A quick take on Syracuse’s 64-63 win against Wisconsin to advance to the Elite 8 of the NCAA Tournament:
WHAT HAPPENED: Up by one point with 18.9 seconds left, Kris Joseph missed the front end of a 1-and-1 and Wisconsin got possession back. Jordan Taylor missed a contested 3-pointer as time expired, and the Orange advanced to the Elite 8 for the first time since 2003. The game was tight throughout the second half after SU had taken a 10 point lead in the first half.
ANALYSIS: The Orange had one of its best offensive games of the season, shooting 55 percent from the field and 5-for-9 from 3, yet won by only a single point. Wisconsin was able to keep it close with one of the best shooting performances from downtown of the tourney so far, hitting 14 of 27 from beyond the arc. At one point, the Badgers hit six 3-pointers in a row to take a 59-56 lead with 7:05 left. But Wisconsin couldn’t make them when they counted, missing its last five 3-pointers as the Orange held the Badgers to just four points in the final seven minutes of the game.
HERO: CJ Fair had 15 to lead SU, leading four Orange players in double figures. Scoop Jardine (14), Brandon Triche (11) and Dion Waiters (13) were the others. Taylor and Jared Berggren each had 17 for the Badgers.
ZERO: SU’s perimeter defense — Wisconsin had come into the game hitting 20 3-pointers over its first two games of the NCAA tournament. That torrid trend continued, as Wisconsin patiently attacked the 2-3 zone and found open shots on the perimeter. The Orange gave up far too many open looks from 3, but the goal at this time of year is to survive and advance. That’s what the Orange did.
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse will play the winner of Cincinnati/Ohio State to be played immediately following this game in the Elite 8 on Saturday.