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Syracuse Rises in March with Runs to Sweet 16 and Beyond 5

Posted on March 27, 2021 by Chris Kent

Double-digit seeds usually have a short stay in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. In fact, only five double- digit seeds have ever reached the Final Four since 1979 when the selection committee began seeding teams. While the intrigue, drama, and excitement of this event is largely built on these lower seeds knocking off their favored counterparts, they typically have been eliminated during the first weekend of play after a win or two if you include the First Four which started in 2011. Not if you are Syracuse.

The Orange have defied the odds. Syracuse has advanced to the Sweet 16 in three of the last five NCAA tournaments as a double-digit seed. The Orange are there this year as a No. 11 seed and will meet No. 2 Houston in the Midwest regional semifinals tonight. Tip-off is set for 9:55 pm EST.

Syracuse has added to the appeal of March Madness over the years based on its’ dramatic play.

While this success is a credit to the coaching of hall-of-fame head coach Jim Boeheim and his heavily capable assistants, it is also Syracuse’s fabled 2-3 zone defense that is a major factor in befuddling opponents as they are not used to it. A proven winner and an elite coach, Boeheim and his assistants do a masterful job of getting the most out of their players and improving during the season. While the Orange have finished anywhere between sixth and 10th in the final ACC regular season standings over the last six seasons, Syracuse is typically on the upswing the last week of the regular season as they head into March.

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