: Syracuse 96, UConn 84 (OT) -- Quarterfinals
2005: Syracuse 67, UConn 63 -- Quarterfinals
2003: UConn 80, Syracuse 67 -- Semifinals
2001: Syracuse 86, UConn 75 -- First Round
1999: UConn 71, Syracuse 50 -- Semifinals
1998: UConn 69, Syracuse 64 -- Championship
1996: UConn 85, Syracuse 67 -- Semifinals
1990: UConn 78, Syracuse 75 -- Championship
1984: Syracuse 73, UConn 58 -- Quarterfinals
1980: Syracuse 92, UConn 61 -- Semifinals

For those keeping score: Syracuse 7, UConn 6

All-in-all, whenever these two schools meet up in the Big East Championship Tournament it's going to be a good show. So, enjoy!

Be sure to check back to this StoryStream for the latest news on Syracuse basketball. For more on the Orange, visit the SB Nation blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician, while The Smoking Musket everything on the Mountaineers. Make sure to follow along on Twitter at SBNationNY or JaredSmithCNY.

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Syracuse Vs. Louisville Final Score: Scoop Jardine, Kris Joseph Carrier Dome Finale Ends With 58-49 Victory

At this point of the season a team is suppose to be playing its best basketball, well, the No. 2-ranked Syracuse Orange did just that Saturday in a 58-49 victory over visiting No. 19 Louisville Cardinals in a Big East Conference game at the Carrier Dome.

The Orange (30-1, 17-1) clamped down on defense forcing 14 turnovers and limiting the Cardinals to just 9.5-percent (2-for-21) shooting from behind the 3-point arc, while making eight 3-pointers in their regular-season-finale rout of Louisville (22-8, 10-8). The victory helped Syracuse earn a regular-season sweep of the Cardinals, who will enter the upcoming Big East Tournament, March 6-11, as the No. 7 seed. Syracuse had already clinched the No. 1-overall seed last Saturday.


Big East Tournament 2012: Saturday Afternoon Bracket Update


Junior guard Brandon Triche netted a game-best 17 points, which included shooting 3-for-6 from 3-pointer range, for the Orange, who polished off the best regular-season in program and Big East history in front of the fifth-largest crowd to ever witness a game at the Carrier Dome (33, 205).

In their "Loud House" swan songs, senior forward Kris Joseph netted 11 points, while senior guard Scoop Jardine tallied four assists and was held scoreless in just 18 playing minutes.

Hitting six of its first 12 shots, Louisville jumped out to an early 13-8 lead early in the first half. However, a cold streak over the final 12 1/2 minutes (2-for-13) led to a 18-3 run by Syracuse, which took a 26-19 lead into halftime.

Triche tallied the first eight points of the second half to help the Orange take a commanding 34-19 advantage just 1:33 in.

Louisville close the margin to 10 points, 50-40, with about 2 1/2 minutes to go, but the deficit was too much to overcome. Freshman forward Chane Behanan and sophomore guard Russ Smith each ended the game with a team-best 10 points for Louisville, which went just 2-for-21 from behind the 3-point arc.

For more on Syracuse basketball, check out this SB Nation New York StoryStream.

Check out, the SB Nation's blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician to discuss everything on the Orange, while the The UConn Blog is all about, well, UConn. Make sure to follow along on Twitter at SBNationNY or JaredSmithCNY, as we live blogged from the Carrier Dome.

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Syracuse Vs. Louisville Halftime Score: No. 2 Orange Lead No. 19 Louisville, 26-19

Behind a 18-3 that included a team-high seven points from sophomore forward James Southerland, the No. 2-ranked Syracuse Orange have taken a 26-19halftime lead over the No. 19 Louisville Cardinals in a Big East Conference men's basketball game at the Carrier Dome.

Sophomore guard Dion Waiters has added six points, while junior guard Brandon Triche has five for the Orange (29-1, 16-1), who're trying to complete its first undefeated season at home since 2002-03, the National Championship year.

Four players have tallied a team-best four points for Louisville, which lead 13-8 with 11:57 remaining in the first half. The Cardinals (22-8, 10-7) began the game shooting 6-for-12 from the floor and ended the half just 8-for-25 (32-percent).

Check out, the SB Nation's blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician to discuss everything on the Orange. Make sure to follow along on Twitter at SBNationNY orJaredSmithCNY, as we live blog from the Carrier Dome.

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Syracuse Vs. Louisville: No. 2 Orange Host No. 19 Cardinals In Regular-Season Finale

The No. 2-ranked Syracuse Orange may have secured a Big East Conference men's basketball regular-season title, a No. 1-seed in the league tournament and NCAA Tournament, but they will have a lot to play for Saturday when they host the 19-ranked Louisville Cardinals in their regular-season finale at the Carrier Dome (4 p.m. ET on CBS).

A victory would help Syracuse (29-1, 16-1 Big East) complete the best regular-season in Big East and program history, while capping a unblemished home schedule for the first time since 2002-03, its only National Championship season. Also it send off seniors, point guard Scoop Jardine and forward Kris Joseph, who each will be honored in pregame ceremonies for Senior Day, the right way.


Related: Big East Tournament Preview StoryStream

This will be the first game for the Orange since defeating the Connecticut Huskies, 71-69, in Storrs, CT. last Saturday.

Leading by as much as 17 points in the second half, Syracuse escaped with its ninth straight victory when sophomore center Fabricio Melo slammed home a put-back with 31 seconds remaining.

Joseph finished the contest with 21 points and seven rebounds, while Melo added 11 points and nine rebounds.

Meanwhile, the Cardinals (22-8, 10-7) have lost three of their last five games, including a 58-51 loss at home to the South Florida Bulls on Wednesday.

In the front end of that time span, is a home loss to Syracuse, 52-51, at the KFC Yum! Center which snapped a seven-game win streak over the Orange.

Senior forward Kyle Kuric paces Louisville netting 13.1 point per game, while senior guard Peyton Siva (8.6 ppg and 5.5 apg) is its floor general.

This contest is the last game before the start of the Big East Conference Tournament, March 6-10.

Check out, the SB Nation's blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician to discuss everything on the Orange. Make sure to follow along on Twitter at SBNationNY orJaredSmithCNY, as we live blog from the Carrier Dome.

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Syracuse Basketball Clinches Big East Tournament's No. 1 Seed

Thanks to an upset performance from the St. John's Red Storm Saturday, the No. 2 Syracuse Orange men's basketball team has clinched the No. 1 overall seed in the upcoming Big East Conference men's basketball tournament March 6-10 at Madison Square Garden.

The Johnnies (13-16, 6-10) used 22 points from freshman guard Moe Harkless to hold off the Irish, 61-58. The loss made it mathematically impossible for Notre Dame (20-9, 12-4) to catch Syracuse for the top spot in the Big East standings, which currently feature the Marquette Golden Eagles (24-5, 13-3) in lone possession of second place. However, the Golden Eagles would lose the head-to-head tiebreaker to the Orange, who defeated them 73-66 on Jan. 7, if they were to lose their remaining two regular-season games.

On Wednesday, Syracuse edged the South Florida Bulls, 56-48, to earn at least a share of the Big East regular-season title -- the Orange's 10th in program history, tying them for first in the league with UConn.

The Orange's first game in the Big East Tournament will be Thursday, March 8, at noon. Syracuse is the only Big East team to clinch a double-bye, while Marquette and Note Dame have clinched at least a first-round bye in the five-day, single-elimination event.

For more on the Big East Tournament schedule, bracket and seedings, check out this SB Nation New York StoryStream. For a preview of Saturday night's game between Syracuse and UConn, here's a link to that.

Check out, the SB Nation's blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician to discuss everything on the Orange. Make sure to follow along on Twitter at SBNationNY or JaredSmithCNY, as we live blogged from the Carrier Dome.

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UConn Vs. Syracuse: No. 2 Orange Look For Season-Sweep Of Host Huskies

The latest eight-game winning streak for the No. 2 Syracuse Orange hasn't been pretty but it has been enough. The Orange hope the formula continues to be successful Saturday when they visit the Connecticut Huskies for a Big East Conference men's basketball showdown at Gample Pavilion in Storrs, Conn (9 p.m. on ESPN).

The Orange (28-1, 15-1 Big East) are looking for a season sweep of the Huskies (17-10, 7-8), who have never lost to Syracuse at Gampel.

A victory for both teams would do a lot for their postseason aspirations. If Syracuse wins, it would clinch the regular-season Big East title outright -- the Orange havealready earned a share -- as well as the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Big East Tournament March 6-10 at Madison Square Garden.

Meanwhile, UConn is searching for a signature victory that would help cement a NCAA Tournament invite. The Huskies are losers of seven of their last 10 games, with zero positive results against top-25 programs.

On Tuesday, UConn defeated the Villanova Wildcats 73-70 thanks to a desperation 3-pointer by sophomore guard Shabazz Napier.

Napier tallied just six points, but sophomore guard Jeremy Lamb netted a game-best and career-high 32 points.

Lamb enters Saturday night's game as UConn's top scorer (17.9 points per game), with Napier second (12.7 ppg) and the top passer (5.8 assists per game). Freshman center Andre Drummond is the team's best rebounder (7.6 per game) and was very successful (13 points and seven rebounds) against the Orange in their previous meeting Feb. 11.

Drummond, however, suffered a brief injury early in the second half and was held ineffective in the later minutes of the 85-67 loss.

For the Orange, who are looking to also secure the best regular season record in program history, Saturday's game is an opportunity for further improvement before the postseason, which will likely feature them as favorites in the conference and NCAA tournaments.

Senior forward Kris Joseph paces Syracuse in scoring, averaging 14.0 ppg. Senior point guard Scoop Jardine (10.6 ppg, 5.1 assists per game, 2.2 turnovers per game), though, has been SU's spark plug through the last eight games.

Sophomores forward C.J. Fair and center Fab Melo are both leading SU in rebounding (5.5 per game each), while Melo is tallying 7.7 ppg and 3.1 blocks per game.

The betting odds have Syracuse as a 4 1/2-point favorite.

For more on Syracuse basketball, check out this SB Nation New York StoryStream.

Check out, the SB Nation's blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician to discuss everything on the Orange, while the The UConn Blog is all about, well, UConn. Make sure to follow along on Twitter at SBNationNY or JaredSmithCNY, as we live blogged from the Carrier Dome.

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Syracuse Basketball: Scoop Jardine, No. 2 Orange Unfazed By NCAA Tournament's Roulette Table

On Wednesday, the No. 2-ranked Syracuse Orange earned a share of the Big East Conference regular-season title. Yet, more than ever, there's local and national hesitation to bet on Syracuse to win a national championship.

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Syracuse Vs. USF Final Score: No. 2 Orange Hold Off Bulls, 56-48

Senior point guard Scoop Jardine scored 12 of his game-best 15 points during a impressive 26-0 run that helped the No. 2 Syracuse Orange down the South Florida Bulls, 56-48, in a Big East Conference men's basketball game at the Carrier Dome.

Jardine also added four assists, two steals and converted a old-fashioned 3-point play late in the contest that helped Syracuse (28-1, 15-1 Big East) hold off a gritty USF (17-11, 10-5) that became the 21st straight team to lose on the Orange's home court.

Freshman guard Anthony Collins tallied a team-best 12 points and dished out 10 assists for USF, which trailed 54-48 with 1:01 remaining in the game. However, a set-play off a timeout led to a missed 3-pointer by Collins, and the Orange closed out the Bulls despite missing four of their final six free throws.

Sophomore C.J. Fair had a stat-stuffing performance of 11 points, five steals and five rebounds for the Orange, while senior forward Kris Joseph collected 12 points and 10 rebounds.

The victory also drops the Orange's magic number to clinch the program's 10th regular-season conference crown to just one game. The Orange have already clinched a double-bye in the upcoming Big East Tournament, March 6-10.

The Bulls opened the game by playing an almost flawless first 11 minutes, as they jumped out to a 20-9 lead thanks to 60-percent shooting and out-rebounding Syracuse 14-4.

However, Syracuse's used one of its patented blow-out runs and a stifling defensive effort that held USF scoreless for about the next 12 1/2 minutes (about 30 minutes real time) to take a 33-20 lead 2:03 into the second half.

USF rallied with two 9-0 runs to close within three late in the game, but was unable to make an outside shot (4-for-16 from behind the 3-point arc) to pull off the upset.

Overall, Syracuse was out-rebounded 41-30, but forced 18 turnovers and collected 11 steals.

For more on Syracuse basketball, check out this SB Nation New York StoryStream.

Check out, the SB Nation's blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician to discuss everything on the Orange, while VooDoo Five is all about the Bulls. Make sure to follow us on Twitter at SBNationNY or JaredSmithCNY.

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Syracuse Vs. USF Halftime Score: No. 2 Orange Lead Bulls, 24-20

Senior point guard Scoop Jardine tallied all eight of points during a 17-0 run that has help the No. 2-ranked Syracuse Orange take a 24-20 halftime lead over the South Florida Bulls in a Big East Conference men's basketball game at the Carrier Dome.

The Bulls jumped out to a 13-point advantage, 20-7, about 11 minutes into the contest thanks to hitting 60-pecent of their shots and outrebounding Syracuse 14-3. The USF defense also held the Orange to under 25-percent shooting.

However, Syracuse rallied behind Jardine and a solid-defensive effort that held USF scoreless for the next 8:52.

Sophomore C.J. Fair finished with seven points and three rebounds, while USF's junior forward Toarlyn Fitzpatrick netted a team-best six points.

For more on Syracuse basketball, check out this SB Nation New York StoryStream.

Check out, the SB Nation's blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician to discuss everything on the Orange, while VooDoo Five is all about the Bulls. Make sure to follow us on Twitter at SBNationNY or JaredSmithCNY.

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Syracuse Vs. USF: No. 2 Orange Host Bulls In Big East Showdown

The No. 2-ranked Syracuse Orange look to move one step closer to locking up its 10th Big East Conference regular-season title Wednesday, when they host the South Florid Bulls in Big East men's basketball contest at the Carrier Dome (7 p.m. on SNY).

The Orange (27-1, 14-1 Big East) have already locked up a double-bye in the upcoming Big East Tournament, March 6-10, as No. 8-ranked Georgetown lost to the Seton Hall Pirates Tuesday, 73-55. However, Syracuse still needs two more victories or a loss by the Notre Dame Fighting Irish to help tie the Connecticut Huskies for the most regular-season titles in league history (10).

Syracuse have won seven straight and will be trying to extend its Carrier Dome-winning streak to a program record 21.

The Orange are paced by senior forward Kris Joseph who's averaging 14.0 points per game, but over the past four games sophomore forward C.J. Fair has been outstanding averaging 13.3 ppg and 8.5 rebounds per game.

On Sunday, Fair tallied a collegiate-best 21 points in Syracuse's 74-64 victory over the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.

Meanwhile, the Bulls (17-10, 10-4) are trying to secure an NCAA Tournament bid despite their impressive league record, which has put them in a position to possibly earn a double-bye in the upcoming conference tournament. If the tournament started Wed., USF would earn that honor.

USF has earned four straight victories, however, its still looking for its first over a top-25 program this season.

Senior forward Augustus Gilchrist is the Bulls' top scorer with 10.5 ppg, while sophomore guard Victor Rudd Jr is second-best with 9.1 ppg and senior forward Ron Anderson Jr. is the team's best rebounder (5.8 per game).

For more on Syracuse basketball, check out this SB Nation New York StoryStream.

Check out, the SB Nation's blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician to discuss everything on the Orange, while VooDoo Five is all about the Bulls. Make sure to follow us on Twitter at SBNationNY or JaredSmithCNY.

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Rutgers Vs. Syracuse Final Score: Scoop Jardine, C.J. Fair Help No. 2 Orange Escape Rutgers With 74-64 Victory

Senior point guard Scoop Jardine scored 11 of his game-high 17 points in the second half, including a late 3-pointer with 1:12 remaining that cemented a 74-64 road victory over the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in a Big East Conference men's basketball game at the sold-out Louis Brown Athletic Center.

Jardine did most of his damage for the Orange (27-1, 14-1 Big East) in the first half with his passing, dishing out six of his seven total assists, most of them alley-oops to sophomore C.J. Fair. But Jardine showed his importance in the second half with his clutch shooting. Jardine tallied seven of SU's last 12 points, the most significant being a 3-pointer that pushed a slim four-point lead to seven, 69-62, with about a minute remaining.

However, it was Fair, who tallied 14 of his collegiate-best 21 points in the first half and snagged a team-best eight rebounds off the bench, that was Syracuse's most consistent player throughout a gritty battle with a fired-up Rutgers squad.

"Rutgers did a great job against our zone," said Boeheim after the game. "They were patient and got to the middle. "They're a good defensive team."

Rutgers (12-15, 4-10) was paced by sophomore center Gilvydas Biruta who finished with a team-high 21 points and seven rebounds. Biruta was the key in the Scarlet Knights' scrappy performance that saw Rutgers out-rebound Syracuse 31-26.

If a few more outside shot fell (3-for-18, 16.7 percent), Rutgers might have been able to earn its first victory over a No. 2-ranked program in school history. Instead, the Scarlet Knights have now lost five straight games.

"(This) was probably the most consistent game we played in the last month," said Scarlet Knights head coach Mike Rice.

Sophomore guard Mike Poole netted 12 points and was the only other Rutgers player to score in double-digits, while junior guard Dane Miller had six points, six rebounds and five assists.

Meanwhile, Syracuse made 50 percent of its shots in one of its better shooting performances of the year. Senior forward Kris Joseph made 5-of-10 shots, including 2-of-3 from behind the 3-point arc, for 14 points. Sophomore center Fabricio Melo added 10 points, six rebounds and two blocks.

"We won because we made shots. We need to win because we're playing well," said Boeheim, who's team is now 8-1 on the road this season.

Wednesday, Syracuse hosts the South Florida Bulls at the Carrier Dome (7 p.m. on SNY), while Rutgers plays at the Marquette Golden Eagles (8 p.m.).

For more on Syracuse basketball, check out this SB Nation New York StoryStream.

Check out, the SB Nation's blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician to discuss everything on the Orange, while On The Banks is all about Rutgers. Make sure to follow us on Twitter at SBNationNY or JaredSmithCNY.

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Rutgers Vs. Syracuse Halftime Score: Orange Lead Scarlet Knights, 40-34

Sophomore forward C.J. Fair has scored a game-best 14 points and collected six rebounds off the bench to help the No. 2-ranked Syracuse Orange earn a 40-34 halftime lead over host Rutgers Scarlet Knights in a Big East Conference men's basketball contest at the RAC.

Senior point guard Scoop Jardine has added six points and dished out five assists, a bunch of those being alley-oop passes to Fair, for Syracuse, which trailed by as much as four points.

Sophomore center Gilvydas Biruta has netted game-high 14 points and collected five rebounds for Rutgers, which has out hustled and rebounded the Orange, 16-11.

Overall, Syracuse shot 46.4-percent (13-for-28) from the floor, while Rutgers was slightly better at 48.4-percent (15-for-31). The Scarlet Knights, however, made just one of their seven 3-point attempts and turned the ball over six times, which led to 12 Orange points.

For more on Syracuse basketball, check out this SB Nation New York StoryStream.

Check out, the SB Nation's blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician to discuss everything on the Orange, while On The Banks is all about Rutgers. Make sure to follow us on Twitter at SBNationNY or JaredSmithCNY.

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Rutgers Vs. Syracuse: Scarlet Knights Aim For Upset Of Visiting No. 2 Orange

The No. 2-ranked Syracuse Orange will try to move one step closer to a Big East Conference regular-season title Sunday, as they hit the road to face the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in a men's basketball game at a soldout Rutgers Athletic Center. The Orange (26-1, 13-1 Big East) are searching for their seventh straight victory, while the Scarlet Knights (12-14, 4-9) are looking to snap a four-game skid.

Syracuse hasn't played in six days when it earned a scrappy 52-51 victory over the No. 19 Louisville Cardinals Monday. Sophomore forward C.J. Fair tallied a team-best 13 points including the game-winning bucket with 2:12 remaining in regulation to help the Orange overcome a terrible shooting night (1-for-15 from 3-point range).

The win allowed the first-place Syracuse to hold onto their 2 1/2 game lead in the Big East standings, which features the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Marquette Golden Eagles in second place.

Senior forward Kris Joseph is the Orange's leading scorer averaging 14.0 points per game, while sophomore guard Dion Waiters is coming off the bench to tally 12.2 ppg. Sophomore center Fabricio Melo is the team's top rebounder (5.4 per game) and shot blocker (3.0 per game).

Meanwhile, Rutgers will be trying to earn its third top-10 victory of the season at the RAC. Already this year, the Scarlet Knights have defeated the No. 14 (then No. 10) Florida Gators and (then No. 10) Connecticut Huskies at home, but hasn't beaten the Orange in their last 10 contest. The last victory over SU came in '02-03 at the RAC, 68-85, when Herve Laminza banked home a 3-pointer near the end of regulation.

Freshman point guard Eli Carter enters Sunday's contest pacing Rutgers in scoring averaging 14.8 ppg, while freshman Myles Mack is coming off the bench and averaging 11.2 ppg. Junior guard Dan Miller is the team's leading rebounder collecting 6.9 per game while posting 9.1 ppg.

Check out, the SB Nation's blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician to discuss everything on the Orange, while On The Banks is all about Rutgers. Make sure to follow us on Twitter at SBNationNY or JaredSmithCNY.

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Rutgers Vs. Syracuse: Game Time, TV Schedule, Betting Odds And More

The No. 2-ranked Syracuse Orange will be looking for their seventh straight victory Sunday, as they travel to New Brunswick, NJ to take on Big East Conference foe, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, in a men's basketball game at the Rutgers Athletic Center.

The Orange (26-1, 13-1 Big East) are looking to move one step closer to earning the No. 1-seed in the Big East Conference Tournament, March 6-10.

Meanwhile, the Scarlet Knights (12-14, 4-9) are looking for their third victory over a top-10 opponent this season, but first ever against a No. 2-ranked program.

For those fans who'd like to watch the game, here's the game time and TV information:

Location: Rutgers Athletic Center in New Brunswick, NJ

Game Time: 1 p.m. ET

TV schedule: ESPN

Announcers: Bob Wischusen (play-by-play), Doris Burke (anaylist)

Betting odds: Syracuse enter as 10-point favorites

Check out, the SB Nation's blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician to discuss everything on the Orange, while On The Banks is all about Rutgers. Make sure to follow us on Twitter at SBNationNY or JaredSmithCNY.

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Louisville Vs. Syracuse Final Score: No. 2 Orange Earn Scrappy Victory Over No. 19 Cardinals, 52-51

Sophomore forward C.J. Fair scored a team best 13 points, including the game-winning layup with 2:12 remaining, to help the No. 2-ranked Syracuse Orange scrap their way to a 52-51 victory over the No. 19 Louisville Cardinals in a Big East Conference men's basketball game at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville on Monday.

Fair was the lone bright light in a game that featured poor long-range shooting (1-for-15, 6.7-percent) and some questionable decision making, as Syracuse (26-1, 13-1 Big East) earned their sixth straight victory and snapped a seven-game losing streak to Louisville (20-6, 8-5).

"We made a couple stops and Brandon Triche made a big bucket,and we got another big bucket [Fair's] and we hung on in the end," said Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim to ESPN's Jay Bilas after the game.

"I am just proud of our defense, we hung in there. We had a couple chances to win, you know, its just a tough defensive game. Both teams are playing good defense right now. It's good to get a win right here."

Syracuse junior guard Brandon Triche tallied eight points, the most critical ending a 10-0 Louisville run, which gave the Cards a 51-46 advantage with 6:48 remaining.

Triche's bucket trimmed the margin to 51-48, and after a defensive stop sophomore center Fab Melo, who tallied 11 points and six rebounds, made consecutive free throws to make it 51-50 with 2:54 to go.

After another defensive stand, Fair tapped a layup off the backboard after receiving a nice pass from sophomore guard Dion Waiters, and helped the Orange cap the scoring at 52-51.

Lousiville had a chance to take the lead in the closing seconds, but Waiters stole a bad pass and ran away from defenders before he was fouled with 1.5 seconds left. He missed the front end of a 1-and-1, but Louisville couldn't control the desperation inbound pass after calling timeout to set up a last-second play.

"I'm very, very disappointed we lost the game," said Louisville head coach Rick Pitino after the game.

"When it comes down to it, very simple, we didn't make free throws," said Pitino. "That's what's so bothersome."

Louisville finished the game 12-for-21 from the free throw line (57.1percent) but also turned the ball over 16 times. Syracuse committed just eight turnovers and went 9-for-11 from the charity stripe. Melo, a 61.1-percent shooter from the line, finished a perfect 3 of 3.

"It's good," said Fair after the game when asked by Bilas how the victory feels. "Louisville has had our number for the past few years, and it feels good to get Scoop (Jardine) a win and Kris Joseph, our seniors, who haven't beat Louisville. It feels good."

Waiters finished the game with a stat-stuffing performance of seven points, five rebounds, three assists and one steal, while Joseph tallied seven points and six rebounds. Jardine ended the game with no points and five assists. He was on the bench in the closing moments.

"This was a type of game that's going to help us get better," said Boeheim.

Louisville freshman forward Chane Behanan had a breakout performance netting 16 points and collecting nine rebounds. Junior point guard Peyton Siva tallied all eight of his points in the first half to help the Cardinals to a 24-22 halftime lead.

Louisville trailed 46-41 with 6:09 to go but tallied 10 straight, including four from Behanan and a 3-point jumper from junior forward Chris Smith, to take a 51-46 lead.

In the end, Smith tallied 10 points as the Cardinals were held to 5-of-19 from behind the 3-point arc.

Check out, the SB Nation's blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician to discuss everything on the Orange, while the Card Chronicle is all about Louisville. Make sure to follow us on Twitter at SBNationNY or JaredSmithCNY.

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Louisville Vs. Syracuse Halftime Score: Cardinals Lead Orange, 24-22

Junior guard Peyton Siva has scored a game-best eight points to help the No. 19-ranked Louisville Cardinals to a 24-22 halftime lead over No. 2 Syracuse Orange in a Big East Conference men's basketball game at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville.

Louisville (20-5, 8-4 Big East) jumped out to a seven point lead, 12-5, just 8:16 into the game after Siva nailed a 3-pointer. However, Syracuse's defense stiffened and its offense slowly helped the Orange crawl back into the game.

Syracuse took its first lead when sophomore center Fab Melo received a transition pass from senior point guard Scoop Jardine and slammed it home to make it 18-17 with 2:40 remaining.

However, Louisville regained the lead when junior forward Jared Swopshire hit a floater over Melo, and then pushed it lead to four points, 24-20, after a 3-pointer by senior Chris Smith.

Syracuse sophomore guard Dion Waiters, who netted five points, made a layup as the first-half horn sounded. Sophomore forward C.J. Fair tallied a team-best seven points, while Melo finished with four points and three rebounds.

Check out, the SB Nation's blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician to discuss everything on the Orange, while the Card Chronicle is all about Louisville. Make sure to follow us on Twitter at SBNationNY or JaredSmithCNY.

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Syracuse Basketball Notebook Vs. UConn: The 'Tremendous' Award, Fab Melo's Jumper, Scoop Jardine Nearing The End

The No. 2-ranked Syracuse Orange will try to snap a seven-game losing streak to the No. 24 Louisville Cardinals Monday night (7 p.m. on ESPN). But, before he get primed for the showdown, here's some tidbits from Saturday's victory over UConn.
-- Preview: Syracuse at Louisville

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Louisville Vs. Syracuse: No. 2 Orange Try To End Skid To Cardinals

The No. 2-ranked Syracuse Orange will try to snap a seven-game winning streak to the No. 19 Louisville Cardinals, who host a Big East Conference men's basketball "Big Monday" showdown (7 p.m. on ESPN) at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, KY. The Orange (25-1, 12-1 Big East) have earned five straight victories, including two on the road, while the Cardinals (20-5, 8-4) have earned six consecutive wins.

On Saturday, Syracuse outscored the Connecticut Huskies 22-6 in the final 6 1/2 minutes to run away with a 85-57 victory at the Carrier Dome. Senior point guard Scoop Jardine netted a game-best 21 points including nine in the final six minutes to help SU cement the victory.

Sophomore forward C.J. Fair is coming off probably his best college game, as he tallied 14 points and collected a collegiate-best 12 rebounds, while sophomore guard Dion Waiters added 18 points.

Entering Monday's game, senior forward Kris Joseph is pacing the Orange in scoring with 14.3 points per game. In the last two, Joseph is averaging 22.0 ppg and is shooting a scorching 60-percent from 3-point land (9-for-15). Waiters in the second leading scorer averaging 12.4 ppg coming off the bench, while sophomore center Fab Melo is tallying team-best 5.5 rebounds per game and 3.0 blocks per game.


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
Kris Joseph 26 30.9 4.8 10.9 44.0 1.6 4.2 37.3 3.1 4.1 76.4 1.5 3.3 4.8 1.8 1.1 1.3 0.6 1.5 14.3
Dion Waiters 26 23.2 4.7 9.6 48.8 1.0 2.9 34.2 2.0 2.9 69.7 0.5 1.6 2.1 2.7 1.3 2.1 0.3 1.7 12.4
Brandon Triche 26 22.3 3.3 7.7 43.3 1.3 3.6 37.6 1.6 1.8 87.5 0.8 1.5 2.3 2.9 1.4 1.2 0.2 1.2 9.7
Scoop Jardine 26 23.3 3.4 6.7 50.9 0.9 2.6 35.3 1.0 1.8 52.1 0.5 1.7 2.1 4.9 2.1 1.4 0.1 0.7 8.7
C.J. Fair 26 26.1 3.3 6.9 47.2 0.2 0.7 27.8 1.9 2.7 71.0 1.9 3.5 5.4 1.0 0.8 1.0 0.5 1.3 8.6
Fabricio Melo 23 23.2 3.3 5.8 57.9 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.0 1.6 61.1 2.6 2.9 5.5 0.6 1.5 0.4 3.1 3.0 7.7
James Southerland 26 15.8 2.8 5.9 47.1 1.0 3.0 32.9 0.6 0.9 66.7 0.9 2.2 3.1 0.4 0.4 0.8 0.8 1.2 7.2
Rakeem Christmas 26 12.2 1.2 2.2 57.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.6 1.0 61.5 1.2 1.9 3.1 0.2 0.7 0.3 0.8 1.9 3.1
Michael Carter-Williams 22 11.4 1.1 2.5 42.9 0.3 0.7 37.5 0.5 1.0 57.1 0.4 1.3 1.6 2.2 0.7 0.8 0.3 1.0 3.0
Mookie Jones 7 5.4 0.9 3.1 27.3 0.7 2.4 29.4 0.4 0.7 60.0 0.1 0.4 0.6 0.4 0.1 0.7 0.0 0.1 2.9
Baye Moussa Keita 25 13.1 1.0 1.4 76.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.6 0.8 75.0 1.1 1.6 2.7 0.1 0.4 0.2 1.0 2.0 2.7
Matt Tomaszewski 10 1.9 0.5 0.9 55.6 0.4 0.7 57.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.2 0.3 0.5 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.0 0.3 1.4
Albert Nassar 2 1.0 0.5 0.5 100.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.0
Brandon Reese 12 1.5 0.1 0.5 16.7 0.0 0.1 0.0 0.4 0.6 71.4 0.1 0.3 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.3 0.0 0.1 0.6
Griffin Hoffmann 9 0.9 0.1 0.3 33.3 0.1 0.3 33.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.2 0.3
Matt Lyde-Cajuste 9 1.1 0.1 0.1 100.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.2 0.2 0.4 0.1 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.2 0.2
Nick Resavy 11 1.4 0.1 0.4 25.0 0.0 0.2 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.2 0.2 0.4 0.2 0.2 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.2
Russ DeRemer 3 1.0 0.0 0.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.3 0.0
Nolan Hart 2 1.0 0.0 1.0 0.0 0.0 0.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.5 0.0 0.5 0.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

Meanwhile, the Cardinals have be scorching as of late, winning their last six contests after dropping five of their first seven Big East games.

On Saturday, Louisville downed the West Virginia Mountaineers, 77-74, in a tight battle at the WVU Coliseum in Morgantown, WV.

Louisvile enter's Monday game with five players five players averaging in double figures with senior guard Kyle Kuric leading the way with 13.2 ppg. Wayne Blackshear is second-best netting 13.0 ppg, while freshman Gorgui Dieng is posting 10.1 ppg, and leads the team in rebounding (9.2) and block shots (3.2).


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
Kyle Kuric 23 36.3 4.6 10.0 45.5 2.1 5.9 36.3 2.0 2.4 80.4 1.3 3.5 4.8 1.2 1.3 1.3 0.4 2.3 13.2
Wayne Blackshear 1 20.0 5.0 9.0 55.6 3.0 5.0 60.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.0 3.0 4.0 0.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 0.0 13.0
Russ Smith 24 21.7 4.3 11.1 38.2 1.2 3.9 30.1 2.6 3.5 74.7 0.6 2.0 2.7 2.2 2.2 2.3 0.0 3.1 12.3
Chris Smith 25 27.9 3.2 7.6 42.6 1.8 4.1 43.1 2.3 3.0 75.0 1.0 2.8 3.8 2.5 1.0 1.0 0.0 1.3 10.5
Gorgui Dieng 25 31.2 4.0 6.9 57.6 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.2 3.2 68.4 3.8 5.4 9.2 1.2 2.0 1.1 3.2 3.3 10.1
Chane Behanan 25 25.1 3.5 7.4 47.6 0.2 1.2 16.7 2.2 3.5 61.4 2.9 4.9 7.8 0.9 2.2 0.8 0.4 2.0 9.4
Peyton Siva 23 31.0 2.8 7.3 37.9 0.4 2.1 18.4 2.5 3.4 74.4 0.3 2.2 2.5 5.7 3.4 1.8 0.1 3.1 8.5
Mike Marra 2 12.5 2.5 4.0 62.5 0.5 2.0 25.0 0.5 1.0 50.0 0.5 2.0 2.5 1.0 1.0 0.5 0.0 0.0 6.0
Rakeem Buckles 11 13.5 1.5 3.4 43.2 0.2 0.5 40.0 0.9 1.6 55.6 1.6 2.2 3.8 0.3 1.4 0.6 0.2 1.8 4.0
Jared Swopshire 24 13.4 1.4 3.5 41.0 0.1 0.6 20.0 0.8 1.3 62.5 0.8 2.1 2.8 0.4 0.6 0.4 0.3 1.2 3.8
Angel Nunez 9 5.6 0.9 2.0 44.4 0.7 1.4 46.2 0.2 0.4 50.0 0.2 0.7 0.9 0.1 0.6 0.1 0.2 0.0 2.7
Mark Jackson Jr. 3 4.0 0.7 1.3 50.0 0.3 0.3 100.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.0 1.0 0.0 0.7 0.0 0.0 0.3 1.7
Stephan Van Treese 3 6.7 0.3 1.0 33.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.7 1.3 50.0 1.3 0.7 2.0 0.0 0.3 0.3 0.3 1.7 1.3
Elisha Justice 16 6.1 0.6 1.4 39.1 0.1 0.6 10.0 0.1 0.1 100.0 0.1 0.5 0.6 0.5 0.7 0.4 0.0 0.9 1.3
Tim Henderson 11 5.2 0.4 1.0 36.4 0.3 0.6 42.9 0.3 0.5 50.0 0.3 0.5 0.8 0.5 0.5 0.1 0.0 0.6 1.3
Kevin Ware 14 6.1 0.4 1.6 26.1 0.0 0.3 0.0 0.2 0.6 33.3 0.2 0.5 0.7 0.6 1.1 0.4 0.2 0.7 1.1
Zach Price 11 6.0 0.4 1.0 36.4 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.2 0.9 20.0 0.5 0.7 1.3 0.0 0.2 0.2 0.2 1.5 0.9

Overall, the Cardinals are second in the league in rebounding (39.1 rpg).

The Orange enter the game as 2 1/2-point favorites and searching for their first victory over the Cardinal since the 2006-'07 season.

For more post-game Syracuse vs. Louisville, check back to this StoryStream.

Check out, the SB Nation's blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician to discuss everything on the Orange, while the Card Chronicle is all about Louisville. Make sure to follow us on Twitter at SBNationNY or JaredSmithCNY.

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Syracuse Basketball Recruiting: Nerlens Noel Has 'Great' Time At Loud House

A crowd of 33,430 fans packed the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, NY Saturday to witness the No. 2-ranked Orange down the Connecticut Huskies, 85-67, in a Big East Conference men's basketball game. However, a lot of fans, especially the students, weren't just there to watch Syracuse earn its 20th consecutive home victory, but instead were there to try and convince five-star recruit Nerlens Noel, the top recruit for the Class of 2012 according to ESPN Recruiting services, to commit to SU.

The Dome was buzzing, as the student's sections created signs and wore fake flat-top haircuts -- the hairstyle that Noel sports -- to try and sway the star recruit, who was making his unofficial visit.

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During the national anthem, the traditional shouting of "O!" during the lyrics, "O! say can you see..." was by far the loudest of the season (of course, maybe, 33,000-plus had something to do with that), as the crowd made it apparent they'd love to see the 6-foot-10, 200-pound center from The Tilton School (Tilton, NH) in an orange uniform next fall.

After Syracuse's victory, Noel was inside the Syracuse locker room hanging out with assistant coach Mike Hopkins. Along side Noel, was high school teammate Goodluck Okonoboh who is a Class of '13 recruit.

On Sunday morning, Noel was asked via Twitter how his visit to Syracuse went:

Noel wasn't the only SU recruit in attendance Saturday, as verbal commit DaJuan Coleman, a five-start center who was just named to the McDonald's All-American game, March 28, and Class of '13 recruit, point guard Tyler Ennis, were there too.

For more coverage of Syracuse basketball, visit our blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician. For more on Big East basketball, visit Big East Coast Bias.

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No. 2 Syracuse Powers Past UConn, 85-67, In Front Of 33,430 Fans

Some Syracuse basketball fans paid good money for noise bleeds Saturday, but the end result was money well spent and a 85-67 victory over the Connecticut Huskies in a Big East Conference men's basketball game at the Carrier Dome. In front of the fourth-largest crowd in Dome history, 33,430, the Orange (25-1, 12-1 Big East) earned their fifth straight victory and extended their home winning streak to 20 games.

Senior point guard Scoop Jardine scored a season-high and game-best 21 points including two huge 3-pointers on back-to-back possession to push SU's lead from two points to eight, 69-61, with 5:07 remaining in the game. Jardine added six assists, while sophomore forward C.J. Fair chipped in with 14 points and a collegiate-best 12 rebounds.

"I think offensively this is the best we've played all year," said Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim after the victory.

The Orange, who have been outrebonded by double digits in four of their last six contests, snagged more boards than their opponent, 31-29, and shot better than 50-percent (59.3) for the second time since Jan. 4, a victory at Providence.

"We made a lot of shots," said Boeheim, who's team also made 62.5-percent (6-for-10) of their 3-point attempts, "when you make a lot of shots the game is a lot easier."

"If we shot a normal percentage we would have been beaten. We can't play much better offense then we did."

Trailing at halftime 43-34, Huskies wouldn't be shewed away by SU, as they trailed just 63-61 after sophomore forward Tyler Olander made a free throw with 6:26 to play.

However, Jardine's consecutive 3s pushed Syracuse's lead to eight points and forced a UConn timeout. From there, sophomore guard Dion Watiers took over netting nine of his 18 points in the next six minutes to help SU cement the victory.

The Orange's senior forward Kris Joseph also finished in double-digits,15 points, on 3 of 4 shooting from behind the 3-point line.

"This is as good as team as I've seen Jim have," said UConn assistant head coach George Blaney, who's filling in for head coach Jim Calhoun who's dealing with back issues (spinal stenosis). Blaney has coached at UConn for 11 seasons.

"I have not seen one of his teams be deeper then they are. We they get in trouble they can isolate so many different people that can just beat you."

Sophomore guard Jeremy Lamb scored a team-best 18 points for UConn, which finished the contest 8-for-19 from long range but is 1-6 in their last seven games.

UConn's freshman center, Andre Drummond, finished with 13 points, seven rebounds and two blocks in probably his most aggressive effort of the season. Freshman guard Ryan Boatright chipped in with 14 points and dished out five assists.

Syracuse sophomore center Fab Melo tallied all eight of his points in the first half, which featured UConn jumping out to a 10-5 advantage only to trail 25-15 with 8:25 to go because of a 15-3 SU run.

Syracuse plays at No. 24 Louisville Cardinals Monday night (7 p.m. on ESPN), while UConn hosts the DePaul Blue Demons Wednesday. (7 p.m. on SNY).

For more post-game Syracuse vs. UConn info, check back to this StoryStream.

Check out, the SB Nation's blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician to discuss everything on the Orange, while the The UConn Blog is all about, well, UConn. Make sure to follow along on Twitter at SBNationNY or JaredSmithCNY, as we live blogged from the Carrier Dome.

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Syracuse Vs. UConn Final Score: No. 2 Orange Down Huskies, 85-67

Sophomore forward C.J. Fair tallied 14 points and collected a collegiate-best 12 rebounds to lead the No. 2-ranked Syracuse Orange past the Connecticut Huskies, 85-67, in a Big East Conference men's basketball game at the Carrier Dome. The Orange (25-1, 12-1 Big East) earned their fifth straight victory in front of a season-best 33,430 fans and extended their home-winning streak to 20 games dating back to last season.

Senior point guard Scoop Jardine added a team-best and season-high 21 points including two big 3-pointers, the last coming with 5:07 to go and gave Syracuse a 69-61 lead, to help cement the win. Jardine also dished out six assists, while senior forward Kris Joseph netted 15 points on 3 of 4 shooting from 3-point land.

Sophomore guard Dion Waiter chipped in with 18 points including nine points in a 22-6 run in the final six minutes.

UConn's Jeremy Lamb scored a team-best 18 points in the losing effort for the Huskies, who has now dropped six of their last seven games.

For more post-game Syracuse vs. UConn info, check back to this StoryStream.

Check out, the SB Nation's blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician to discuss everything on the Orange, while the The UConn Blog is all about, well, UConn. Make sure to follow along on Twitter at SBNationNY or JaredSmithCNY, as we live blogged from the Carrier Dome.

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Syracuse Vs. UConn Halftime Score: No. 2 Orange Lead Huskies, 43-34

Senior forward Kris Joseph has tallied a team-best 10 points to help the No. 2-ranked Syracuse Orange earn a 43-34 halftime lead over the Connecticut Huskies in a Big East Conference men's basketball game at the Carrier Dome. The Orange (24-1, 11-1 Big East) are searching for their fifth consecutive victory and extend their home-winning streak to 20 games.

Sophomore center Fab Melo has tallied a game-best eight points and two blocks, while sophomore forward C.J. Fair has tallied four points and collected six rebounds for SU, which trailed 10-5 in the early going but used a 15-3 run to take a 25-15 lead with 8:25 to go in the first half.

Syracuse's senior guard Scoop Jardine has scored six points and dished out three assists.

For UConn, freshman guard Ryan Boatright has tallied a game-best 11 points including two 3-pointers in a late 8-2 run that helped the Huskies trim the SU lead to 32-29 with less than four minutes remaining.

The Huskies trailed 35-32 with 2:12 to play, but a late 8-2 run, which featured a Joseph jumper, steal and assist, helped Syracuse take a nine point lead into the locker room.

For more on this game Syracuse vs. UConn, check back to this StoryStream.

Check out, the SB Nation's blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician to discuss everything on the Orange, while the The UConn Blog is all about, well, UConn. Make sure to follow along on Twitter at SBNationNY or JaredSmithCNY, as we're blogging live from the Carrier Dome for Syracuse vs. UConn.

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Syracuse Basketball Vs. UConn: Pre-Game Shoot Around

The "Loud House" should be, well, loud Saturday, as the No. 2-Syracuse Orange host the Connecticut Huskies in a Big East Conference men's basketball game (1 p.m. on CBS). That's because an expected crowed of 31,000-plus should be in attendance. That mark will easily help SU set a season-high for an NCAA on-campus crowd and should result in a tough atmosphere for the struggling UConn, which has lost five of its last six games.


Game Preview: Syracuse Hosts UConn In Packed Carrier Dome


Here's some more quick tidbits about Syracuse vs. UConn:

Big recruiting day for Orange

This be a huge recruiting day for Syracuse, which will host five-star center Nerlens Noel, the No. 1-overall ranked player by ESPN Recruiting in the Class of 2012, and five-star point guard Tyler Ennis, Class of '13, as both recruits are making visits.

Noel (6-foot-10, 205 pounds) is being strongly recruited by the Orange and powerhouse programs like UConn, Kentucky Wildcats and North Carolina Tar Heels. Noel is considered one of the better defensive prospects to come a long in the last few years and could really be a force manning the middle of Jim Boeheim's 2-3 zone.

Meanwhile, Ennis is being recruited for not next year but the following year and could be a solid replacement for the loss of Scoop Jardine, Brandon Triche and possibly Dion Waiters.

Syracuse recruit paces team, helps them to victory

On Friday night, Orange verbal commit, power forward Jerami Grant, recruit for the Class of '12, led DeMatha Catholic in scoring (19 points) as it routed Washington, D.C. area rival Gonzaga College High School, 76-47, in Hyattsville, MD.

On Thursday, Syracuse five-star recruit, center DaJaun Coleman from nearby Jamesville-Dewitt High School, was named to the McDonald's All-American roster. The game will be played March 28 on ESPN at 9:30 p.m.

ESPN reveals new power-rankings system for college hoops

Early Saturday morning, ESPN reveiled its new rankings system for college basketball. The rankings, which is similar (but not) to the RPI rankings system, is suppose to help be a better measuring stick to how good a team really is. Its results?

The Kentucky Wildcats are No. 1 while Syracuse is No. 2.

And they were suppose to find something we already didn't know?

For more on this game Syracuse vs. UConn, check back to this StoryStream.

Check out, the SB Nation's blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician to discuss everything on the Orange, while the The UConn Blog is all about, well, UConn. Make sure to follow along on Twitter at SBNationNY or JaredSmithCNY, as we blog live from the Carrier Dome for Syracuse vs. UConn Saturday afternoon.

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Syracuse Vs. UConn Preview: No. 2 Orange Host Reeling Huskies In Big East Showdown

The No. 2-ranked Syracuse Orange will try to put more space between themselves and the Big East Conference field Saturday, as they host the Connecticut Huskies in a men's basketball game (1 p.m. ET on CBS) at the Carrier Dome. The Orange (24-1, 11-1 Big East) are looking for their fifth straight victory and extend their 19-game home winning streak dating back to last season.

On Wednesday, Syracuse edged rival No. 12 Georgetown Hoyas, 64-61, in overtime at the Carrier Dome. Senior forward Kris Joseph netted a collegiate-best 29 points including the game-winning 3-pointer with 26 seconds remaining in the extra session.

Sophomore center Fabricio Melo chipped in with 11 points, seven rebounds and six blocks for the Orange, who trailed 31-27 at halftime. In the last two SU contests, since his return from a three-game absence, Melo has averaged 12.5 points per game, 5.0 rebounds per game and 4.0 blocks per game.


Column: Jim Boeheim Can Sense A National Championship And He Wants It, Badly


Entering the game against UConn (15-8, 5-6), Joseph leads all SU players in scoring (14.3 ppg), while Melo leads the team in rebounding (5.6 rpg) and senior guard Scoop Jardine is tops with 4.6 assists per game.

As for the Huskies, they're losers of five of their last six games including a loss at the Louisville Cardinals, 80-59, Monday. Freshman point guard Ryan Boatright tallied a game-best 18 points, six rebounds, five assists and four steals but the Cardinals 11 3-pointers were too much for UConn to overcome.

For the third straight game, the Huskies will be without long-time head coach Jim Calhoun, as he's was diagnosed and is dealing with spinal stenosis. In his place will be assistant coach George Blaney.


Recap: No. 2 Syracuse Survives No. 12 Georgetown, 64-61


Sophomore guard Jeremy Lamb enters Saturday's game pacing the Huskies in scoring with 17.2 ppg, while Shabazz Napier is averaging 13.1 ppg. Blue-chip freshman Andre Drummond is the top rebounder (7.5 per game).

Saturday's game will be played in front of a reported 31,000-plus fans, which will set an on-campus NCAA record this season.

For more on this game Syracuse vs. UConn, check back to this StoryStream.

Check out, the SB Nation's blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician to discuss everything on the Orange, while the The UConn Blog is all about, well, UConn. Make sure to follow along on Twitter at SBNationNY or JaredSmithCNY, as we blog live from the Carrier Dome for Syracuse vs. UConn Saturday afternoon.

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SYRACUSE -- Thanks to a career night form senior forward Kris Joseph, the No. 2-ranked Syracuse Orange edged No. 12 Georgetown Hoyas, 64-61, in a Big East Conference men's basketball game that was played in front of 27,000-plus at the Carrier Dome Wednesday night.

Joseph, who nailed the game-winner with 26 seconds to go in overtime, and the Orange (24-1, 11-1 Big East) earned their fourth straight victory and helped their head coach Jim Boeheim earn his 880th-career victory, which helps him surpass former North Carolina head coach Dean Smith for third all-time on the Division one list.

If you'd like the game story, well, check out this link but here's the post-game tidbits for your enjoyment:


Column: Jim Boeheim Can Sense A National Championship And He Wants It, Badly


If they ain't falling, keep shooting

Before Wednesday's contest, Joseph was struggling from behind the 3-point arc, as the senior had made just two of his 16 attempts (10.5-percent) in the previous five games.

However, the way a shooter gets out of a slump is to keep shooting and that's just what the 6-foot-7 forward did.

"Obviously, I hadn't been shooting it great from outside," said Joseph, "but I never was going to stop shooting. I was getting good shots, open shots."

In the first 20 minutes of Wednesday's victory, Joseph had already chucked up 10 shots, including six from 3-point range, and he made only two, but that didn't stop him letting them go in the second half.

"I knew I was going to start hitting them eventually. My teammates told me to keep shooting, the coaching staff told me to keep shooting, my mom told me to keep shooting," Joseph said with a laugh. "So, I was going to keep shooting the ball."

The strategy worked, as Joseph went 4-for-5 from long-range, compiled 17 points and knocked down the game-winning 3-ball in overtime.

"The way the game was going, they were leaving me open for some reason," said Joseph about the game-winning shot. "I was able to sneak behind the defense and get open. Scoop (Jardine) did a great job of finding me and I knocked the shot down."

Boeheim's final 5

There was a lot of post-game Twitter comments about Boeheim's decision to play Joseph, Jardine, sophomore guard Dion Waiters, sophomore forward C.J. Fair and sophomore center Fabricio Melo in closing minutes Wednesday.

Many wondered why junior guard Brandon Triche wasn't on the floor, but Jardine was, while others asked why junior forward James Southerland didn't play at all (five minutes).

My answer to that is, well, get used to it because that's the five players that Boeheim trusts the most in crunch-time, and it worked out well against Georgetown.

"We hit a couple key shots at the end," said Boeheim. "We made couple key plays when we were down."

"The only reason we won this game was we hit a couple of key shots late, our defense was good late."

Many still question -- and I don' understand why this is still an issue -- why Jardine continues to handle the ball or play over Triche in those important minutes.

Boeheim addressed this breifly at his post-game press conference.

"(Scoop) is really the only point guard that gets us into plays and gets us into sets," said Boeheim.

So, there you go. In the the clutch, Boeheim is going to play those five guys and he really doesn't care of you like it or not.

There's always two sides to a story...

After the game, which I thought was refereed fairly well -- at least, compared to other Big East games this season -- here were the two opinions by the SB Nation blogs, Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician (Syracuse) and Casual Hoya (Georgetown).

"I thought it was one of the most well-refereed games I've seen in the Big East in a long time," wrote Sean Keely of TNIAAM.

However, here's the Hoya take:

"The referees did nothing to help Georgetown down the stretch, calling phantom fouls and absurd possession changers in a game that came down to the last moments."

All-in-all, both blogs came away with a positive feeling after the contest that, as always, featured a lot of pre-game trash talk.

For more on this game Syracuse vs. Georgetown, check back to this StoryStream.

Check out, the SB Nation's blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician to discuss everything on the Orange, while the Casual Hoya is all about Georgetown. Make sure to follow along on Twitter at SBNationNY or JaredSmithCNY, as we blog live from the Carrier Dome for Syracuse vs. Georgetown Wednesday night.

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Syracuse Commit DaJuan Coleman Named McDonald's All-American

Syracuse commit DaJuan Coleman was named to the McDonald's All-American game roster on Feb. 9.

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Syracuse Basketball: Jim Boeheim Can Sense A National Championship And He Wants It, Badly

The No. 2-ranked Syracuse Orange edged their long-time Big East rival, No. 12 Georgetown Hoyas, 64-61, Wednesday. However, the mood during Jim Boeheim's post-game press conference was one of disappointment, and SB Nation New York's Jared Smith thinks he knows why.

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No. 2 Syracuse Survives No. 12 Georgetown, 64-61, Behind Kris Joseph's Collegiate-Best 29 Points

More: Post game quotes

They say the only cure for a shooting slump is to shoot more. And that's exactly what senior forward Kris Joseph did Wednesday, as he netted a collegiate-best 29 points on 6 of 11 shooting from behind the 3-point line, including the game-winner with 26 seconds remaining in overtime to help No. 2-ranked Syracuse Orange survive a typical rough-and-tumble showdown against No. 12 Georgetown Hoyas, 64-61, in a Big East Conference men's basketball game at the Carrier Dome.

"I was able to sneak behind the defense and get open," said Joseph about the game-winning shot. "Scoop (Jardine) did a great job of finding me and I knocked the shot down."

Joseph, who went just 2-for-6 from long-range in the first half, went 4-for-5 in the second, tallied 17 points and helped propel his head coach, Jim Boeheim, to career-victory No. 880, allowing him to leapfrog former North Carolina head coach Dean Smith for third-place on the all-time Division I list.

"Its a good feeling," said Joseph about winning a close battle that featured him hitting the game-winner. "You watch the games as a kid and you see it happen all the time. You never know if you're going to face that situation, so its fun and I am happy I made the shot."

However, everything wasn't all smiles for Boeheim, who wasn't too pleased about his team's overall performance, especially their rebounding.

"This was a disaster game as far as I am concerned," said Boeheim who's team was outrebounded by Georgetown, 52-35, yet, still managed to pull off a close victory. "This is very disappointing at this stage of the year."

"Right now, I don't think we're a good basketball team because we can't rebound."

Trailing 31-27 at halftime, the Orange (24-1, 11-1 Big East) used a small 6-0 run at the start of the second half to take its first lead, 35-31, since a 12-11 advantage 7:41 into the game.

From there, it was a classic, back-and-forth tussle between the long-time Big East rivals, as the lead changed hands five times and regulation ended in a 55-55 tie.

In the extra five minutes, the lead change three more times until Joseph's 3-ball came off a perfect pass from Jardine, who finished the night with eight assists, six of them coming in the second half.

"Kris bailed us out," said Boeheim. "We didn't look comfortable shooting the ball. We really struggled offensively."

Sophomore center Fab Melo tallied 11 points, seven rebounds and six blocks for the Orange, who earned their fourth straight victory. Sophomore guard Dion Waiters chipped in with nine points and five rebounds, while sophomore forward C.J. Fair added five points, nine rebounds and two blocks.

Meanwhile, despite their best efforts the Hoyas (18-5, 8-4) fell just short of pulling off the road upset.

"To have a terrific night and we had some type of breakdown, some type of miscommunication, I am not sure exactly what, but he ended up wide open," said Georgetown head coach John Thompson III about Joseph's game-ender.

"Yes, it's disappointing."

Freshman forward Otto Porter finished with a team-best 14 points and 13 rebounds for the Hoyas, while senior guard Jason Clark netted 12 points, including a big 3-point shot that came with 1:36 to go in regulation and gave Georgetown a brief 55-54 lead.

The Hoyas sent the game into an extra session when freshman forward Greg Whittington made 1 of 2 free throws with 1:00 to go.

Syracuse had shot to win the game in regulation, but a Waiters' possible game-ender fell just short.

For more on this game Syracuse vs. Georgetown, check back to this StoryStream.

Check out, the SB Nation's blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician to discuss everything on the Orange, while the Casual Hoya is all about Georgetown. Make sure to follow along on Twitter at SBNationNY or JaredSmithCNY, as we blog live from the Carrier Dome for Syracuse vs. Georgetown Wednesday night.

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Syracuse Vs. Georgetown Final Score: No. 2 Orange Edge No. 12 Hoyas, 64-61, In Overtime

Kris Jospeh scored a game-high 29 points, including the game-winning 3-pointer with 26 second remaining in overtime to help the No. 2 Syracuse Orange clip No. 12 Georgetown Hoyas 64-61 in a Big East Conference men's basketball game at the Carrier Dome.

Joseph netted 17 of his season-high points total in a second half that saw him shoot 4-for-5 from behind the 3-point line. Sophomore center Fab Melo added 11 points, seven rebounds and six blocks for the Orange, helping head coach Jim Boeheim earn his 880th-career victory and surpass former North Carolina Tar Heels head coach Dean Smith on the all-time Division I coaches list.

Freshman forward Otto Porter scored a game-best 14 points for the Hoyas, who led 31-27 at halftime.

For more on this game Syracuse vs. Georgetown, check back to this StoryStream.

Check out, the SB Nation's blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician to discuss everything on the Orange, while the Casual Hoya is all about Georgetown. Make sure to follow along on Twitter at SBNationNY or JaredSmithCNY, as we blog live from the Carrier Dome for Syracuse vs. Georgetown Wednesday night.

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Syracuse Vs. Georgetown Halftime Score: No. 12 Hoyas Lead No. 2 Orange, 31-27

Junior forward Hollis Thompson has netted a team-best eight points and collected a game-best five rebounds to help the No. 12-ranked Georgetown Hoyas take a 31-27 halftime lead on the Syracuse Orange in a Big East Conference men's basketball game at the Carrier Dome. Behind Thompson effort and an astonishing rebound deferential of 26-16 over Syracuse, the Hoyas are on the verge of an upset.

Senior forward Kris Joseph has netted a game-best 12 points for Syracuse, which began the game just 1-for-7 from the floor and ended the half 9-for-31 (29.0-percent). Sophomore center Fab Melo has added 4 and collected five rebounds -- he's just one of two players that collected more than one rebound for SU.

Meanwhile, sophomore guard Markel Starks seven points for the Hoyas, while senior guard Jason Clark has six. Overall, Georgetown shot 39.4-percent from the floor and just 3-for-13 from behind the 3-point line.

For more on Syracuse Basketball, check back to this StoryStream. Check out, the SB Nation's blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician to discuss everything on the Orange, while the Casual Hoya is all about Georgetown. Make sure to follow along on Twitter at SBNationNY or JaredSmithCNY, as we blog live from the Carrier Dome for Syracuse vs. Georgetown Wednesday night.

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Syracuse Vs. Georgetown: No. 2 Orange Host No. 12 Hoyas As Jim Boeheim Could Pass Dean Smith

Jim Boeheim is not going to like it but all eyes will be on him Wednesday night, as his No. 2-ranked Syracuse Orange host No. 12 Georgetown Hoyas in a Big East Conference men's basketball game (7 p.m. on ESPNU) at the Carrier Dome. The Orange (23-1, 10-1 Big East) will be trying to help their head coach earn his 880th-career victory and surpass former North Carolina Tar Heels head coach Dean Smith for third all-time on the Division I victory list.

So far, during arguably one of Boeheim's greatest regular seasons to date, the man who has spent 36 seasons coaching in Syracuse has leapfrogged former Kentucky Wildcats headman Adolph Rupp and is currently just 23 victories behind Bobby Knight.

Syracuse will be looking to extended its current win streak to four games after falling for the first and only time this season at the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Jan. 21.

Since then, the Orange have knocked off the Cincinnati Bearcats, 60-53, West Virginia Mountaineers, 63-61, and St. John's Red Storm, 95-70, respectively. The solid bounce back has helped first-place Syracuse earn a commanding two-game lead in the Big East standings, which is 2 1/2-games ahead of third-place Georgetown.


Final Score: Syracuse Routs St. John's, 95-70


In Saturday's victory over the Red Storm, the Orange welcomed the return of sophomore center Fab Melo, who had missed the previous three contests because of an academic issue that stemmed from the first semester -- Melo's issue has been resolved and he should be cleared to play for the remainder of the regular and postseason.

In his return, Melo netted a collegiate-best 14 points while tallying three rebounds and two blocks. Sophomores, guard Dion Waiters and forward C.J. Fair, led all SU scorers with 14 points, while senior forward Kris Joseph chipped in with 13 and seven rebounds in the rout.

Meanwhile, the Hoyas (18-4, 8-3) is coming off a solid back-to-back victories over the South Florida Bulls, 75-45, and the Connecticut Huskies, 58-44.


Syracuse Basketball (Video): Michael Carter-Williams Dunk Over Gods'gift Achiuwa


Georgetown, which was picked to finish in 10th place in the preseason coaches poll, has collected wins in five of their last six games. A victory Wednesday, could help the Hoyas make a late-run at the Orange for the top spot in the conference, as their schedule's toughness eases up a bit, while SU's gets harder.

Overall, senior guard Jason Clark is averaging a team-best 15.0 ppg and shooting a scorching 50-percent from the field, while junior forward Hollis Thompson is second-best with13.7 ppg.

As of late, senior center Henry Sims has been outstanding averaging 12.8 ppg, 6.8 rebounds per game, 3.4 assists per game and 1.6 blocks per game in the Hoyas' last five games. Sims is also the only player in the Big East in the top 15 in assists and blocker per game.

The Hoyas enter the game winning two of the last three against the Orange, who are 9-point favorites.

For more on Syracuse Basketball, check back to this StoryStream. Check out, the SB Nation's blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician to discuss everything on the Orange, while the Casual Hoya is all about Georgetown.

Make sure to follow along on Twitter at SBNationNY or JaredSmithCNY, as we blog live from the Carrier Dome for Syracuse vs. Georgetown Wednesday night.

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Syracuse Basketball Vs. St. John's: Michael Carter-Williams Dunk Over God'sgift Achiuwa

The No. 2-ranked Syracuse Orange cruised past the St. John's Red Storm Saturday, 90-75, in a Big East Conference men's basketball game at Madison Square Garden. The Orange (23-1, 10-1 Big East) were propelled by five players scoring in double-digits, led by sophomore guard Dion Waiters and sophomore center Fab Melo who each tallied 14 points.

Also chipping in was freshman point guard Michael Cater-Williams who netted in a collegiate-best 13 points, which included two 3-pointers in the first half that helped Syracuse take its first double-digit lead. However, Cart-Williams highlight of the game was this thunderous dunk over St. John's junior forward God'sgift Achiuwa, who stands 6-foot-8.

Michael Carter-Williams (via ericmandelkern)

Wow. I have a feeling that come the end of Carter-Williams collegiate playing day this will be one of those plays on the video highlight reel.

For more on Syracuse Basketball, check back to this StoryStream. Check out, the SB Nation's blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician to discuss everything on the Orange, while Rumble In The Garden is all about the Johnnies. If you're a college basketball nut, well, SB Nation's college basketball hub will solve your hoops cravings.

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Syracuse Basketball vs. St. John's Video Highlights: Dunks, Alley-Oops, Dion Waiters Slam

The No. 2-ranked Syracuse Orange cruised past the St. John's Red Storm Saturday, 90-75, in a Big East Conference men's basketball game at Madison Square Garden. The Orange (23-1, 10-1 Big East) trailed 7-2 early but used multiple double-digit runs, which included a lot of dunks, alley-oops and more dunks to help claim their third straight victory. The win also helped SU head coach Jim Boeheim collect his 879th career, a mark tying him with legendary North Carolina Tar Heels head coach Dean Smith for third all-time on the Division I list.

Here's the ESPN video highlights featuring Kris Joseph, Fab Melo and Dion Waiters via YouTube.

Boeheim Moves Into 3rd Place On All-Time Wins List (via ESPN)

For more on Syracuse Basketball, check back to this StoryStream. Check out, the SB Nation's blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician to discuss everything on the Orange, while Rumble In The Garden is all about the Johnnies. If you're a college basketball nut, well, SB Nation's college basketball hub will solve your hoops cravings.

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St. John's Vs. Syracuse Final Score: No. 2 Orange Rout Red Storm, 95-70, In Fab Melo's Return

The return of Fab Melo was great news but it was better on the court Saturday. The sophomore center netted a team and collegiate-best 14 points and was one of five players for the No. 2-ranked Syracuse Orange to score in double figures and help SU rout the St. John's Red Storm, 95-70, in a Big East Conference men's baksetball game at Madison Square Garden.

Melo, who also collected three rebounds and posted two blocks, helped his head coach, Jim Boeheim, earn his 879th victory and tie with former North Carolina Tar Heels head coach Dean Smith for third on the all-time Division I list.

"It's great, it's a great honor but we're still focused on getting to the next game," said Boeheim after the game.

Senior forward Kris Joseph chipped in with 13 points and and collected a team-best eight rebounds for the Orange (23-1, 10-1 Big East), who trailed 7-2 in the games' first 4 minutes, 17 seconds but used a 10-0 run to gain a lead they would never lose.

Syracuse used a 14-3 run midway through the first half to push its lead to double-digits and then used a 15-0 run, which began at the end of the first half and extended into the early part of the second, to earn a 48-27 lead with 18:32 to play in the game.

"I thought Kris Joseph was very active tonight," said Boeheim, "the most active he's been all year."

Sophomore guard Dion Waiters added a team-best 14 points as did sophomore forward C.J. Fair. Meanwhile, freshman point guard Michael Carter-Williams added a collegiate-best 13 points, which featured two first-half 3-pointer that helped SU earn its first double-digit lead; and a thunderous dunk over St. John's junior forward God'sgift Achiuwa (6-foot-8) which gave Syracuse a 68-46 lead with 9:33 left in the game.

"I thought we did a better job on the boards than we have been," said Boeheim, who's team outrebounded St. John's 38-25. "Our ball movement was good the whole game."

Freshman point guard D'Angelo Harrison tallied a game-best 23 points for St. John's, while freshmen guards Moe Harkless netted 15 points and Phil Greene had 14.

After missing its first five shots of the game, Syracuse finished 39-for-70 (55.7-percent) and 7-for-20 (35.0-percent) from behind the 3-point arc.

St. John's was held to 40.4-percent (23 of 57) from the field and fell to Syracuse for the seventh straight time.

For more on Syracuse Basketball, check back to this StoryStream. Check out, the SB Nation's blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician to discuss everything on the Orange, while Rumble In The Garden is all about the Johnnies. If you're a college basketball nut, well, SB Nation's college basketball hub will solve your hoops cravings.

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St. John's Vs. Syracuse Halftime Score: No. 2 Orange Lead Red Storm, 41-27

Senior forward Kris Joseph has tallied nine points and six rebounds to help the No. 2-ranked Syracuse Orange lead the St. John's Red Storm, 41-27, at halftime of a Big East Conference men's basketball game at Madison Square Garden. The Orange (22-1, 9-1 Big East) are trying to help head coach Jim Boeheim tie former North Carolina Tar Heels head coach, Dean Smith, for third place on the all-time Division I wins list (789).

The Orange missed its first five shot of the game and trailed 7-2 just 4:17 into the contest. However, Syracuse answered with a 10-0 run, which included baskets from five different players, to take a 12-7 lead with 13:10 to play in the half.

From there, the Orange used a 14-3 run, which featured a pair of 3-pointer from freshman guard Michael Carter-Williams, to take a 28-17 lead with 9:33 remaining. The Johnnies did a good job of hanging in the game during the closing minutes, but did not get any closer than eight points.

Overall, Syracuse outrebounded St. John's, 24-10, and shot 46.9-pecent (15-for-32) from the field.

Sophomore center Fab Melo tallied six points, two rebounds and two block in his returning minutes after missing the last three games because of an academic issue. Junior forward C.J. Fair netted six points and collected two rebounds, while Carter-Williams finished with six and added an assist.

Freshman Phil Greene and Moe Harkless each have netted at team-best seven points for St. John's, which has dropped six straight to Syracuse.

For more on Syracuse Basketball, check back to this StoryStream. Check out, the SB Nation's blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician to discuss everything on the Orange, while Rumble In The Garden is all about the Johnnies. If you're a college basketball nut, well, SB Nation's college basketball hub will solve your hoops cravings.

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Syracuse Basketball Game Notes Vs. St. John's: Scoop Jardine, Kris Joseph, C.J. Fair, James Southerland

On Friday, I had some time on my hands so I decided to pull out some Syracuse basketball stat sheets and break them down like Sherklock Holmes does to a mystery case. I tweeted these findings Friday but I figured I'd share this info with readers who do not use Twitter or don't follow me.


Preview: St. John's Vs. Syracuse: No. 2 Orange Visit Red Storm, MSG For Big East Showdown


Lately, Scoop Jardine Has Been Fantastic

The idea of breaking down the stat sheet came with two thoughts: First, I wanted to see how different SU was without sophomore center Fab Melo in the line up; and second, figure out how good Jardine has been in the last four games.

Well, I found out that Jardine has been "tremendous", as he's compiled an assist to turnover ratio of staggering 4.7. To put that number in perspective, the Big East leader in assist to turnover ratio is Notre Dame's guard Jerian Grant, who's at 2.9.

In the last four games, Jardine has averaged 9.2 points per game, 7.0 assists per game and 1.5 turnovers per game.

Syracuse's 3-Point Shooting No Existent

Lately, the Orange has been terrible from 3-point range, however, no SU players have been as bad as senior forward Kris Joseph and junior forward James Southerland, who have combined to go 5-for-33 (15.1-percent) in the last four games.

During that span, Joseph's 3-point percentage is 11.8-percent (2-for-17) while Southerland is making just 18.8-percent (3-for-16).

Who's To Blame For Rebounding Woes?

Also, during the last four games Syracuse has struggled rebounding the ball. Now, this has been an issue for the Orange all season long, but recently it has reached noticeable levels.

It is easy to blame the absence of Melo, but I wanted to know who hasn't been stepping up to fill the void. Well, I think I found the player(s).

In SU's first 19 games, Player A averaged .21 rebounds per playing-minutes; Player B (.20) and Player C (.16).

In SU's last four games, Player B (.19), Player A (.18) and Player C (.14).

Key: Player A is sophomore forward C.J. Fair; Player B is Southerland; Player C is Kris Joseph.

For Fair, that's a huge drop off in production as his playing minutes increased during Melo's absence. Joseph's production dropped too, while Southerland's went up.

For more on Syracuse Basketball, check back to this StoryStream. Check out, the SB Nation's blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician to discuss everything on the Orange, while Rumble In The Garden is all about the Johnnies. If you're a college basketball nut, well, SB Nation's college basketball hub will solve your hoops cravings.

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Fab Melo's Return: Start'em? Sit'em? Who Cares!

Feb Melo, the sophomore center for the No. 2-ranked Syracuse Orange, will return to the lineup Saturday, as the Orange visit the St. John's Red Storm in a Big East Conference men's basketball game at Madison Square Garden (noon on ESPN).

The Orange (22-1, 9-1 Big East) have been without the Big East's leading shot blocker (3.0 per game) and their top rebouder (5.7 per game) for the last three games, because of an academic issue that stemmed from the first semester, and now every Syracuse basketball fan is thrilled for his return.

However, the water-cooler conversation has switched from "will Melo ever be back?" to "will Melo start Saturday?".

"We’ll see how things go,’’ Boeheim told the The Post-Standard's Mike Waters Thursday when asked if the 7-footer will be in the starting five. "We’ll see how things go the next couple of days. I probably won’t decide for sure until Saturday. We’ll see.’’

Now, I am not bashing Waters for asking the question -- because I am pretty sure he doesn't care (he's just a good reporter that needs to ask the question) -- but I am astonished about how many Orange fans care about this topic. Haven't you learned anything about Boeheim of the past, oh, 36 seasons?

First, starting lineups mean nothing to him, as proof by Melo starting over half the games last season and freshman forward Rakeem Christmas starting this season; and second: you really think Melo will not start after practicing with the Orange for the past two weeks?

Somebody did Tweet at me earlier this week, stating that Boeheim would sit Melo to make a point -- basically saying, "don't let this happen again". However, do you really think Melo cares? Because he's going to play regardless and what would that really prove anyway?

My advise to Syracuse fans is stop looking for something to nitpick because this seems to be the case with a lot of you during the course of this great season. Enjoy the ride, and enjoy Melo back in the lineup regardless of where or when plays.

For more on Syracuse Basketball, check back to this StoryStream. Check out, the SB Nation's blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician to discuss everything on the Orange, while Rumble In The Garden is all about the Johnnies. If you're a college basketball nut, well, SB Nation's college basketball hub will solve your hoops cravings.

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St. John's Vs. Syracuse: No. 2 Orange Visit Red Storm, MSG For Big East Showdown

The No. 2-ranked Syracuse Orange's sophomore center Fab Melo will return to the lineup Saturday, while his head coach Jim Boeheim looks to chase down a legend, as SU visits the St. John's Red Storm in a Big East Conference men's basketball game at Madison Square Garden in New York, N.Y. (noon on ESPN).

The Orange (22-1, 9-1 Big East) went 2-1 overall without their inside presence, Melo, who missed Syracuse's last three games to take care of an academic issue from the first semester, while Boeheim looks to tie former North Carolina Tar Heels coach Dean Smith for third place on the all-time Division I men's basketball victories list (879).

Since defeating the West Virginia Mountaineers, 63-61, last Saturday, the Orange haven't played in a week. Syracuse used that time to get Melo back and to get ready for its upcoming schedule that features St. John's, and then hosting the No. 14-ranked Georgetown Hoyas, Wednesday, and Connecticut Huskies, next Saturday.

Currently, senior forward Kris Joseph leads SU in scoring with 13.7 point per game, while sophomore guard Dion Watiers is second-best netting 12.3 ppg coming off the bench. Melo returns to the lineup and is SU's leading rebounder (5.7 per game) and shot blocker (3.0 per game), while senior point guard Scoop Jardine is the Orange's best passer (5.0 assists per game).

In the last four games, Jardine has been fantastic compiling a assists to turnover ration of a staggering 4.7. The Big East leader, Notre Dame's Jerian Grant, assists to turnover ratio is 2.92.

Meanwhile, for the fourth straight game St. John's will feature a starting lineup that has five freshman. The "Fresh Five" are currently 2-1 overall, including a victories over the West Virginia Mountaineers, Jan. 25, and Monday at the DePaul Blue Demons.

Last Saturday, the "Fresh Five", which consists of guards Phil Greene and D'Angelo Harrison, forwards Moe Harkless and Sir'Dominic Pointer and insideman Amir Garrett, nearly completed a 22-point comeback in a loss to visiting No. 8-ranked Duke Blue Devils.

Currently, Harrison paces St. John's in scoring averaging 16.2 ppg, while Harkless is second-best netting 15.9 ppg. The duo has been impressive scorers this season for the Johnnies, as Harrison netted 29 points in Monday's victory, while Harkless has compiled two 30-plus point games, one of them coming against Duke.

Inside, the Red Storm will feature Garrett, a blue-chip prospect who joined the team in December, and JUCO transfer God'sgift Achiuwa. However, Harkless is the team's leading rebounder averaging 8.7 rebounds per game, while Achiuwa is collecting 6.0 per game.

Syracuse, which has won the last six games against St. John's, enters the game as 13-point favorites.

For more on Syracuse Basketball, check back to this StoryStream. Check out, the SB Nation's blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician to discuss everything on the Orange, while Rumble In The Garden is all about the Johnnies. If you're a college basketball nut, well, SB Nation's college basketball hub will solve your hoops cravings.

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Syracuse Basketball: Fab Melo Officially Reinstated; Will Play At St. John's Saturday

Its official. Fab Melo, the starting sophomore center for the No. 2-ranked Syracuse Orange men's basketball program has been reinstated, says a press release by the Syracuse University Athletic Department. Fabricio Melo (7-foot-0, 244 pounds) had missed the Orange's past three games due to an unresolved academic issue from the first semester, but will play Saturday (noon on ESPN) against the St. John's Red Storm at Madison Square Garden. Because of private federal laws, the university will not disclose anymore information.

Melo's return to the lineup adds the Big East Conference's leading shot blocker (3.0 per game) and Syracuse's best rebounder (5.7 per game). During the course of Syracuse's school record 20-0 start, Melo was the anchor in the Orange's 2-3 zone defense, but since his absence the Orange went 2-1 and struggled on the boards being outrebounded 118-86.

The Orange (22-1, 9-1 Big East) were also killed by opposing Big East bigmen, which all combined to average 17.7 ppg and 9.3 rpg.


Syracuse Basketball Notebook 1.30.12: Fab Melo, Rakeem Christmas, Pulling Away From The Big East


The addition of Melo to the starting lineup will push freshman forward Rakeem Christmas to his normal power forward starting position. The past three games, Christmas started at center, while sophomore C.J. Fair started at power forward.

Last season, Melo entered as the top-ranked center prospect, a McDonald's All-American, the Big East's Preseason Rookie of the Year honor and struggled to fulfill high expectations after averaging 2.9 ppg and 1.9 rpg. Melo did start in 24 of SU's 32 games, but averaged just 9.9 minutes per game.

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Syracuse Basketball Recruiting 2012: Nerlens Noel Reclassifying

Nerlens Noel, the No. 3-ranked prospect by Rivals, has decided to reclassify from the Class of 2013 to '12, reported ESPNU's Dave Telep Wednesday. The move will allow Noel, who currently plays at The Tilton School in Tilton, N.H., to play college basketball next Fall and quicken his recruitment, which features top-hoop schools such as: Syracuse, UConn, Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina, Georgetown, Florida, and hometown Providence.

"I just thought over the season that I thought I was getting a higher level of competition and was working on my game," Noel said. "I reclassified because I was hurt but I feel like I'm ready to play at the next level."

Noel (6-foot-10, 200 pounds) will make his official visit to Syracuse on Feb. 11, the same day the No. 2-ranked Orange (22-1, 9-1 Big East) host the Connecticut Huskies (1 p.m. on CBS) in a Big East Conference contest at the Carrier Dome. Reportedly, there has already been over 30,000 tickets sold for the event.

However, Noel's reclassification does cause an issue for Syracuse's recruitment for Noel because already verbally committed for next year is local-center prospect DeJuan Coleman, the No. 3-rated center by Rivals, and forward Jerami Grant, a four-star prospect. Add Coleman (6-foot-8, 280 pounds) and Grant (6-foot-8, 200 pounds) to a '12-13 front court that could feature junior centers Fab Melo and Baye Moussa Keita, and sophomore Rakeem Christmas and there will be an odd man out when it comes to playing time if Noel commits to SU.

A spot could open up if Melo decides to test the 2012 NBA Draft waters or one of the other three bigmen are redshirted or decide to transfer -- all scenarios are unlikely.

The signing period for basketball recruits begin in April.

Nerlens Noel ESPN's #2 Player in 2013 - LeBron James Skills Academy 2011 (via CityLeagueHoopsTV)

For more on Syracuse basketball recruiting, check back to this StoryStream. Meanwhile, the SB Nation blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician is all about the Orange. If you're a college basketball nut, well, SB Nation's college basketball hub will solve your hoops cravings.

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Syracuse Basketball Notebook 1.30.12: Fab Melo, Rakeem Christmas, Pulling Away From The Big East Pack

The No. 2-ranked Syracuse Orange men's basketball team have a few days off before they travel to New York to face St. John's on Saturday. Here's a few topics Orange fans will be discussing during that time off.

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Fab Melo Status: Jim Boeheim, 'We're Hopeful This Week We Find Out'

For the second time in three games Saturday, the No. 3-ranked Syracuse Orange men's basketball team were able to pull out a close victory without their starting center, Fab Melo, as they edged the West Virginia Mountaineers, 63-61, in a Big East Conference game at the Carrier Dome. The Orange (22-1, 9-1 Big East) are now 2-1 without the 7-footer, who is currently dealing with an unresolved acedemic issue that happened in the first semester.

After Syracuse's somewhat controversial victory, the Orange's head coach, Jim Boeheim, briefly addressed the status of Fabricio Melo.

"He's working through his issue, we're hopeful this week we find out," said Boeheim about Melo near the tail end of his post-game press conference. "We will see. We will see what happens."

For the second time in three games, the Orange were badly outrebounded by their opponent, as the Mountaineers collected 41 board to SU's 20. Last Saturday, against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, which handed Syracuse its first loss of the season, 67-58, the Orange were outrebounded 34-21. On Monday, SU slightly outrebounded Cincinnati Bearcats, 36-35, in a 60-53 road victory.

However, with or without Melo, rebounding has been an issue for Syracuse, which entered Saturday's game ranked 11 out of 16 teams in the Big East in rebound margin (plus-0.6).

"We had just enough on offense to make up for the fact that they'd miss and get it back, miss and get it back and finally score," said Boeheim who was adamant that Melo's absence had little to do with SU's rebounding issues. "It's really about our guards and forwards doing a better job of rebounding the ball."

Syracuse's junior guard Brandon Triche, who netted a team-best 18 points, including two game-winning free throws with 1:28 to play Saturday, agreed.

"(When) Fab (Melo is) down there he usually controls it a little bit more than the other guys," said Triche."A lot of the balls were on the foul line or under the foul line and those are rebounds the guards should get."

The absence of Melo, who currently leads the Big East in block shots per game (3.0), also hasn't really hurt Syracuse's shot-blocking ability either, as the Orange have averaged 5.0 blocked shots per game without him, while with him they were averaging about 7.5 bpg -- SU tallied just two blocks in its loss to Notre Dame.

On Saturday, Melo was dressed in street clothes and sat on the bench, as sophomore forward C.J. Fair started his third straight game. Fair ended the contest with seven points, three rebounds and three steals, while reserve center, sophomore Baye Moussa Keita, tallied four points, four rebounds and three blocks.

SU's starting center, freshman Rakeem Christmas, struggled posting no points, grabbing just one rebound and fouled out in 14-playing minutes.

For more Fab Melo, check back to this StoryStream. Check out, the SB Nation's blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician to discuss it. If you're a college basketball nut, well, SB Nation's college basketball hub will solve your hoops cravings.

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Syracuse Vs. West Virginia (Video): Non-Goaltend Call Cost Mountaineers Overtime

The No. 3-ranked Syracuse Orange edged the West Virginia Mountaineers, 63-61, Saturday in a Big East Conference game at the Carrier Dome. The close victory didn't come without controversy, however, as a non-goaltend call on junior forward Deniz Kilicli's game-tying shot with eight seconds remaining cost the Mountaineers a tie ballgame and possible overtime.

(via Breakroombuzz)

"It's inexcusable. It's inexcusable. My kids played their hearts out,' said West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins on his post-game show. "I've done this a long time, and I've never won a game when they didn't call a goaltend on us."

Kilicli also thought the call was obvious.

“It was pretty obvious to us that it was goaltending,” Kilicli said after the game. “We had other chances too, but that was costly.”

The Mountaineers (15-7, 5-4) had another chance to tie the game after Syracuse's senior forward Kris Joseph turned the ball over, but WVU's senior forward Kevin Jones couldn't connect on a game-winning 3-pointer as time expired.

"Baye (Moussa Keita) made an incredible play, an incredible questionable play, but we got a win based on that play," said Syracuse junior guard Brandon Triche, who netted a team-best 18 points including the game-winning points at the free-throw line with 1:28 to go.

SB Nation New York is blogged live from press row at the Carrier Dome for the Syracuse vs. West Virginia Big East showdown. Be sure to check back to this StoryStream for post-game comments from SU head coach Jim Boeheim. For more on the Orange, visit the SB Nation blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician, while The Smoking Musket everything on the Mountaineers. Make sure to follow along on Twitter at SBNationNY or JaredSmithCNY.

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Syracuse Vs. West Virginia Final Score: No. 3 Orange Edge Mountaineers, 63-61

Behind a team-best 18 points from junior guard Brandon Triche, the No. 3-ranked Syracuse Orange held off West Virginia, 63-61, in a Big East Conference men's basketball game. The Orange (22-1, 9-1 Big East) were outrebounded 41-20 and made just four of their 20 3-point shots, but outlasted the Mountaineers (15-7, 5-4) for their second straight victory without starting center Fab Melo.

"We're going to get beat on the boards a little bit but we need to make some of those shots," said Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim after the game. "The difference in the game was our defense stopped them a couple times when we had to and we made some free throws.

With the game tied 61-61 with 1:28 to go, Triche nailed two free throws to help give Syracuse a 63-61 lead -- SU made their last five from the charity stripe.

The Mountaineers had two solid chances to tie, but a goaltend-call on a Deniz Kilicli put-back with :08 remaining was not made and senior forward Kevin Jones failed to make a buzzer-beating 3-pointer, as WVU dropped its second straight game.


Video: Non-Goaltend Call Cost Mountaineers Overtime


"It's inexcusable. It's inexcusable. My kids played their hearts out,' said West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins on his post-game show. "I've done this a long time, and I've never won a game when they didn't call a goaltend on us."

Jones finished with a game-best 20 points and added eight rebounds, while Kilicli added five and five.

Senior forward Kris Joseph finished with 13 points, including a huge rebound and put-back that led to an old fashion 3-point play, which gave SU a 59-56 lead with 3:06 remaining. Joseph also collected seven rebounds and two blocks.

Overall, the Orange defense forced 17 turnovers, including nabbing 17 steals, and held West Virginia to just 40.7-percent shooting.

SB Nation New York is blogged live from press row at the Carrier Dome for the Syracuse vs. West Virginia Big East showdown. Be sure to check back to this StoryStream for post-game comments from SU head coach Jim Boeheim. For more on the Orange, visit the SB Nation blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician, while The Smoking Musket everything on the Mountaineers. Make sure to follow along on Twitter at SBNationNY or JaredSmithCNY.

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Syracuse Vs. West Virginia Halftime Score: No. 3 Orange Lead Mountaineers, 28-24

Despite senior forward Kevin Jones netting a game-best 11 points, the West Virginia Mountaineers trail at halftime, 28-24, against the No. 3-ranked Syracuse Orange in a Big East Conference game at the Carrier Dome. The Orange (21-1, 8-1 Big East) used a 12-2 run at the end of the half to take the one-point lead into the locker room.

Syracuse trailed 22-16 with about 5 1/2 minutes to go in the half, but got a four points from each junior guard Brandon Triche and Kris Joseph and a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from senior point guard Scoop Jardine to take a four-point lead heading into halftime.

Jardine finished the half with seven points, while Triche added six, Joseph tallied four as Syracuse went just 2-for-11 from behind the 3-point arc.

The Mountaineers (15-6, 5-3 Big East) opened the game with a 13-7 lead just about five minutes into the game, as they made five of their first eight shots and snagged seven rebounds to SU's one.

SB Nation New York is blogging live from press row at the Carrier Dome for the Syracuse vs. West Virginia's Big East showdown. Be sure to check back to this StoryStream for post-game comments from SU head coach Jim Boeheim. For more on the Orange, visit the SB Nation blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician, while The Smoking Musket everything on the Mountaineers. Make sure to follow along on Twitter at SBNationNY or JaredSmithCNY.

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Fab Melo Status Vs. West Virginia: Syracuse Center In Street Clothes; Will Not Play Saturday

It's official, at least, for now. The No. 3-ranked Syracuse Orange men's basketball program will be without sophomore center Fab Melo Saturday for their Big East Conference men's basketball game against visiting West Virginia Mountaineers. Fabricio Melo is trying to clear up an unresolved academic issue that happened in the first semester. It's still unclear what the exact issue is.

Melo is at the Carrier Dome, however, in street clothes but will not play and did not warm up with the Orange. For the third straight game, sophomore forward C.J. Fair will start in his place.

Melo (7-foot-0, 244-pounds) currently leads the Big East Conference in blocked shots (3.0 per game) and Syracuse in rebounding (5.7 per game). During the course of Syracuse's school record 20-0 start, Melo was the anchor in the Orange's 2-3 zone defense.

With the loss of Melo, the Orange (21-1, 8-1 Big East) will now turn to Fair, freshman forward Rakeem Christmas, backup center Baye Keita and junior forward James Southerland to be the replacements for Melo.

On Monday, without its starting center, Syracuse earned a solid road victory at the Cincinnati Bearcats, 60-53. Christmas played his best collegiate game tallying nine rebounds, three blocks and added four blocks, while Southerland provided a solid spark off the bench collecting seven rebounds and seven points.

However, in the Orange's first loss of the season Saturday, 67-58, against host Notre Dame, SU really struggled inside as Irish junior forward Jack Cooley tallied 17 points and 10 rebounds. The Orange were also outrebounded 32 to 34.

Last season, Melo, who entered the 2010-11 season as the top-ranked center prospect, a McDonald's All-American, the Big East's Preseason Rookie of the Year honor, struggled and failed to fulfill high expectations after averaging 2.9 ppg and 1.9 rpg. Melo did start in 24 of SU's 32 games, but averaged just 9.9 minutes per game.

For more Fab Melo being out, check back to this StoryStream. Check out, the SB Nation's blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician to discuss it. If you're a college basketball nut, well, SB Nation's college basketball hub will solve your hoops cravings.

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Syracuse Vs. West Virginia: No. 3 Orange Host Mountaineers In Big East Showdown

The No. 3-ranked Syracuse Orange will try, again, to reassure their fan base that not one player's absence will make or break their chances at a national title Saturday, as they host the West Virginia Mountaineers in a Big East Conference men's basketball game at the Carrier Dome (1 p.m. on ESPNU). Syracuse (21-1, 8-1 Big East) will reportedly be without sophomore center Fab Melo for the third consecutive game, as he tries to straighten out an "academic issue that happened in the first semester".

On Monday, without its starting center, SU earned a solid road victory at the Cincinnati Bearcats, 60-53. In his place, freshman Rakeem Christmas played his best collegiate game tallying nine rebounds, three blocks and added four points, while junior froward James Southerland provided a solid spark off the bench collecting seven rebounds and seven points.

However, in the Orange's first loss of the season Saturday, 67-58, against host Notre Dame, SU struggled inside as Irish junior forward Jack Cooley tallied 17 points and 10 rebounds. The Orange were also outrebounded 34 to 32.

The Orange are looking to widen their first-place gap in the Big East standings, which features them 1 1/2 games ahead of the Georgetown Hoyas and Marquette Golden Eagles, who are both 6-2 in the league. Meanwhile, West Virginia (15-6, 5-3) is currently in a fourth-place tie with three other programs.

SU's Christmas, Southerland, sophomore forward C.J. Fair and sophomore backup center Baye Moussa Keita will be all put to the test Saturday, as they will all try to contain the league's best big man, senior forward Kevin Jones. Currently, Jones is averaging a Big East-best 20.9 points per game and 11.6 rebounds per game.

This season, the 6-foot-8, 260-pound Big East Preseason First-Teamer has compiled a league-best 14 double-doubles, a Big East Player of the Week honor and in his last six games has averaged 24.2 points and 11.5 rebounds.

Meanwhile, senior guard Darryl Bryant is the team's second leading scorer with 17.4 ppg. Bryant is averaging a solid 18.4 ppg in Big East competition.

On Wednesday, West Virginia was stunned by the St. John's Red Storm, 78-62. The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the Mountaineers, who's 2-4 on the road this season.

Overall, the Mountaineers have the league's third-best rebound margin (plus-6.0), while Syracuse leads the league in scoring offense (78.0 ppg), field goal percentage (47.9), steals per game (10.3) and assist/turnover ratio (plus-1.54).

SB Nation New York will be blogging live from press row at the Carrier Dome for the Syracuse vs. West Virginia's Big East showdown. Be sure to check back to this StoryStream for post-game comments from SU head coach Jim Boeheim. For more on the Orange, visit the SB Nation blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician, while The Smoking Musket everything on the Mountaineers. Make sure to follow along on Twitter at SBNationNY or JaredSmithCNY.

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Fab Melo Watch 2012: Syracuse Basketball Fans Anxiously Wait On Center's Playing Status

Tuesday was a long day for Syracuse basketball fans, who were hoping to get the official word on sophomore center Fab Melo's playing status for Saturday's game against visiting West Virginia.

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Syracuse Basketball Vs. Cincinnati: Rakeem Christmas, Scoop Jardine, Juli Boeheim On Man-To-Man Defense

The No. 3-ranked Syracuse Orange downed host Cincinnati Bearcats, 60-53, Monday night. Here's a few notes and quotes from head coach Jim Boeheim after the Orange's bounce-back victory.

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Cincinnati Vs. Syracuse Final Score: Kris Joseph Nets 17 As No. 3 Orange Down Bearcats, 60-53

Senior forward Kris Joseph tallied 11 of his game-best 17 points in the second half to help the No. 3-ranked Syracuse Orange earn a bounce-back road victory against the Cincinnati Bearcats, 60-53, in a Big East Conference men's basketball game at the Fifth Third Arena. Senior point guard Scoop Jardine added 13 points, which included a huge 3-pointer with 1:51 remaining in the game that gave SU a 59-48 lead and cemented the victory.

The result gave Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim his 877th-carrer victory and helped him surpass former Kentucky Wildcats head coach Adolph Rupp for fourth all-time on the Division I coaches list.

"I think this is one of my best wins I've coached at Syracuse," Boeheim told SU play-by-play broadcaster Matt Park after the game.

"The other night everybody played bad," Boeheim also told Park. "Today, everybody played well."

Syracuse's freshman forward Rakeem Christmas chipped in with nine rebounds, three blocks and four points, as he replaced sophomore center Fab Melo in the starting lineup. Melo did not travel with the team for its two-game, Midwest road trip to Notre Dame (Saturday) and Cincinnati because of, "an unresolved academic issue".

The Orange trailed 38-34 just 5:17 into the second half, but used a 18-6 run in the next 10 minutes to take a 54-46 advantage with 3:58 remaining. Jardine, who finished with six assists and scored 10 points in the game's final 9 1/2 minutes, put the game away with his second 3-ball of the half.

Junior guard Cashmere Wright scored a team-best 17 points for Cincinnati, which opened the contest with a 13-6 lead thanks to making four of its first five 3-pointers, including three from Wright.

Syracuse answered with a 9-0 run, which included four points from sophomore forward C.J. Fair and a old fashioned 3-point play from junior forward James Southerland, to tie the game at 19 with 12:08 to play in the first half.

Syracuse trailed 25-22 with 1:37 to go in the first half, but used four points from Joseph and a jumper from sophomore guard Dion Waiters, respectively, to take a 28-25 lead into halftime.

Senior forward Yancy Gates tallied 16 points and collected 10 rebounds for the Bearcats, while sophomore guard Sean Kilpatrick added nine and eight.

Sophomore guard Brandon Triche was the only other SU player that scored in double-digits (11), while the Orange's second-leading scorer, Waiters, tallied just two points and played very little in the second half. Southerland provided a solid spark of the bench chipping in with seven points and seven rebounds.

Despite making just 2 of 15 3-point shots, SU finished the game shooting 46.4-percent from the floor.

Meanwhile, for the first time in over a month, Cincinnati was held under a total of 10 3-pointers (eight) and was outrebounded 36 to 35.

For more on Notre Dame vs. Syracuse, check back to this StoryStream. Check out, the SB Nation's blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician for everything Orange, while Down The Drive is all about the Bearcats. For more on Big East basketball, visit the SB Nation blog Big East Coast Bias. If you're a college basketball nut, well, SB Nation's college basketball hub will solve your hoops cravings.

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Syracuse Vs. Cincinnati Halftime Score: No. 3 Orange Lead Bearcats, 28-25

Senior forward Kris Joseph has netted a team-best six points and junior forward James Southerland added five for the Syracuse Orange who lead the Cincinnati Bearcats, 28-25, at halftime of a Big East Conference men's basketball game at the Fifth Third Arena in Cincinnati, OH.

Syracuse trailed 25-22 with 1:37 to go in the half, but used four points from Joseph and a 3-pointer from sophomore guard Dion Waiters, respectively, to take a four-point advantage into halftime.

The Bearcats raced out to a quick 13-6 lead thanks to nailing four of their first five 3-point shots, including three from junior guard Cashmere Wright, who made all of them from about 24-feet out.

Syracuse answered with a 9-0 run, which included four points from sophomore forward C.J. Fair and a old fashioned 3-point play from Southerland, to tie the game at 19 with 12:08 to play.

Wright finished with a team-best nine points for Cincinnati, while senior forward Yancy Gates chipped in with six points.

For more on Notre Dame vs. Syracuse, check back to this StoryStream. Check out, the SB Nation's blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician for everything Orange, while Down The Drive is all about the Bearcats. For more on Big East basketball, visit the SB Nation blog Big East Coast Bias. If you're a college basketball nut, well, SB Nation's college basketball hub will solve your hoops cravings.

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Sean Kilpatrick Of Cincinnati Will Play Against Syracuse Despite Groin Injury

Cincinnati Bearcats sophomore guard Sean Kilpatrick hobbled off the court Saturday in the final seconds of a road-overtime loss, 77-74, at the West Virginia Mountaineers. And entering Monday's contest against the No. 3-ranked Syracuse Orange (7 p.m. on ESPN) there was some concern that Kilpatrick's health would keep him out, however, a few hours before Monday's tipoff CBSSports.com's Jeff Goodman (via Twitter) reported that the 3-point bomber will play.

As proven Saturday at the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, who nailed eight of their 16 3-pointers in an upset victory over SU, 67-58, long-range shooting is key to defeating the Orange (20-1, 7-1 Big East), who suffered their first loss of the season.

And the numbers prove that Kilpatrick, who's averaging 2.8 3-pointers per game and 17.3 points per game, is a big part of the Bearcats' long-range success -- Cincy has made over 10 3-pointers per game since Dec. 10.


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2011 - Sean Kilpatrick 20 34.2 5.6 12.7 43.7 2.8 7.1 39.4 2.1 2.8 75.0 1.6 3.1 4.7 1.5 1.7 1.6 0.4 1.3 16.0

For more on Notre Dame vs. Syracuse, check back to this StoryStream. Check out, the SB Nation's blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician for everything Orange, while Down The Drive is all about the Bearcats. For more on Big East basketball, visit the SB Nation blog Big East Coast Bias. If you're a college basketball nut, well, SB Nation's college basketball hub will solve your hoops cravings.

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Cincinnati Vs. Syracuse: No. 3 Orange Look For Rebound Victory At Bearcats

The No. 3-ranked Syracuse Orange will try to rebounded from their first loss of the season and losing their No. 1 ranking Monday, as they visit the Cincinnati Bearcats in a Big East Conference men's basketball game at Fifth Third Arena in Cincinnati, OH. Both the Orange (20-1, 7-1 Big East) and Bearcats (15-5, 5-1) are coming off Saturday losses. Syracuse had their school record 20-game winning streak snapped at the Notre Dame Fighting, 67-58, while the Bearcats (15-5, 5-1) had a three-game winning streak end at the West Virginia Mountaineers, 77-74, in overtime.

On Saturday, the Orange were without sophomore center Fab Melo who's not with the team during their two-game Midwest road trip. According to ESPN.com's Andy Katz, Melo did not make the trip because of, "unresolved academic issue from the first semester, according to a source." It is still uncertain if and when Melo will return to the starting lineup.

Melo's absence was factor in SU's loss, as the Orange were outrebounded 34 to 21 and the Irish got a collegiate-best performance from junior forward Jack Cooley, who collected 17 points and 10 rebounds in the upset victory.

Syracuse also enters Monday's contest coming off its worst shooting performance (34-percent) since Feb. of 2009 when they played at the Connecticut Huskies. Senior forward Kris Joseph is still the Orange's leading scorer averaging 13.6 points per game, while sophomore guard Dion Waiters is coming off the bench netting 13.0 ppg.

Meanwhile, the Bearcats have won three of their last four games, including victories over No. 9 Georgetown Hoyas, No. 24 UConn. On Saturday, Cincinnati was edged by host West Virginia.

Sophomore guard Sean Kilpatrick enters the game as the Bearcats leading point-getter (16.0 ppg), while senior guard Dion Dixon is second-best (13.9 ppg).

Overall, Cincinnati features a small lineup as senior forward Yancy Gates (6-foot-9) is used as their primary big man. The Bearcats, who Since Dec. 11 are averaging more than 10 made 3-pointers per game, relies heavily on the 3-point shot.

Cincinnati enters the game as 5 1/2-point underdogs.

For more on Notre Dame vs. Syracuse, check back to this StoryStream. Check out, the SB Nation's blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician for everything Orange, while Down The Drive is all about the Bearcats. For more on Big East basketball, visit the SB Nation blog Big East Coast Bias. If you're a college basketball nut, well, SB Nation's college basketball hub will solve your hoops cravings.

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Notre Dame Vs. Syracuse Final Score: No. 1 Orange Fall To Irish, 67-58

Big East Conference coaches should have been taking notes Saturday night, as the Notre Dame Fighting Irish put on a clinic on how to beat the No. 1-ranked Syracuse Orange, who was upset, 67-58, at the Joyce Center in South Bend, IN. The Irish (12-8, 4-3 Big East) nailed eight of their 16 3-pointers, outrebounded the Orange 34 to 21 and got a collegiate-best performance from junior forward Jack Cooley (17 points and 10 rebounds) to hand Syracuse its first loss of the season.

Senior guard Scott Martin added 13 points for the Irish, who knocked off a No. 1-ranked team at home for the seventh time in program history.

"We did a fabulous job of controlling tempo," said Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey after the game. "We really defended well, we got to every 50-50 ball. I am really thrilled for this group."

Junior forward James Southerland scored a team-best 15 points for the Orange (20-1, 7-1), who was missing their starting center, Fab Melo, do to "an unresolved academic issue from the first semester." SU trailed by as much as 18 points in the first half and got to within six points with with about a minute to go, but couldn't complete the comeback.

Senior forward Kris Joseph added 14 points for Syracuse, which trailed 35-23 at halftime.

Overall, Syracuse finished the game shooting just 19-for-54 (35.2-percent) from the floor and 7-for-23 from behind the 3-point line.

Meanwhile, Notre Dame shot 20-for-40 from the field, including 19 of 27 from the free throw line, while sophomore guard Jerian Grant chipped in with 11 points.

For more on Notre Dame vs. Syracuse, check back to this StoryStream. Check out, the SB Nation's blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician for everything Orange, while One Foot Down is all about the Irish. For more on Big East basketball, visit the SB Nation blog Big East Coast Bias. If you're a college basketball nut, well, SB Nation's college basketball hub will solve your hoops cravings.

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Notre Dame Vs. Syracuse Halftime Score: Irish Lead No. 1 Orange, 35-23

Behind a team-best eight points from sophomore guard Alex Dragicevich and six 3-pointers, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish have earned a 35-23 halftime lead over the No. 1-ranked Syracuse Orange in a Big East Conference men's basketball game at the Joyce Center in South Bend, IN. The Irish (11-8, 3-3 Big East) led by as much as 18 points, which is the Orange's largest deficit of the season.

Junior forward James Southerland has netted a game-best eight points off the bench for Syracuse (20-0, 7-0 Big East), while sophomore guard Dion Waiters tallied seven, including six straight near the end of the half.

Since 1968, the Irish have knocked off six a No. 1 teams at the Joyce Center.

For more on Notre Dame vs. Syracuse, check back to this StoryStream. Check out, the SB Nation's blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician for everything Orange, while One Foot Down is all about the Irish. For more on Big East basketball, visit the SB Nation blog Big East Coast Bias. If you're a college basketball nut, well, SB Nation's college basketball hub will solve your hoops cravings.

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Fab Melo Out: Syracuse's Jim Boeheim, 'We Have To Clear Some Hurdles'

Before the No. 1-ranked Syracuse Orange put their unbeaten record on the line Saturday against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (6 p.m. on ESPNU), SU's head coach Jim Boeheim addressed the recent news that starting center Fab Melo is not traveling with the team during its three-day road trip because of "an unresolved academic issue from the first semester," says ESPN's college basketball insider Andy Katz.

"It's obviously a big loss in the middle," Boeheim said to Syracuse Sports Network's Matt Park. "We're hoping that Fab can get back. We have to clear some hurdles. We feel very strongly about our team. Everybody's going to have to work a little bit harder on the boards... We'll be ready."

The absence of Melo will allow sophomore forward C.J. Fair to make first collegiate start.

Fair is one of five SU bench players that usually comes into the game and plays significant minutes. In fact, Fair is the Orange's second best rebounder (5.2 per game) -- Melo averages a team-best 5.7 rpg -- and averages the second most playing minutes of any SU player (25.5 per game).

In three of his last six games, Fair has scored in double figures. During that span, Fair is averaging 11.0 points per game.

Also, look for sophomore reserve center Baye Moussa Keita (12.3) and freshman forward Rakeem Christmas (12.1) to see more playing minutes.

For more on Fab Melo's situation, check back to this StoryStream. Check out, the SB Nation's blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician for everything Orange, while One Foot Down is all about the Irish. For more on Big East basketball, visit the SB Nation blog Big East Coast Bias. If you're a college basketball nut, well, SB Nation's college basketball hub will solve your hoops cravings.

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Mookie Jones Leaves School: Syracuse Forward Cites Family Issues As Reason For Departure

At the same time Syracuse University men's basketball fans were learning that sophomore center Fab Melo would not be with the No. 1-ranked Orange for its two-game road trip, the masses also received news about the departure of junior forward Mookie Jones, who's no longer a part of the team. According to Jones' facebook page, he cites family issues as the reason for leaving.

"I appriciate what Syracuse basketball has done for me I'm sorry to all of my fans but family is the most.important thing right now much love to everyone," said Jones on his facebook page.

The loss of Jones will be very minimal, as the 6-foot-6, 210-pound scholarship player saw playing time only during garbage minutes. However, what will be missed is his likeable attitude that made him a fan favorite among the student body.

Jones did tweet earlier in the day that he will be "back next year".

Jones did not play in SU's victory over the Pittsburgh Panthers, 71-63, Monday, but he did net 10 points last Saturday against the Providence Friars. This season, Jones played in just seven games and tallied just 20 points.

For more on Mookie Jones' departure, check back to this StoryStream. Check out, the SB Nation's blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician for everything Orange, while One Foot Down is all about the Irish. For more on Big East basketball, visit the SB Nation blog Big East Coast Bias. If you're a college basketball nut, well, SB Nation's college basketball hub will solve your hoops cravings.

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Fab Melo Out: Syracuse Center Will Miss Road Trip For 'Unresolved Academic Issues'; Mookie Jones Leaves School

The No. 1-ranked Syracuse Orange will be without sophomore center Fab Melo for the next two games, as the university released a statement Saturday afternoon saying he's not traveling with the team on its current two-game road trip -- tonight at Notre Dame Fighting Irish (6 p.m. on ESPNU) and Monday's contest at the Cincinnati Bearcats. According to ESPN's Andy Katz, Melo is being held out because of "an unresolved academic issue from the first semester."

Meanwhile, reserve junior forward Mookie Jones has left school for "personal reasons" and will not be back with the team this year. However, Jones did tweet that he will be "back next year".

This season, Melo has been one of the big reasons why SU is a perfect 20-0 and is No. 1 in the college basketball rankings. The sophomore tallied 10 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks in the Orange's Monday night victory over the Pittsburgh Panthers, 71-63. Currently, Melo ranks second in the Big East Conference in blocks per game (3.0) and leads the team in rebounding (5.7 per game).

In his absence, sophomore center Baye Moussa Keita will more than likely start in his place, while freshman forward Rakeem Christmas, who starts but usually sees minimal playing time, will get more action on the floor.

The loss of Jones is very minimal for the Orange, as the forward plays only during garbage time.

For more on Fab Melo's suspension, check back to this StoryStream. Check out, the SB Nation's blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician for everything Orange, while One Foot Down is all about the Irish. For more on Big East basketball, visit the SB Nation blog Big East Coast Bias. If you're a college basketball nut, well, SB Nation's college basketball hub will solve your hoops cravings.

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Notre Dame Vs. Syracuse: No. 1 Orange Visit Irish, Joyce Center For Big East Contest

The No. 1-ranked Syracuse Orange put their perfect 20-0 record on the line Saturday, as they visit the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at the Joyce Center (6 p.m. on ESPNU).

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Syracuse Basketball Vs. Pittsburgh: Scoop Jardine Key Leader In 71-63 Victory Over Panthers

In a game that featured two top scorers -- sophomore guard Dion Waiters (16 points) and senior forward Kris Joseph (12) -- both nailing two big 3-point shots in the closing minutes to help the No. 1-ranked Syracuse Orange defeat the Pittsburgh Panthers, 71-63, there was an unsung hero among the top performances.

Senior point guard Scoop Jardine who tallied 12 points and dished out a game-best 10 assists to collect his second double-double of the season.


Recap: No. 1 Syracuse Downs Pittsburgh, 71-63, To Earn School-Record 20th Consecutive Victory


"He was tremendous," said head coach Jim Boeheim, who earned his 867th-career victory to move into a tie with former Kentucky Wildcats head coach Adolph Rupp for fourth all-time on the Division I list.

"He is a guy who will make plays and is not afraid to make plays. When he shoots the ball well he is one of the best point guards in the league, if not the best point guard in the league."

Jardine's brilliance was highlighted during the Orange's game-opening, 13-0 run that featured the senior dishing out three assists -- an transition pass that led to a dunk by Joseph and two consecutive lobs to sophomore center Fab Melo -- and a 3-pointer, which gave SU a 11-0 advantage just 3:17 into the contest.


Feature: Scoop Jardine Is A Championship Caliber Point Guard


In the second half's first five minutes, Jardine collected a steal and seven straight points, including a jumper that helped give SU its largest lead of the game, 48-34, with 15:09 to go.

By game's end, Jardine had improved his three-game assists to turnover ratio to an impressive 24-to-4 ratio. At halftime of Monday's game, Jardine's ratio was at a perfect 15-0 during the previous three halfs. Currently, Jardine's ratio is 4.8-2.1.

"He's a leader out there," said sophomore guard Brandon Triche, who tallied 10 points and made 6 of 7 shots from the free-throw line. "He's helping a lot of the guys out and he's finding everybody. He's taking care of the ball as well, so this is something that we see in practice and you guys finally get to see it."

The Syracuse basketball schedule features the Orange putting their unblemished record on the line Saturday (6 p.m. on ESPN) at the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, who just recently had a 29-game home winning streak snapped by the Connecticut Huskies and Monday lost at the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, 65-58.

The Orange have lost five of their last seven at the Joyce Center in South Bend, IN, but have earned victories in their last two visits there.

However, if everything stays the same and Jardine's seemingly flawless leadership skills continue to shine, there should be no let down on the road -- a place where experts say the Orange need to come up big.

"We know we're getting everybody best shot," said Jardine. "So, for the most part I just try to keep our focus level. Especially, going on the road where its going to be loud. We always need to be together and be a unit."

For more on the Syracuse Vs. Notre Dame contest, check back to this StoryStream. Check out, the SB Nation's blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician for everything Orange, while One Foot Down is all about the Irish. For more on Big East basketball, visit the SB Nation blog Big East Coast Bias. If you're a college basketball nut, well, SB Nation's college basketball hub will solve your hoops cravings.

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Syracuse Vs. Pitt Final Score: No. 1 Orange Downs Panthers, 71-63 , To Earn School-Record 20th Consecutive Victory

Sophomore guard Dion Waiters scored a game-best 16 points and senior forward Kris Joseph added 12 for the No. 1-ranked Syracuse Orange men's basketball program, who Monday earned a 71-63 victory over the Pittsburgh Panthers in a Big East Conference game at the Carrier Dome.

In front of 24,826 fans, the Orange improved their unblemished record to 20-0 (7-0 Big East) and set a new school record for consecutive wins to start the season. In the process, SU helped head coach Jim Boeheim earn his 876th-career victory, which helped him move into a tie with former Kentucky Wildcats head coach Adolph Rupp for fourth all-time on the Division I list.

"When you get in these games you just gotta make plays and we did," said Boeheim, who had very little to say about his achievement that took 36 years to accomplish.

"The only thing I care about is this year. That's it."

Syracuse cruised to an early second-half lead off 11, but its seemingly cozy margin was trimmed to just 53-49 with 8:36 remaining.

The Orange answered after a Boeheim timeout, as Joseph and Jardine nailed back-to-back 3-balls on consecutive trips to push SU's lead back to double-digits, 59-49, with 7:07 to go. With the help from senior point guard Scoop Jardine's 12 points and 10 assists and making 11 of 12 shots from the free-throw line in the final 4:07, the Orange snapped a five-game home losing streak to Pittsburgh (11-8, 0-6).

"You're not going to make every shot every game," said Waiters, who tallied 10 points in the second half, including the big 3-pointer," but the shots they gave us we hit'em. We took the right the shots at the right time and opened the game wide open. That's the biggest thing."

The Panthers, who last year gave Syracuse its first loss of the season, have now dropped seven straight games, including a school-record six straight in the Big East.

Sophomore center Fab Melo collected 10 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks for SU, while junior guard Brandon Triche tallied 10 points. Sophomore forward C.J. Fair finished with seven points and five rebounds off the bench.

"We haven't attacked zones very well," said Boeheim. "When it got to four (points) we did a good job of attacking the zone and getting a good screen for Kris (Joseph) and a good 3 on the other side for Dion (Waiters)."

Meanwhile, senior guard Ashton Gibbs, sophomore forward LaMar Patterson and freshman guard Cameron Wright each tallied a team-best 10 points for Pitt, which finished the game shooting just 22-for-56 from the floor (39.9-percent).

In the first half, Syracuse opened the game with a 13-0 run to take a commanding early lead.

However, Pitt answered with a 13-4 run, including five points from Patterson, that trimmed the margin to just 19-15 with 7:00 to go in the half.

Pitt trailed 26-21 with 3:55 to go, but SU used a small 7-0 run and a late-second basket from Waiters to take a 35-26 lead into halftime.

For more on the Syracuse Vs. Pittsburgh contest, check back to this StoryStream. Check out, the SB Nation's blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician for everything Orange, while Cardiac Hill is all about the Panthers. For more on Big East basketball, visit the SB Nation blog Big East Coast Bias. If you're a college basketball nut, well, SB Nation's college basketball hub will solve your hoops cravings.

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Syracuse Vs. Pitt Halftime Score: Game-Opening 13-0 Run Helps Orange Lead Panthers, 35-26

Using a 13-0 run to open the game the No. 1-ranked Syracuse Orange has taken a 35-26 halftime lead over the Pittsburgh Panthers in a Big East Conference men's basketball game at the Carrier Dome. The Orange (19-0, 6-0 Big East) are searching for a school record 20th consecutive victory and help head coach Jim Boeheim earn his 876th career victory that would place him in fourth-place tie all-time for Division I with former Kentucky Wildcats head coach Adolph Rupp.

Senior forward Kris Joseph tallied six of his team-best 9 points during the SU's early-game run, which also featured Pitt (11-7, 0-5) missing its first six shots, including three 3-pointers.

However, Pitt answered SU's early-game run with a 13-4 spurt, including five points from sophomore forward Lamar Patterson, that trimmed the margin to just 19-15 with 7:00 to go in the half.

Pitt trailed 26-21 with 3:55 to go, but the Orange used a 7-0 run near the end of the half to take a nine-point lead heading into the locker room.


Feature: Dion Waiters Is No. 1 Orange's 'Go-To' Guy


Sophomore guard Brandon Triche has tallied six points for SU, while senior point guard Scoop Jardine finished the half with just three point but six assists. Sophomore forward C.J. Fair added five points off the bench, while sophomore center Fab Melo collected six points and five rebounds.

Meanwhile, Pitt is paced by senior guard Ashton Gibbs who tallied a team-best seven points, while sophomore forward J.J. Moore has chipped in with five points of the bench.

For more on the Syracuse Vs. Pittsburgh contest, check back to this StoryStream. Check out, the SB Nation's blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician for everything Orange, while Cardiac Hill is all about the Panthers. For more on Big East basketball, visit the SB Nation blog Big East Coast Bias. If you're a college basketball nut, well, SB Nation's college basketball hub will solve your hoops cravings.

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Syracuse Vs. Pittsburgh: No. 1 Orange Search For School Record 20th Consecutive Victory

The No. 1-ranked Syracuse Orange will be shooting for a school record 20 consecutive victories Monday night, as they host the Pittsburgh Panthers in a Big East Conference men's basketball showdown at the Carrier Dome (7:30 p.m. on ESPN). The Orange (19-0, 6-0 Big East) will also enter the contest atop the college basketball rankings for the sixth consecutive week, a feat that also ties a school record, while the Panthers (11-7, 0-5) will be hungry for a victory after dropping six straight.


Update: Syracuse No. 1 In Both AP And USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Polls


Other milestones Orange milestones that can be reached Monday night feature head coach Jim Boeheim vying for his 876th career victory, which would time him with legendary Kentucky Wildcats head coach Adolph Rupp for fourth on the all-time Division I list; it would also be the 34th time in Boeheim's 36-year tenure that the Orange collect a 20-win season (first all-time on the Division I list); and snap a five-game home losing streak to the Panthers.

On Saturday, Syracuse easily defeated the Providence Friars, 78-55, for the second time in nine days. Senior guard Scoop Jardine tallied 10 points and dished out nine assists, while senior forward Kris Joseph led the way with 13 points.

Joseph enters the game as the Orange's leading scorer (13.7 points per game), while sophomore guard Dion Waiters, who has yet to start a game, is the only other SU player averaging double-digits (12.7 ppg). The Orange's leading rebounder is sophomore center Fab Melo, who's is collecting 5.7 per game. Jardine's turnover to assists ratio is a solid 4.5 to 2.1.


Feature: No. 1 Syracuse's "Go-To" Guy Is Dion Waiters


Meanwhile, surprisingly the Panthers enter the contest sitting in last-place in the Big East standings. Senior guard Ashton Gibbs paces Pitts averaging 16.9 ppg, while senior forward Nasir Robinson is averaging 12.4 ppg and a team-best 6.8 rebounds per game.

On Saturday, Pitt gave the No. 21 Marquette Golden Eagles a run for their money but lost 62-57. A few days before that, the Panthers were embarrassed on their home floor by visiting Rutger Scarlet Knights, who earned a 62-39 victory.

For more on the Syracuse Vs. Pittsburgh contest, check back to this StoryStream. Check out, the SB Nation's blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician for everything Orange. For more on Big East basketball, visit the SB Nation blog Big East Coast Bias. If you're a college basketball nut, well, SB Nation's college basketball hub will solve your hoops cravings.

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College Basketball Rankings, Week 11: Syracuse No. 1 In USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Poll For Sixth Consecutive Week

For the sixth consecutive week the Syracuse Orange men's basketball program is ranked the No. 1 team in the nation, a mark that ties a school record. The Orange (19-0, 6-0) was earned all 31 of the votes after collecting a road victory Tuesday night at the Villanova Wildcats and then downing the Providence Friars Saturday night to remain unbeaten

On Monday, Syracuse hosts the Pittsburgh Panthers in a "Big Monday" contest on ESPN (7:30 p.m.) and a victory would allow the Orange to set a school record of 20 consecutive victories to begin a season.

Meanwhile, the Seton Hall Pirates, who were not ranked in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll, but ranked in the AP Poll, were left out of the polls again. This is no surprise as the Pirates (15-3, 4-2) lost Friday night at the South Florida Bulls, 56-55.

Here's the complete USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Poll:

1.) Syracuse Orange (19-0)
2) Kentucky Wildcats (17-1)
3) Baylor Bears (17-0)
4) Duke Blue Devils (15-2)
5) Missouri Tigers (16-1)
6) Ohio St. Buckeyes (16-3)
7) Kansas Jayhawks (14-3)
8) North Carolina Tar Heels (15-3)
9) Michigan St. Spartans (15-3)
10) Murray St. Racers (18-0)
11) Connecticut Huskies (14-3)
12) Georgetown Hoyas (14-3)
13) Indiana Hoosiers (15-3)
14) Florida Gators (14-4)
15) Mississippi St. Bulldogs (15-3)
16) San Diego St. Aztecs (15-2)
17) Virginia Cavaliers (14-2)
18) Creighton Bluejays (16-2)
19) Michigan Wolverines (14-4)
20) UNLV Runnin' Rebels (16-3)
21) Louisville Cardinals (14-4)
22) Marquette Golden Eagles (14-4)
23) St. Mary's, Calif. Gaels (17-2)
24) Harvard Crimson (15-2)
25) Illinois Fighting Illini (15-3)

SB Nation's blog South Orange Juice has everything on the Pirates, while Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician is all about the Orange. For more on Big East basketball, visit the SB Nation blog Big East Coast Bias. If you're a college basketball nut, well, SB Nation's college basketball hub will solve your hoops cravings.

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Syracuse Basketball: Dion Waiters Is No. 1 Orange's 'Go-To' Guy

The national college basketball pundits say that the No. 1-ranked Syracuse Orange lack a go-to player. SB Nation New York's Jared Smith says that they do, and his name is Dion Waiters.

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Syracuse Vs. Providence Final Score: No. 1 Orange Tie School Record For Consecutive Victories

Four players scored in double figures Saturday night, as the No. 1-ranked Syracuse Orange routed the Providence Friars, 78-55, in a Big East Conference men's basketball game at the Carrier Dome. Senior guard Scoop Jardine tallied 10 points and dished out nine assists for the Orange (19-0, 6-0), who tied a school record of 19 consecutive victories to being a season. SU will have a chance to set the school mark Monday when they host the Pittsburgh Panthers in a "Big Monday" showdown (7:30 p.m. on ESPN).


Big East Basketball 1.15.12: What Fans Learned Saturday


Syracuse will also remain atop of the college basketball rankings for the six straight weeks, which also will tie a school record that was set during the 1989-90 campaign.

Senior forward Kris Joseph ended the game with a team-best 13 points for Syracuse, which trailed 17-16 with 5:57 to go in the first half, but used a 15-0 run to take a commanding 38-21 lead into halftime. In the second half, the Orange used runs of 23-0 and two 19-0 runs to collect their second victory over the Friars in just nine days.

Providence (12-7, 1-5) played without their top scorer and passer, junior guard Vincent Council, and dropped their fifth game in six tries.

For more coverage of Syracuse vs. Providence stay tuned to our SU Basketball StoryStream. For more Syracuse coverage, visit our team page and our blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician. For more Big East basketball coverage, visit Big East Coast Bias.

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Vincent Council Suspension: Providence Guard Will Not Play Vs. No. 1 Syracuse Orange

The Syracuse Orange and Providence Friars are less than 90 minutes away from tipping off in a Big East Conference game (6 p.m. on SNY) at the Carrier Dome, and the Friars will be playing without their leading scorer and passer, junior guard Vincent Council. According to the Syracuse Post-Standard's Mike Waters via Twitter, the decision was made by head coach Ed Cooley. The reason for the benching is not yet known.

So far this season, Council is tops on the team in points (16.4 points per game) and assists (7.1 per game). In the previous match up between these two programs, which happened just nine days ago, Jan. 4, Council tallied 17 points and five assists in a 87-73 home loss to the No. 1-ranked Orange (18-0, 5-0).

Now, the Friars (12-6, 1-4) were a long shot to upset Syracuse on its home court, but the odds are now really stacked against them without their top player.


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2011 - Vincent Council 16 37.4 6.4 15.2 42.0 0.9 3.1 28.0 2.5 4.1 60.6 0.8 3.2 4.0 6.5 3.8 1.1 0.4 2.1 16.1

For more coverage of Syracuse vs. Providence stay tuned to our SU Basketball StoryStream. For more Syracuse coverage, visit our team page and our blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician. For more Big East basketball coverage, visit Big East Coast Bias.

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2012 NBA Draft: Projections For Dion Waiters, Kris Joseph, Fab Melo Of The Syracuse Orange

The 2012 NBA Draft is still a long way off but that didn't stop the writers at SBNation.com from already breaking down college prospects, and on Friday NBA Contributor Jonathan Tjarks did just that for the No. 1-ranked team in the nation, Syracuse University.

In Tjarks's NBA Draft Toolbox: Syracuse System Puts A Shine On, Obscures Pro Prospects he beams a professional spotlight on Syracuse basketball players like sophomore center Fab Melo (he could leave after this year?) and senior forward Kris Joseph.


Preview: No. 1 Syracuse Orange Vs. Providence Friars


However, the SU player that Orange fans are most curious about is sophomore guard Dion Waiters, who's quickly becoming a star with a fast developing skill-set that (along with his off-season issues with head coach Jim Boeheim last year) is getting some scared about his possible departure.

No worries, though, because Tjarks has Waiters becoming a possible lottery pick in 2013.

Dion Waiters: Extremely athletic 6'4 sophomore combo guard with length to defend multiple perimeter positions (averaging 2.2 steals this year). Complete player who can shoot from the perimeter (36.2 percent from three), drive the ball to the rim and create shots for teammates (2.9 assists to 1.5 turnovers). Despite playing behind two upperclassmen, scoring 12.9 points while shooting a preposterous 53.3 percent from the field. If production translates over 30-35 minutes a night, will be a lottery pick in 2013.

In my opinion, there's a chance that if somebody tells Waiters he could go in the middle of the first round he might leave.

I just get the feeling, Waiters returned from an up-and-down 2010-11 campaign and a rocky offseason to show everybody what he can do and that's why he's playing with a fire -- an edge or anger that most stars play with -- that has made him a valuable assets to the No. 1-ranked program.


Syracuse Basketball: Scoop Jardine Is A Championship Caliber Point Guard


Now, what is hurting Waiters is the fact he's coming off the bench, which limits his playing time and overall production (stats). I am sure that NBA scouts would like to see Waiters get a full season of starter minutes and see how he handles it -- can he play a mistake free 30-plus minute performance? Is he able to go that hard with that much intensity for that long?

That's why I think Waiters will stay after finishing out this season. I think there's another level that No. 3 wants to rise to (isn't that scary?) and next year could be a special one for Mr. Waiters.

Meanwhile, Tjarks says Melo's best-case scenario in the NBA is that he becomes center Robin Lopez of the Pheonix Suns, while Joseph's as a replacement-level forward.

To read about what Tjarks thinks about Joseph, Melo, sophomore forward C.J. Fair, sophomore center Baye Moussa-Keita, and freshmen, point guard Michael Carter-Williams, and forward, Rakeem Christmas, click the link.

For more coverage of Syracuse vs. Providence stay tuned to our SU Basketball StoryStream. For more Syracuse coverage, visit our team page and our blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician. For more Big East basketball coverage, visit Big East Coast Bias.

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Syracuse Vs. Providence: No. 1 Orange Look To Tie School Records Against Friars

The Syracuse Orange will try to tie two team-orientated school records Saturday, as they host the Providence Friars in a Big East Conference men's basketball contest at the Carrier Dome (6 p.m. on SNY). The Orange (18-0, 5-0 Big East) are searching for a win that would help match SU's best start to a season (19-0) and the most consecutive weeks ranked as the No. 1 team in the nation (6).


Syracuse Basketball: A History Of Being No. 1 -- Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician


On Wednesday, Syracuse used a game-best 20 points from sophomore guard Dion Waiters, who came off the bench, to help earn a victory at the Villanova Wildcats, 79-66. Junior forward James Southerland added 13 points for the Orange, who improved their record to 18-0 for the second straight season. Last year, SU's season-opening wininning streak ended, Jan. 17, at the Pittsburgh Panthers -- the Orange's opponent this coming Monday night.

Currently, senior forward Kris Joseph paces Syracuse in scoring with 13.8 points per game, while Waiters is averaging 12.9 ppg. However, in five league games, Waiters has averaged a team-best 14.6 ppg, while trailing him are Joseph (12.0) and junior guard Brandon Triche (11.8).


Syracuse Basketball: Scoop Jardine Is A Championship Caliber Point Guard


Meanwhile, the Friars (12-6, 1-4) ended a four-game losing streak Tuesday night by manhandling No. 14 Louisville Cardinals, 90-59, on the road. Sophomores, forward Kadeem Batts and guard Bryce Cotton, each netted a game-best 27 points for Providence, which collected its largest margin of victory over a ranked opponent in program history.

Statically, junior guard Vincent Council is Providence leading scorer (16.4 ppg) and passer (7.1 apg), while sophomore guard Gerard Coleman is tallying 15.1 ppg.

Just nine days ago, Jan. 4, the Friars played toe-to-toe with the Orange for 30 minutes before the nation's top-ranked team pulled away for their 16th straight victory. Since then, Syracuse defeated the No. 25 Marquette Golden Eagles and Villanova, respectively, to maintain their unblemished record.

For more coverage of Syracuse vs. Providence stay tuned to our SU Basketball StoryStream. For more Syracuse coverage, visit our team page and our blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician. For more Big East basketball coverage, visit Big East Coast Bias.

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Syracuse Basketball 2012: Scoop Jardine Is A Championship Caliber Point Guard

With a victory over the Providence Friars Saturday the Syracuse University men's basketball program will tie two team-oriented school records: Number of weeks as the No. 1-ranked team (6) and consecutive victories to begin a season (19).

The success of the Orange (17-0, 4-0) has been credited to the team's depth, which has a solid 10-man rotation that features: The Sporting News' Mid-Season All-American candidate, senior forward Kris Joseph, Big East Conference Sixth Man of The Year candidate, sophomore guard Dion Waiters, and Bob Cousy Award Finalists, senior guard Scoop Jardine.


2012 NBA Draft: Projections For Dion Waiters, Kris Joseph, Fab Melo


On Friday, USA Today published an interview with Jardine, who talked with Nicole Auerbach about the success of SU:

"For us, for the most part, we don't think we're talked about enough as a No. 1," said Jardine. "People are saying we don't deserve it, that we shouldn't be No. 1. They want to see the Kentuckys, North Carolinas, Ohio States at No. 1. Syracuse, tradition-wise, is the same as those teams. We try to keep ourselves motivated knowing that we don't get talked about enough. We'll go out there and prove everyone wrong who says we don't deserve that No. 1 spot."

And, for those Jardine naysayers who would like to see more out of the senior, who's point production has dropped this season from about 12.5 points per game to about 8.3, and playing minutes have been cut. Well, he's not complaining, so nor should you.

"...This is a team that I knew coming back this year, I knew my scoring would go down," said Jardine. "A guy like myself, who can accept his role and play to the best of his abilities, is also going to be right for the team. The sacrifices I've made for this team are great. If you look at our record and where we're ranked in the country, that's the reason. I don't have to go out there and score 25 points. I just have to be there when my team needs me and make game-changing plays, which I've done throughout the season."

You can read the full interview here, and, please, do because after reading it, hopefully, if you're a Jardine critic, you'll have a bit more of an appreciation for him, which I have had his whole collegiate career.

Does Jardine make some head-scratching plays at times? Of course, but I've done a lot less head-pounding-against-a-wall with Jardine then I did with former point guard Eric Devendorf -- a player some fans say was better.

I've also heard this a lot, "Jardine isn't a championship-caliber point guard," which is an opinion I completely disagree with. Jardine's late-game heroics, Dec. 2, against the Florida Gators -- a contest that had a Sweet 16 or Elite 8-like feel to it -- proved that, as the senior netted eight of his 16 points in the final six minutes to help SU cement the (then) top 10 victory.


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2011 - Scoop Jardine 18 21.7 3.4 6.5 52.1 0.7 2.2 30.0 0.9 1.7 51.6 0.6 1.7 2.3 4.3 2.2 1.5 0.1 0.7 8.3

Last season, Jardine failed to raise his "clutch" level when he committed a few bonehead mistakes that helped end SU's season, which was capped with a loss to the Marquette Golden Eagles in the third round of the NCAA Tournament.

However, just a week before Jardine did this in the semifinal round of the Big East Tournament.

Does that make Jardine Michael Jordan? No -- M.J. would have led his team to an overtime victory like Connecticut Huskies' Kemba Walker did. But, a fan has to respect his confidence in his ability, regardless if its overrated or not -- to be honest, I disliked Devendorf a lot but I trusted his last-second shot ability/decision making because I knew he believed in himself more than anybody not named Gerry McNamara.

At times, mainly in the past, Jardine's self confidence hurt SU. However, with a new role in 2012, which takes a lot of his "lets force the issue here" decision making out of his hands, he has become an outstanding assets to guys like Joseph, Waiters, and 3-point threat, junior forward James Southerland, whose productions have all been either more efficient or has increased this season.

Mock Mr. Jardine all you want, but this is one Syracuse basketball beat writer who's standing (and or living and dying) by him.

The Syracuse basketball schedule features the Orange hosting the Providence Friars Saturday (6 p.m. on SNY). On Monday, SU hosts the Pittsburgh Panthers in a Big East "Big Monday" showdown (7:30 p.m. on ESPN).

For more coverage of Syracuse vs. Providence stay tuned to our SU Basketball StoryStream. For more Syracuse coverage, visit our team page and our blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician. For more Big East basketball coverage, visit Big East Coast Bias.

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Syracuse Vs. Villanova: No. 1 Orange Win Stay Undefeated, 79-66

The Syracuse Orange had little trouble getting around the Villanova Wildcats on Wednesday night to keep their perfect record and top overall ranking intact. Syracuse led 43-24 at the half and scored 36 more points in the second half for the 79-66 win over their Big East rivals.

Senior forward Kris Joseph, Syracuse's leading scorer, was held to just eight points in the game, hitting just two of nine shots from the field. Sophomore guard Dion Waiters led the Orange with 20 points off the bench. He also had four rebounds, two assists and four steals. Guard James Southerland had 13 points, the only other Syracuse player in double digits for the game.

Despite their record, the Wildcats came into this game averaging more than 72 points per game and out rebounding opponents by an average of 5.8 per game. They struggled shooting the ball in this game, shooting just 32.3 percent from the field. Mouphtaou Yarou led the 'Cats with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Maalik Wayns, the team's leading scorer who started the game averaging 17.4 points per game was 0-7 from the field and scored just three points, all on free throws.

The win keeps Syracuse undefeated with an 18-0 record and a 5-0 record in the Big East this season. They host the Providence Friars on Saturday. The Wildcats fall below .500 again, one week after beating DePaul. They are now 8-9 with a 1-4 record in the Big East. They have a tough matchup on the road this Saturday, facing the 13-4 Cincinnati Bearcats who are coming off an upset over Georgetown.

For more coverage of Villanova vs. Syracuse stay tuned to our storystream. For more Villanova coverage, visit our team page or our blog The Nova Blog. For more Syracuse coverage, visit our team page and our blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician. For more Big East basketball coverage, visit Big East Coast Bias.

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Syracuse Basketball Schedule: No. 1 Orange At Villanova Wildcats Preview

The Syracuse Orange take their No. 1 ranking on the road for the fourth time in eight games Wednesday, as they visit the Villanova Wildcats at The Pavilion (7 p.m. on ESPN2).

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Syracuse Vs. Marquette Final Score: No. 1 Orange Beat No. 20 Marquette, 73-66

The Syracuse Orange seem to like the No. 1 spot in the college basketball rankings, and the Orange should stay there after a 73-66 victory over No. 20 Marquette Golden Eagles in a Big East Conference game Saturday at the Carrier Dome. In front of 25,412 fans, Syracuse (17-0, 4-0 Big East) used a team-best 17 points, including 11 in the second half, from senior forward Kris Joseph to clip the Golden Eagles (12-4, 1-2), who trailed by as much as 23 points. SU is the last of the 16 conference teams to not lose a league game.

Behind a electrifying 19-0 run and 11 points from sophomore guard Brandon Triche, SU took a commanding 37-19 advantage into halftime. However, the Golden Eagles rallied, as they stiffened up its defense, which forced eight second-half turnovers and held the Orange to just 28-percent shooting in the next 15 1/2 minutes, to trim the margin to 59-57 with about 4 1/2 minutes remaining.

A 7-0 run helped SU push its lead to 68-60 with 2:13 remaining. The run was started by sophomore center Baye Ketia, who was fouled after an inbound pass and headed to the free-throw line for two shots.

Keita, who entered the contest making only 68.8-percent of his shots from the charity stripe, made both to extend SU's lead to 61-57.

On the Golden Eagles' next possession, SU sophomore guard Dion Waiters blocked a 3-point attempt by Marquette's senior guard Darius Johnson-Odom, collected the loose ball and laid it into the basket to give the Orange a 63-57 lead with 4:20 to go.

"Baye made the two shots of the year," said head coach Jim Boeheim after the game, "I was trying to call a time out, I saw him trapped, I wanted to get a timeout. They called the foul before I did. He goes to the line, makes those two free throws. That was big in a two-point game."

The run was capped by Joseph nailing 3-pointer and then sophomore center Fab Melo flushing home a alley-oop pass from senior point guard Scoop Jardine. From there, SU was able to hang on for its 17th straight victory.

'When you lose a lead, especially at home, it's easy to start worrying and think about what's happening," said Boeheim.

"...I thought, the last seven or eight minutes of this game was great. The way we came back and played after they made that huge run. That's what we're going to think about most in this game. The team coming back like that."

Syracuse sophomore forward C.J. Fair tallied 13 points and eight rebounds off the bench, while Waiters added 12. Melo finished with six points and eight rebounds. Triche finished with 16 points.

"Any time you get whipped the way we did in the first half you have to credit the other team," said Marquette head coach Buzz Williams.

Marquette was paced by Johnson-Odom, who scored a game-best 19 points on 5-of-16 shooting.

SB Nation New York blogged live from press row at the Carrier Dome for the Syracuse vs. Marquette Big East showdown. Be sure to check back to this StoryStream for post-game comments from SU head coach Jim Boeheim. For more on the Orange, visit the SB Nation blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician, while Anonymous Eagle as everything on Marquette. Make sure to follow along on Twitter at SBNationNY or JaredSmithCNY.

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Baye Keita Injury: Syracuse Center In Warm Ups, Looks Ready To Go Against Marquette

Syracuse Orange sophomore center Baye Moussa Keita looks like he is going to give it a try Saturday afternoon, as the No. 1-ranked Orange (16-0, 3-0 Big East) host No. 20 Marquette Golden Eagles in a Big East Conference game. Keita was listed as a game-time decision by SU head coach Jim Boeheim Thursday after the second-string center suffered a freak injury to his hip in practice before Wednesday's victory at the Providence Friars. Keita had trouble jumping and did not play against the Friars, but he did practice fully Friday.

Img00011-20120107-1456_medium

So far, Keita is jogging around and taking part in pregame warm ups, but he is lacking a bit of a hop in his step. He is however doing pre-game drills with ease and throwing down dunks. Look for Keita to play sparingly and for freshman forward Rakeem Christmas to play a bunch of minutes.


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2011 - Rakeem Christmas 16 12.8 1.4 2.4 56.4 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.8 1.3 65.0 1.4 1.7 3.1 0.1 0.9 0.4 0.8 2.2 3.6

Another key for Syracuse Saturday, will be sophomore center Fab Melo staying out of foul trouble. If Melo can do that and play up to his steady clip (7.4 points per game, 5.3 rebounds per game and 3.1 blocker per game) the Orange should be just fine.

On Saturday, SB Nation New York will be blogging live from press row at the Carrier Dome for the Syracuse vs. Marquette Big East showdown. Be sure to check back to this StoryStream for in-game and post-game updates.

For more on the Orange, visit the SB Nation blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician, while Anonymous Eagle as everything on Marquette. Make sure to follow along on Twitter at SBNationNY or JaredSmithCNY.

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Syracuse Vs. Marquette: No. 1 Orange Host No. 20 Golden Eagles In Big East Showdown

For the second time in just four league games Saturday the No.1-ranked Syracuse Orange men's basketball program will be looking to avenge a loss from last season, as they host the No. 20 Marquette Golden Eagles in a Big East Conference game at the Carrier Dome (4 p.m. on SNY). Syracuse (16-0, 3-0 Big East) will face its second nationally-ranked program this season, as it downed No. 13 Florida Gators, 72-68, Dec. 2, while Marquette (12-2, 1-1) has lost three of its last five games, including a nailbiter Wednesday at the No. 9 Georgetown Hoyas, 73-70.

Last season, the Golden Eagles knocked off the higher-seeded Orange, 66-62, in the third round of the NCAA Tournament. Marquette went on to lose in the round of 16 to the North Carolina Tar Heels, 81-63. Since the release of the 2011-12 Syracuse schedule, this has been widely regarded as the, "circle your calender game". Already, there has been 23,500-24,000 tickets sold for the contest.


Syracuse Sophomore Center Baye Moussa Keita Will Be A Game-Time Decision


On Wednesday, the Orange played in their tightest contested game since the early Dec. showdown with the Gators, as they visited the Providence Friars, who gave Syracuse a run for its money but lost 87-73. The Orange led by just two points at halftime and used a 12-3 run early in the second half to widen the gap.

However, the Friars slowly crept back into the contest closing the margin to just 62-55. A small 5-0 run helped the Orange earn enough cushion to pull out their 16th straight victory, a mark reached only three times during head coach Jim Boeheim's tenure.

Junior guard Brandon Triche led all scorers with 16 points, while senior point guard Scoop Jardine tallied 10 points and 11 assists for his first double-double of the season.

Entering Saturday's contest, senior forward Kris Joseph is the Orange's leading scorer with 13.0 points per game, while sophomore guard Dion Waiters is coming of the bench to average 12.6 ppg.

Meanwhile, the Golden Eagles, who began this season with 10 straight victories, including a road win, 61-54, at No. 18 Wisconsin Badgers, has struggled of late. On Wednesday, Marquette blew a 17-point lead to lose to the Hoyas.

Currently, senior guard Darius Johnson-Odam is pacing the Golden Eagles in scoring with 17.9 ppg, while forward Jae Crowder is adding 16.6 ppg and a team-best 7.3 rebounds per game. However, the Orange will also need to keep tabs on freshman guard Todd Mayo (10.2 ppg) and junior guard Junior Cadougan, who's averaging a team-best 5.0 assists per game.

Overall, Marquette is shooting 34.7-percent from behind the 3-point arc and averaging 78.1 points per game.

The Golden Eagles will enter as 11 1/2-point underdogs.



On Saturday, SB Nation New York will be blogging live from press row at the Carrier Dome for the Syracuse vs. Marquette Big East showdown. Be sure to check back to this StoryStream for in-game and post-game updates.

For more on the Orange, visit the SB Nation blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician, while Anonymous Eagle as everything on Marquette. Make sure to follow along on Twitter at SBNationNY or JaredSmithCNY.

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