This was a game Syracuse should have dominated and in many ways they did, leading for the final 38 minutes. But the Orange could never quite pull away from the scrappy Sycamores until late in the game. No win in the NCAA Tournament can be discredited but the Orange will need to play with a lot harder to advance any further.
Coming off a tough loss to Connecticut in the semifinals of the Big East tournament, Syracuse landed a No. 3 seed in the East Region of the NCAA tournament. Sound familiar? The year was 2003, and three weeks after receiving this draw the Orangemen hoisted their first national championship trophy. To see whether the 2011 Orange can repeat the feat, let’s keep in mind what it takes to beat them. The conventional wisdom says the biggest key to beating Syracuse is sinking 3s. In Syracuse’s five regular-season losses this year, their opponents shot 47 percent from beyond the arc. This compares with the 31 three-point percent that Syracuse held its opponents to overall, good for 25th best in the country.