Syracuse arm-chair thoughts on the NCAA Tournament

Virginia

Virginia is among the early exits for ACC teams

While stuck between following updates to Jeff Goodman’s annual transfer list and waiting for Scott Shafer to land Syracuse’s first 2016 verbal commit (it’s recruiting season, baby!), here are some random musings on the madness that is March.

After a 39-point beat down, do you think West Virginia’s Daxter Miles, Jr. regrets running his mouth? Don’t poke the bear, son.

Now that Wisconsin has denied Arizona a spot in the Final Four in back-to-back seasons, can we somehow mandate that Sean Miller calls Bo Ryan in the off-season to schedule a home-and-home series starting in Tucson next year?

All four 5-seeds avoided the dreaded 5-12 curse this year.  Remember that when filling out your bracket next season. Speaking of bracket blunders…

I got so caught up in watching Virginia win its second straight ACC regular season championship while playing stifling defense that I forgot about The Izzo Rule: don’t bet against Michigan State to reach the Sweet 16. *spits, kicks dirt, curses self*

Now, here’s what irks me about Michigan State and it can be summed up in two words: Magic Johnson. In what has become an annual ritual more annoying than tax day or political commercials, Magic’s need to portray himself as the ultimate diehard Spartans fan is wearing thin. No matter the venue or the round or MSU’s seed, Magic shows up in the stands to cheer on his school. And the cameras focus on him the way a 12-year old girl shrieks at the sight of Justin Bieber (before he became a snot-nosed, spoiled punk, that is). If Magic really wants to prove what a loyal fan he is, maybe he should show up at the Breslin Center on a week night in the middle of January when Northwestern pays a visit and when there are no ESPN cameras around. Until that happens, Magic, just go away! Oh, and I’m cheering for Duke on Saturday.

If one year ago today you were promised that Harvey Grant would be watching his son come within seconds of sending undefeated Kentucky packing with a Final Four trip on the line, wouldn’t you have felt good about Syracuse’s upcoming 2014-15 season? Well played, Jerian.

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Given the total screw job Syracuse received from the officials at Villanova back in December, anyone else still chuckling about the 1-seeded Wildcats not making it out of the first weekend?

One of the major brain cramps by the Selection Committee was slotting Dayton as an 11-seed. But, the ensuing play-in game on ITS HOME FLOOR and subsequent Round of 64 game an hour away from campus was a joke! An 11-seed got that type of red carpet treatment? Really???

Any other Syracuse fans start twitching uncontrollably watching Bryce Alford drain nine triples against SMU? And yes, the ninth one was a goal tend. Sorry, Mustangs.

How loaded is Kentucky? Kyle Wiltjer (16.8 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 46.9 percent on threes) decided to transfer out two seasons ago.

Come on, Bill Self. Man up and schedule Wichita State.

For the seventh straight year, the best part of the NCAA Tournament has been not having to listen to Billy Packer’s constant slobber fest about Duke and North Carolina (because they’re the only two schools in the tourney every year *sarcasm*) since, you know, those two schools invented basketball (eye roll).

While the Orange played as many meaningful post season minutes as I did this year, one thought can’t help but occupy my mind: so this is what it’s like to be Rutgers and Boston College every March?

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About Steve Auger

Steve Auger is a freelance writer whose work has covered a variety of topics including sports, pets, parenting, healthy living, local government and human interest stories. His work has been published on Care.com, Tom’s of Maine, Purina’s Petcentric.com and the Westford Patch. Steve’s been a diehard Syracuse sports fan for over 25 years. To this day, the words “Smart takes the shot” still make him cringe. Follow him on Twitter @Corner_Cube.
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