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Jim Boeheim is Laughing All the Way to the Sweet 16

You know it burned Jim Boeheim, because we know him for forty years. When the critics, including Doug Gottlieb, suggested Syracuse didn’t belong in the tournament, The Per’fesser steamed. He’s a fighter, and he’s a defender of his program. So for the Orange to still be dancing, to still be playing into the Sweet 16, is sweet revenge for Jim.

“Coach is not afraid to (mix it up). He sees it for what it is. When you’ve been around as long as he has, and have won from different seeds and different types of teams, he takes enjoyment in all of it,” Matt Park told me on CBS Sports Radio yesterday.

The fact is, as we all realize, getting Middle Tennessee State in the Round of 32 was a big break. No one outside of the most optimistic SU fans picked them to defeat Michigan State. But SU also had to rise to the occasion against Dayton – a team I picked to beat SU – and stomped out an inferior squad in the Raiders. That’s reason enough for Boeheim to snicker at his critics.

This SU team played down to competition at times (like St. John’s). It also could play up to competition, led by Michael Gbinije, who always seemed to relish the biggest stages this season. And so the team that lost 5 of its final 6, and bowed out one-and-done to Pitt has a reason to believe it’s far better than that pafrt of the resume.

Boeheim has done this for a long time, and the NCAA investigation, the suspension, the howls on Selection Sunday has rankled him. But he now gets to soak in the “told you so” glory of another week of Syracuse basketball. And maybe more. You know he’s enjoying it.

Posted: Damon Amendolara

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