A quick take on Syracuse’s 77-70 loss against Ohio State in the Elite 8 of the NCAA Tournament:
WHAT HAPPENED: Syracuse trailed by 10 with 13:47, but fought back to within one on two occasions including a 55-54 game with 6:52 left. But the Orange could get no closer than that, and turned the ball over four times in the closing minutes of the game. Meanwhile, Jared Sullinger scored eight points down the stretch, six from the free throw line, as the Buckeyes advanced to the Final Four.
ANALYSIS: The game was heavy on fouls, as Ohio State went to the line 42 times and both teams were in the bonus early in the second half. Three players (Dion Waiters, James Southerland and Aaron Craft) fouled out while three SU players had four fouls. The Orange was out-muscled inside, losing on the boards 39-26, and couldn’t make up for it with turnovers, as they were even with OSU with 12, and had zero fastbreak points.
HERO: Sullinger led the way with 19 points and seven rebounds. William Buford chipped in 13 points and nine boards. Brandon Triche had 15 to lead SU.
ZERO: Kris Joseph, in his final game at SU, continued his poor postseason play with just 10 points on 4 of 11 shooting. Dion Waiters, likely playing in his last game as an Orange, had nine points on 2 of 8 shooting.
WHAT’S NEXT: There will be a lot of turnover on this Syracuse team, with Joseph and Jardine playing their final games. Fab Melo and Waiters will likely not be back next year, as well.