Following SU’s 84-73 loss to North Carolina in January the Orange was 0-4 in the ACC and looked like an NIT team at best. After that game Jim Boeheim told the media that his team would be fine.
That statement was met with some eye rolls and doubts, but two and a half months later SU’s coach has been proven right. After sneaking into the NCAA Tournament, Syracuse has won its first two games by an average of 22 points, the most recent a 75-50 drubbing of Middle Tennessee State.
Now the Orange is headed to Chicago to play in the Sweet 16 against eleventh seeded Gonzaga. How likely did that look when SU started 0-4 in conference, or crashed out in the first round of the ACC Tournament to Pittsburgh a week and a half ago? Here’s your answer, not very.
Syracuse is firing on all cylinders.
Tyler Roberson has grabbed 27 rebounds in the Orange’s two NCAA Tournament games. In his two games prior he totaled just six. He’s also hit all six of his free throws in the Tournament.
Malachi Richardson exploded for 21 points against Dayton and Michael Gbinije totaled 23 against Middle Tennessee State. These two have shown up in the most important games of the year.
After the Middle Tennessee State victory, Lightening coach Kermit Davis called Tyler Lydon a future lottery pick. That’s not bad for a player who seemed afraid to shoot the ball earlier in the year.
Fans and pundits would have been hammered for saying SU would win its first two NCAA Tournament games by double digits at any point during the regular season. I mean, we all remember that awful December afternoon at Madison Square Garden against St. John’s right?
Sorry for the doubts Jim.
Posted: Connor Morrissette