The Syracuse Orange were ahead of the Louisville Cardinals by double-digits in the last Big East tournament title game, but then suffered a massive defensive lapse and allowed the Cardinals to not only come back to win the game, but win the game by double-digits. Syracuse lost its chance at a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament and bitter rivals Louisville were awarded the No. 1 overall seed. The Orange are going to go further in the tournament because of their late-game collapse.
Nothing drives a team to play harder than a disappointing loss. The Orange were placed in a fairly difficult bracket with teams like Indiana, UNLV, Temple and North Carolina State potentially in the way of the Elite Eight. Syracuse will start the tournament focused and ready to play in the first round against No. 13 seeded Montana. They will want to make a statement after such a disappointing end to their regular season and should win by double-digits, cruising to the round of 32 with ease.
Syracuse has all the pieces to win a national championship. C.J. Fair and James Southerland are two of the country’s best players and can lead this team to the Final Four. Syracuse is a more athletic team than Indiana, and if the Orange can get past UNLV in the second round, they shouldn’t be challenged until the Elite Eight. This Syracuse team knows that if it fights its way to the national championship game, the Orange may get a rematch against Louisville for a much greater prize than the Big East trophy.