Can you believe it? I certainly can’t. The Orange is heading to the Sweet 16.
Given the offensive history of this year’s SU Basketball team, a win over Michigan State was going to be shocking regardless of what actually happened in the game. However, what transpired in Little Caesars Arena on Sunday afternoon makes the win an all-timer.
Don’t believe me? Well consider these statistics: Syracuse was out-rebounded by MSU 51-30, and not to mention that a large portion of those 51 boards for the Spartans were offensive. On top of that, the Orange made just one three-point basket. One! I know this team can’t shoot, but it was especially challenged from deep today and found a way to overcome it. Oh, and about those offensive struggles. Just three assists today. Plus, Frank Howard fouled out with over five minutes to go. Unbelievable.
If SU being able to overcome all of those on-court factors don’t impress you, how about where the game was played: Michigan, in an arena filled with dark-green jerseys.
I’ll be honest here, I didn’t see this one coming. But then again, who did? Certainly not anyone in the national media.
Dear Syracuse Fans: You were right and I was wrong. Your team isn't just an NCAA Tournament team; it's a Sweet 16 team. Next round on Marshall Street is on ME.
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) March 18, 2018
Dear Jon, that’s probably not a bill you want to be taking on right about now.
No matter how you look at this team, its one of the grittiest teams that Jim Boeheim has ever coached. We know they aren’t great on offense, but we also know how great they are on defense. It’s a milestone day for the Syracuse men’s basketball program, which now has the fifth most sweet-16 appearances in the history of college basketball. Not bad, eh?
The Orange opens up as an 11-point underdog for Friday’s matchup with Duke. It doesn’t seem likely that SU beats the Blue Devils, but at this point anything can happen. The 2017-18 Syracuse Orange: the team that just won’t die.