March 31, 2016 Louisville,Ky (Analyzed Sports) By: S.K. Patrick
Final Four: Syracuse’s Improbable Final Four Run
A number 10 seed is in the Final Four. Yes somehow; someway the Syracuse Orange has made it to the Final Four for the 5th time while Jim Boeheim has been leading the team. The 2016 NCAA tournament run just may be the greatest coaching job Boeheim has produced over his hall of fame career. Boeheim didn’t need another bullet point on his Hall of Fame resume. But this one is historic as a team many didn’t feel belonged in the tournament barley made it as a 10 seed. Syracuse becomes the first 10 seed to make it to the Final Four and just the fourth double-digit seed to advance. It’s the lowest seeded team to reach the national semifinals since No. 11 VCU in 2011.
In the second half it didn’t seem like we would see the Orange in the Final Four. Virginia’s point guard London Perrentes swished his sixth three with 9:33 left it gave the Cavaliers a 54-39 lead. It seemed we were going to a rematch of the ACC tournament championship between Virginia and UNC. But Boeheim had other plans and responded with a full court press. It seemed like a desperation move for a team defined by its 2-3 zone defense. But it worked against Gonzaga and it worked again on Sunday. A round the 5 min mark the Orange was up one point. Syracuse scored 25 of the next 29 points, including 15 in a row. Malachi Richardson led Syracuse with 23 points and 7 rebounds shooting for 6-16. London Perrantes scored 18 points including 6-10 from three.
“This is the best comeback we’ve ever had. It was a whole team effort and these guys really deserve it,” Boeheim said. ”We beat a great basketball team. I’ve never been prouder in all my 40 years as coach of a basketball team as I am of this team tonight.”
Next for the fairy tale story is David vs. Goliath as the North Carolina Tar heels now await.
Given the state of college sports, North Carolina-Syracuse might be a fitting Final Four game during a year known for scandals. We all remember Syracuse’s self-imposed postseason ban; Jim Boeheim’s nine-game suspension this year for failing to monitor his program; also there was report that North Carolina’s 2005 championship team had players accounting for 35 enrollments in classes that didn’t produced easy, high grades.
But focusing on the game The Orange must slow down the pace from the talented men in powder blue. The Tar heels are known for an up and fast paced style of play. Limiting their offensive possessions is crucial to Syracuse success. The Tar heels have somehow found their three point stroke that they’ve been missing all year. Stretching out Syracuse 2-3 zone with the three will provide penetration lanes for the wing players. It’s a game with two hall of fame coaches looking to play chess and not checkers.
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