It took incredible comebacks in not one, but two consecutive games, but nevertheless, the Orange is headed to the Final Four for the second time in four years. Syracuse was ice cold, and Virginia was in control when this comeback started. The Orange finished the game on a 21-2 run and beat the ‘Hoos 68-62 in Chicago.
The comeback started when the Orange put the press on. Although Virginia was able to routinely break the pressure and get up court, the press still flustered the Cavs and UVA lost control of its lead. The Orange started to make shots at the same time their defense got going.
It would be impossible to write the story of this game without the play of Malachi Richardson. He was the catalyst of the Syracuse offense and led the way with 23 points and was named the Midwest Region’s Most Outstanding Player. For most of the game, Michael Gbinije was locked up by ACC Player of the Year Malcolm Brogdon, and was held to just 11 points, Trevor Cooney had just 10. So it was left up to the freshman who is never scared to shoot. and Malachi showed that tonight.
The Orange is on to the Final Four because of its defense, no question about that. In the final 13:30 combined of the Gonzaga and Virginia game, the Orange allowed just 7 points. An absolutely incredible stat from “The Student Section” that shows just how incredible a job the Orange did on the defensive end at the ends of games.
The improbable run continues as the Orange is headed to the Final Four next weekend in Houston.