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NCAA Basketball Syracuse Orange

Five Reasons Why Syracuse Will Win The National Championship

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Five Reasons Why Syracuse Will Win The National Championship

Five Reasons Why Syracuse Will Win The National Championship
Debby Wong - USATODAY Sports

It’s been a full decade since Carmelo Anthony led the Syracuse Orange to a national championship as the go-to guy on a young and talented team. Since then, Syracuse has yet to return to the Final Four.

In two of the last three seasons, Syracuse has had one of the best teams in the country and appeared destined to make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament and possibly win the national championship. However, in both of those seasons the Orange lost their starting center on the eve of the tournament, turning them from favorites to win it all into a team that just didn’t have the horses to get it done, and depriving head coach Jim Boeheim of a legitimate shot at a second national championship in his hall-of-fame career.

Early this season Syracuse once again looked like one of the top teams in the country, but their season started to disintegrate down the stretch, as the Orange failed to win close games and were blown out twice against archrival Georgetown. The season was starting to look like a lost cause, but the Orange were able to turn things around just in time at the Big East Tournament, making it to the final before falling to a tough Louisville team. Now there is once again hope that Syracuse will be able to make a deep tournament run.

Boeheim is starting to close in on the end of his career, and won’t have too many more opportunities to win a second national title. This team offers the best chance he may have the rest of his career, so let’s check out five reasons why Syracuse will win the national championship this year:

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They've Started Making Shots

They've Started Making Shots
Kim Klement - USATODAY Sports

Syracuse was one of the worst teams in the Big East shooting from the perimeter, but senior James Southerland has suddenly gotten hot from the outside, absolutely lighting it up throughout the Big East Tournament. Southerland is a tough player to defend on the perimeter and he can carry the Orange a long way if he’s making shots. Fellow senior Brandon Triche is also shooting with more confidence following the Big East Tournament, and if Syracuse has its two senior playing well and making shots, they become a good offensive team that can score in bunches.

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The 2-3 Zone

The 2-3 Zone
Debby Wong - USATODAY Sports

The Syracuse defense has been good all season, and it can become even better in the NCAA Tournament when Syracuse stops playing Big East teams and starts playing teams that are unfamiliar with their 2-3 zone. Facing Syracuse can be especially difficult in the second game of a weekend when there is little time to prepare for it. Teams are frequently in awe of the size and length Syracuse has defensively, and for good reason. If the Orange play defense in the tournament as well as they’ve played all season, they’ll have a chance to beat any team they play.

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Michael Carter-Williams

Michael Carter-Williams
Brad Penner - USATODAY Sports

You can’t win in the NCAA Tournament without great guard play, and Michael Carter-Williams gives Syracuse just that. He’s taken his lumps this year and gone through some growing pains during his first year as a starter, but he’s one of the best distributors in the country, and when he gets seven assists or more the Orange are difficult to beat. If he plays within himself and can cut down on his turnovers, Syracuse will have one of the best point guards in the tournament and have a legitimate shot at a national championship.

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Jim Boeheim

Jim Boeheim
Debby Wong - USATODAY Sports

In his 37th season, Jim Boeheim is as good of a coach as he’s ever been. He’s seen and done it all, and knows how to manage any situation that comes up during the course of the tournament. Boeheim is also a masterful tactician and can make the adjustments necessary to give his team the advantage, especially when it comes to his patented 2-3 zone. There aren’t too many coaches that will be able to out-coach Boeheim, and there won’t be too many that are as motivated to win a national championship as he is. After the turn around the Orange had in the Big East Tournament, Boeheim will have his team ready for a deep run in the NCAA Tournament.

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They're Peaking At The Right Time

They're Peaking At The Right Time
Debby Wong - USATODAY Sports

Forget everything you saw from Syracuse towards the end of the regular season. The Orange found new life in New York during the Big East Tournament and they appear to be peaking at the right time. If Syracuse can continue to make outside shots for six more games, they should be able to generate enough offense that can take them to a national championship when combined with their dominant defense. Perhaps most importantly, Syracuse has overcome their late season struggles and now has the confidence that they can win it all.