Mar 24, 2012; Boston, MA, USA; Syracuse Orange guard Scoop Jardine (11) talks with forward Kris Joseph (32) in the second half of the finals in the east region of the 2012 NCAA men's basketball tournament against the Ohio State Buckeyes at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE

Syracuse In NCAA Tournament: Orange's Dramatic Season Ends, SU Falls To Ohio State, 77-70

-- Follow our StoryStream as Syracuse works its way through the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament

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NCAA Tournament Elite 8 2012, Syracuse Vs. Ohio State Score: Orange, Buckeyes Tied 29-29 At Halftime

A solid defensive effort from both squads has lead to the top-seeded Syracuse Orange and No. 2 Ohio St. Buckeyes ending the first half of a NCAA Tournament, Elite 8 contest tied 29-29. The winner moves on to face either the North Carolina Tar Heels or Kansas Jayhawks in the tournament's semifinal round next Saturday.

Syracuse's senior guard Scoop Jardine leads all scorers with seven points, six coming during a mini-run that closed a 9-2 Buckeyes lead to 9-8 just 4:41 into the game. The remainder of the half featured both teams exchanging leads and a lot of whistles from the referees -- Syracuse committed 11 fouls, while Ohio St. had six.

Meanwhile, William Buford and Deshaun Thomas each have netted six points for the Ohio St., which played a majority of the half without star forward Jard Sullinger (four points and three rebounds), who sat because of foul trouble. Sullinger will begin the second half with two fouls.

Overall, Syracuse has shot 35.7-percent from the field, while Ohio St.'s mean was 33.3-percent. The rebound margin favors the Buckeyes, 19-14.

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NCAA Tournament 2012, Elite 8: Syracuse Vs. Ohio State Breakdown

A trip to the 2012 Final Four is on the line Saturday, as the No. 1-seeded Syracuse Orange and No. 2 Ohio St. Buckeyes face off in the NCAA Tournament's East Regional final in Boston, Ma. (7:05 p.m. ET on CBS). The winner moves on to New Orleans, La. to play either No. 1 North Carolina Tar Heels or No. 2 Kansas Jayhawks, who will battled on Sunday.

For a preview of Saturday's showdown between Syracuse and Ohio State, click on the link below. Meanwhile, here's a look at what both teams' strengths and keys to victories will be:


Preview: Syracuse Vs. Ohio State

Ohio St. Buckeyes (30-7)

Jared Sullinger: In a team sport its tough to single out one player and say, "He's the best option for this team to earn a victory". In the case of the 6-foot-9, sophomore forward this isn't a stretch at all.

With the loss of Syracuse's sophomore center Fab Melo, Orange fan's have been dreading the time when its team will face a opponent with a big-man who has an inside-out game and can crash the glass like Sullinger.

If you're a betting man, count Sullinger in for a 20-point, 10-rebound night. As for the rest of the Buckeyes? I guess, we will all see.

The perfect sidekick: In the first three rounds of the NCAA Tournament, sophomore forward DeShaun Thomas has been almost unstopable averaging 25 points per game, including a 31-point performance against Loyola, Md. Greyhounds in the first round.

If Syracuse is going to focus on stopping Sullinger, well, Thomas (6-7, 225 pounds) provides the perfect second option.

Aaron Craft's defense: The Orange feature a bevy of talented players that can beat you off the dribble or from the parameter. So far, the most consistent scorer has been sophomore guard Dion Waiters, who's almost playing at a Carmelo Anthony-like level.

Waiters is lightning fast with the dribble, is confident in his step-back jumper and can pull-up for a 3-pointer in transition. Ohio State's answer for Waiters will be putting Craft, the best defensive player in the Big Ten Conference, on him.

This should be a great match-up all night long.

Rebounding: One of Syracuse's flaw is, probably, Ohio State biggest strength, and that's crashing the glass on both offense and defense.

There's no doubting the Buckeyes are going to win this battle, the question is going to be how much and will in allow Ohio State to collect more second-chances late in a tight ball game?

Syracuse Orange (34-2)

2-3 zone: Every expert has an opinion on SU's patented 2-3 zone defense, and, in the end, many believe it will be the Orange's Achilles heel against a well balanced inside-out offense like Ohio State.

However, opponents don't realize how good the zone (even without Melo) is until they face it. Its long, its adjusts and tests the patients of an opponent's offense. If you move the ball around and wait for a opening look, it will be there -- just ask the Wisconsin Badgers, who nailed 14 3-pointers against it. However, if you settle and take bad shot, it will lead to easy fast-break points for the Orange.

Scoring depth: The words, "Syracuse has the most depth in the country," has been used close to one million times this year by analysts this season. But that doesn't fully describe the Orange's roster well.

Even without Melo, Syracuse is currently utilizing a solid eight-man rotation, as Waiters, the team's second-leading scorer, junior forward James Southerlnad, SU's leading scorer after the first two NCAA wins, and sophomore center Baye Keita, who tallied a season-high 26 minutes against Wisconsin, are all coming off the bench.

If any of the five starters are struggling -- i.e. senior forward Kris Joseph netting just seven points against the Badgers on Thursday -- somebody ALWAYS steps up to make up the difference -- i.e. sophomore forward C.J. Fair scoring a team-high 15 points.

Guard talent: Of all the talk about the Orange's lack of an inside presence because of the loss of Melo, one glaring strength of SU gets lost in the fold -- its guard play.

Now, Syracuse may not showcase the likes of a dynamic duo like the Villanova Wildcats did back in '06 with Kyle Lowry and Randy Foye, but the trio of Jardine, Triche and Waiters are close.

All three players can beat their defender off the dribble and/or pull-up for a 3-point shot. Waiters prefers to create his own jumper, Jardine uses a screen at the top of the arc, while Triche will mainly come off screens. Meanwhile, neither player is afraid to take it to the rim and create something there.

Conclusion

If this contest is a blowout either way, it will be a shocker. Currently, Ohio St. enters as 3-point favorites, putting Syracuse in the underdog role for the first time this season.

In the end, pace and defense will determine the winner in this one. A slower, more physical tempo will favor the bigger, stronger Buckeyes squad, while an up-and-down, transition game is what Syracuse wants to do. Then, in the final minutes, the winner will be decided on which team is going to make the big stop to close out the victory.

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NCAA Tournament 2012, Elite 8: Syracuse Vs. Ohio State Preview

Two men's college basketball juggernauts will square off Saturday, when the No. 1-seeded Syracuse Orange and No. 2 Ohio St. Buckeyes meet in the NCAA Tournament's East Region final in Boston, Ma. (7:05 p.m. ET on CBS). The winner advances to the 2012 Final Four to face either the winner of the Midwest Region next Saturday in New Orleans, La.

Despite finishing its regular season as Big East Conference champions, the No. 2 team in the college hoops rankings and earning the East Region's top seed, Syracuse enters Saturday's contest as the underdog. If the Orange (34-2) pull off the slim upset, they will advance to their first Final Four since '02-03 and fifth in program history.


Recap: Syracuse Edges Wisconsin, 64-63

On Thursday, Syracuse edged the No. 4-seeded Wisconsin Badgers, 64-63, to snap a three-game losing streak in the Sweet 16 round. Sophomore forward C.J. Fair shook off his recent struggles to net a team-high 15 points and collect seven rebounds off the bench for the Orange, who survived an unbelievable 3-point shooting night from the Badgers -- 14 total makes and a blazing percentage of 51.9-percent.

Meanwhile, the Buckeyes (30-7) eased past No. 6 Cincinnati Bearcats, 81-66, in Thurday's night cap. Ohio St. was paced by a pair of sophomore forwards in forward Jared Sullinger (23 points and 11 rebounds) and Deshaun Thomas (26 points). The Buckeyes shot 48.2-percent from the floor and out-rebounded the Bearcats 33-26.

So for in the tournament, Ohio St. earned victories over No. 15 Loyola, Md. Greyhounds and No. 7 Gonzaga Bulldogs, respectively.

If the Buckeyes were to pull off a victory Saturday, they would head to their program's 11th Final Four trip and first since '07, when they lost in the National Championship game to the Florida Gators.

Overall, Sullinger leads Ohio St. in points (17.9) and rebounds (9.2) per game, while Thomas is second-best in both categories averaging 15.4 and 5.0. Sophomore guard Aaron Craft is the team's best passer (4.6 assists per game) and one of the best defenders in the nation. Look for Craft to guard Syracuse's senior point guard Scoop Jardine or sophomore guard Dion Waiters.

As for Syracuse, senior forward Kris Joseph still leads to the team in scoring (13.8 ppg), however, is coming off one of his quietest performance of the season (seven points and two rebounds). During the postseason, which included the Big East Tournament, Waiters (12.6 ppg) has been the team's go-to scorer as he's averaging 15.8 ppg and shooting 53.5-percent from the field.

Of course, the Orange's weapons don't stop there, as junior forward James Southerland netted 15 points in each of SU's first two tournament games before being shutout on Thursday. Jardine has a mean of 13.6 points during the three tournament games, while junior guard Brandon Triche tallies 9.3 ppg.

Nationally, both teams are ranking in the top 15 in both total offense and defense, however, the big difference is Ohio St. rebounding margin, which is far better than Syracuse's.

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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

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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.

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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 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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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.

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 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.

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. 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.

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.

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube

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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.

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.

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube

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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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