March Madness is here, and the college players have been showing how much they have missed playing freely. Everybody might be wondering how to stop Gonzaga and Jalen Suggs, but Syracuse has been having a party of its own. Earning the eighth spot in the seedings means the men in orange will face one of their favorite foes, North Carolina State. The Orange has a good record against NC, and there will be a crowd at Greensboro meaning you have every right to take advantage of that Bet365 bonus code now. The real question of Syracuse’s tournament run, however, is how far Buddy Boeheim can take them?
Boeheim has been the standout player so far for Syracuse, and their success is mostly dependent on how much he can shoulder in their quest for glory. Big performances from Boeheim have more often than not translated into big wins for the Orange, and his average against the Wolfpack is 16-3-2, very similar to his averages this season. Playing at Greensboro with a crowd could be an extra boost. However, the tournament may be over before it starts for coach Boeheim’s men because they may have the Wolfpack’s number but that is one of the hottest teams around going into the tournament. The Wolfpack are a red hot 5-0 going into the matchup, and even though they have lost the last two games this season to the Orange, a 3-0 in a season is a very difficult feat. Jericole Hellems is also going to be a big factor in the game. After Daniels was lost for the season, Hellems has stepped up big time, averaging a career-high 13 points on 49% and 39% shooting from inside and beyond the arc, respectively. His play will be instrumental in beating Syracuse, and that 2-0 hole this season against them should be an extra motivation. However, Boeheim has also been on a tear recently, shooting 43% from deep and averaging 21 pts in the last five games. His play will be the difference maker, and the Orange will need every bit of his space.
The match will be a ninth seed versus eighth, but you would not know that, by the way, both teams have carried themselves leading into the tournament. Impressive wins against Clemson and North Carolina exorcised a string of defeats for Syracuse and renewed their spirits. Again, Boeheim was a big part player in those wins, scoring 17 (40% FG) and 26 (45% FG), respectively. Syracuse cannot afford to look past NC State, but the field is pretty stacked, and every team is playing well, something that the Orange have to be wary of but also relish; theirs could be a Cinderella story of sorts. In the games against the Wolfpack this season.
The numbers favor Syracuse, but basketball, from all we know, is a game of pride and egos, something very present in the College game. Outside the players on whose shoulders the responsibility to carry their respective teams hand on, it will require a collective effort to see it through.