With his team trailing 67-66 in the latter stages of the Elam Ending, Keifer Sykes connected on a deep three-pointer to hit the Target Score and send Boeheim’s Army to its first TBT championship with a 69-67 victory over Team 23.
Here are various tidbits from the game:
- Total fourth quarter update: Boeheim’s Army 121, Opponents 68.
- Malachi Richardson struggled again, missing all eight of his shots, including five attempts behind the arc, the last of those coming when Boeheim’s Army could have called time out to start the Elam Ending. While he did have a big opening game and a couple clutch shots to help pull out the Golden Eagles game, Richardson finished the tournament shooting 25 percent from the field and 27.3 percent from three-point range.
- Chris McCullough was the steadiest player for Boeheim’s Army, averaging 13.5 points and seven rebounds per game while shooting 47.6 percent from the field.
- But for his steadiness, McCullough was not named to the All-Tournament Team. The only Boeheim’s Army player to make the team was point guard Tyrese Rice, who averaged 14.3 points and 3.0 assists per game and was also named Tournament MVP. There’s no doubt that Boeheim’s Army wouldn’t have gotten to the championship game without Rice (24 points in the semifinals), but he struggled in the title game, shooting just 3-14 for eight points.
- Joining Rice on the All-Tournament Team was general manager Kevin Belbey. Belbey made all of the right moves in the offseason, going outside of the Syracuse family to add Deandre Kane, Rice, Sykes and DJ Kennedy. Each of those players played key roles in Boeheim’s Army championship run.
- Kennedy is one of TBT’s most decorated players, having won The Tournament five times. Kane is right behind with four championships.
- Sykes finished the tournament shooting 10-of-20 from three-point range and 47.6 percent overall. The least heralded of the non-Syracuse players to join the team and the only one who was a reserve, Sykes will be the one most fondly remembered, for obvious reasons.
- And to top off the night, it was reported after the game that Skyes had signed a contract with the Indiana Pacers. A Tournament winner and an NBA contract on the same day. Needless to say, Aug. 3 will be etched in his memory for quite some time.
- Eric Devendorf has played with Boeheim’s Army for every season, and he was on the floor for the final basket. Devendorf wore No. 44, and fittingly, also scored the 44th point of the game. He finished with five points and hung Boeheim’s Army’s tag on the final bracket. “This is the best university in the world, Syracuse,” he said afterward.
- Boeheim’s Army was stingy late, allowing Team 23 to make just two of their final ten shots after the seven-minute mark of the fourth quarter, helping them turn a six-point deficit into a title.