The day is here Orange fans. Syracuse, after a season of ups and downs and highs and lows has reached the NCAA Tournament First Round and is set to take on a familiar foe. Well, kind of. More on that in a second, but for now, sit back and read this concise briefing of everything you need to know before tonight’s game.
A Late(st) Tip
Syracuse and TCU will be the final game of the quadruple header at Little Caesar’s Arena in Detroit. Tip is tentatively scheduled for 9:40 PM but the last game last night did not tip off until approximately 10:10 PM Eastern, so if you’re on the east coast, it might be a good idea to start making some coffee (good thing it is Friday). Not only was Wednesday night a good tune-up for the Orange players but it gave fans a chance to prepare for another late night.
A Familiar Foe (Kind of)
Syracuse and TCU have met before. The Orange are 4-0 against the Horned Frogs, with the most recent win coming at the Carrier Dome in 2005. But that is not where the familiarity comes from. TCU is coached by He-Wh0-Must-Not-Be-Named, Jamie Dixon. Dixon had tremendous success against Jim Boeheim and Syracuse while he was the head coach at Pitt, despite not really having that much success overall. In his final season at Pitt, Dixon’s Panthers beat the Orange three times, twice during the regular season and then in the ACC Tournament. Last season, in his first season at his alma mater, Dixon led the Horned Frogs to an NIT title.
Is TCU Actually Any Good?
This is a question that college basketball fans have been wondering all season. The Frogs started the season 12-0, but only had one quality non-conference win. They had one big conference win, beating West Virginia at home, but that win came way back in January. They have lost to Kansas State twice and only won three conference games away from home. Their rebounding is mediocre and their defense is actually pretty poor. However, this Frogs team can score and move the ball beautifully. They are second in the nation with 18.8 assists per game and are in the Top 20 in total scoring, averaging over 83 points per game. This game will really be a contrast of styles and it very well may come down to however can impose their will on the pace of play.