Orange Eliminated, Incredible Season Ends Early
The Syracuse Orange had a great season. But, it’s over.
Ohio State is moving on to the Final Four in New Orleans after a 77-70 victory over East Region one-seed Syracuse on Saturday night, led by Jared Sullinger’s 19 points and seven boards. Lenzelle Smith Jr. added 18 points and Deshaun Thomas scored 14 to go along with nine rebounds.
The second-seeded Buckeyes muscled Syracuse on the glass, winning the rebound battle 37-22.
Brandon Triche was the high scorer for ‘Cuse with 15, senior Scoop Jarine had 14 points and six assists, while the team’s leading scorer, Kris Joseph, had 10.
The Buckeyes play the winner of Sunday’s UNC-Kansas game.
Although Jim Boeheim’s and the Orange didn’t get a ticket to New Orleans and a shot at a national championship, or win the Big East Tournament, this season will be remembered for years by fans for both good and bad reasons.
The good: the best start to a season in team history (20-0); 30 wins for the first time – finishing the year with a new high of 34 wins (against 3 defeats); those wins helped pushed Boeheim into third place on the all-time Division I men’s basketball wins list; and the first Elite 8 appearance since 2003’s National Championship.
The bad: sexual molestation allegations against long-time assistant coach Bernie Fine, leading to his firing; a Yahoo! Sports investigative report that found the team ignored the university’s own drug policy and played athletes who should have been ruled ineligible; and Fab Melo’s two suspensions during the season, including one just before the NCAA Tournament that may have cost the Orange a trip to the Final Four