It’s tough to reflect on this season just hours after coming up short of a trip to the Final Four. This team set school record and conference record for wins. They lost just 3 games all season but none of that matters much right now since that third loss ended their season short of achieving their goal of a national title. Syracuse pulled out so many tight games but couldn’t do it on this final night as Ohio State now celebrates a trip to New Orleans while Syracuse heads home wondering what if.
Syracuse has battled through a lot of adversity this year. I’m not even talking about the various scandals. I’m talking about on the court. Certain players have gone through dismal stretches. They’ve been out-rebounded, out-hustled, shoot poorly from the free throw line, struggled offensively, but they have always found a way to win nearly every time. Against Cincinnati they certainly had their chances but some glaring faults they’ve had all season combined with uncharacteristic play was just too much to overcome.
I’m tired of every analyst saying what Syracuse has to do or what they have to fix to win. This team is as unique as any in recent memory and while they do have a couple big issues with a mediocre half-court offense and sub-par rebounding, it’s clear by their 31-1 record that these don’t necessarily have to be fixed for the Orange to win.
Syracuse just keeps finding ways to win. How many times will that be the prevailing line of logic before it comes back to bite them? Maybe it’s a sign of how far this program has come that we can find so many faults with a team that is 27-1. But I suspect it has to do with our cynical nature as Syracuse fans after so many recent seasons that have ended in disappointment. Even after a win over a solid South Florida team (didn’t think I’d type that any time soon) it’s tough not to have a sinking feeling that this season could quickly turn into a failure.