Syracuse had its heart ripped out in a 72-69 buzzer-beating loss to Virginia in the third round of the ACC Tournament. Despite the loss, the Orange looked great against a very real opponent today. Ever since that win over UNC earlier this month, Coach Boeheim’s team has looked like an entirely different unit. The depth has emerged as a huge factor for this team’s success, but the main reason Syracuse has played well as of late is Buddy Boeheim. The coach’s son has been on fire, yesterday against NC State, Boeheim put the team on his back with 27 points, today a new career-high, 31. The junior has been scorching opposing defenses and will need to continue to do so if the Orange are to win another game this year.
However, the question now becomes: Does Syracuse get to play another meaningful game?
The Orange couldn’t get it done against first-seeded Virginia today, but in terms of NCAA tournament hopes, it shouldn’t matter too much. The Orange did what they needed to do to make them virtually undeniable from the big dance.
Obviously, nothing is set in stone until Sunday, but right now, things look good for SU. As of right now, the Orange are still credited as a part of the last four in according to Joe Lunardi’s bracketology. Though if the committee thinks differently after today’s game and has SU out right now, here’s who Orange fans should be rooting for. It’s time to look toward tonight’s matchups in the Mountain West Conference Tournament. For Syracuse to have a better chance at receiving a bid this weekend, either Boise St. or Colorado St. will have to lose. It would have been pretty nice to grab a win today, SU would be a lot more comfortable leading up to Sunday, but again, a close loss to the top team in the conference should prove enough to put this team in the tournament.
They played a great game. The aforementioned Buddy Boeheim has led this team to a new height. Alan Griffin didn’t play his best today, something that could’ve really help this squad.
Like Coach Boeheim mentioned though, Robert Braswell was there to pick up the slack Griffin left behind. Braswell was effective on either side of the floor, draining threes on the offensive end and playing the zone perfectly on defense. The only looming issue this team has is its health. In the post-game press conference, Coach Boeheim eluded the team being pretty banged up:
Richmond playing with an injured knee and Marek Dolezaj a fractured finger aren’t exactly the ingredients to a recipe for success. The Orange have fought tooth and nail all season, it would be a shame to see it end here.