Syracuse Men and Women in NCAA Final Four

DeShawn Smith, Staff Reporter

For the sixth time in March Madness history, Syracuse has made it all the way to the Final Four. They will be awaiting the number-one-seeded North Carolina Tarheels. Syracuse is expected to lose the match because they are only a tenth seed, but you can’t count on that because Syracuse wasn’t supposed to make it as far as they have already.

They seem to be proving that offense doesn’t win games, defense does. Syracuse’s 2-3 defense is on a role and is a major key to success if they want to reach the championship game. Syracuse is ranked thirteenth throughout the country for opposition field goal percentage at 30.8. Syracuse had a struggle in crashing the boards defensively, allowing the opponents to collect 34.9 percent of their missed shots. In the tournament Syracuse has really stepped up in that category and they out rebounded three of the four teams which included Dayton (seventh seed), Middle Tenn (fifteenth seed), and Virginia (first seed).

Even with the rebounding as a factor, they also had a touch for sending the ball the other way. Tyler Lydon leads Syracuse in blocked shots with 17 in their last three games.

Even with great defense you still have to score. Malachi Richardson and Michael Gbinije are leading the Syracuse Basketball team in scoring. Malachi scoring 21 against Dayton and 23 against Virginia and Gbinije scoring 23 against Middle Tenn and 20 against Gonzaga.   

Syracuse men have accomplished a lot but we can’t forget that the Lady Oranges have also made it to the Final Four, for the first time in Syracuse University history.

The Syracuse women are averaging a sixteen point winning margin in their last four March Madness games. Junior, Alexis Peterson, is averaging 25.3 points per game in the tournament, leading the lady Oranges in scoring.

Quentin Hillman, coach of Syracuse women’s basketball team, said, “We did what we had to do. We knew we had to control the paint, and we did a good job of that. We knew we had to make 3s, and to be 14 for 30 behind the arc is really knocking down shots. That was the key to the game.”

It is only the twelfth time in NCAA history that the men and women’s basketball team has made it to the Final Four in the Same year. Syracuse men being the first tenth seed to make it to the Final Four and Syracuse making it to Final Four for the first time. Syracuse breaking records and keeping their game at their highest.

Many students and staff at IRHS dressed in all varieties of SU orange on the Friday before the game to express their excitement, and compete in a “biggest fan” competition sponsored by the Sports Marketing class.