The Syracuse Orange looked like the team that started the season 25-0 on Thursday afternoon — not the squad that ended the season 2-5. Jim Boeheim and the Orange took care of Western Michigan early to advance to the round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament, 77-53. Led by the starting-five, Syracuse jumped out early and never relinquished control. Next on the list, Dayton.
The third round match-up with underdog Dayton may be troublesome for the Orange. An underdog team with nothing to lose riding on the momentum of an upset is a very dangerous opponent, but I believe Syracuse will have no problem making it to the Sweet 16. It is there that my dilemma exists.
Assuming that everything goes according to plan and Kansas takes care of business, the Orange will meet with the No. 2 seed Jayhawks — no easy match-up for a team that hasn’t exactly been the role model of consistency as of late. Bill Self and Kansas are always in contention to make a deep run in March, and this year is no different.
Now, I do appreciate the experience of Syracuse’s roster. Gour of the five starters were part of the team that reached the Final Four last year, but their experience did not show down the stretch of the regular season with ugly losses to Boston College and Georgia Tech. Boeheim’s teams have also been known to bow out in the Sweet 16, and Kansas looks like they will be the road block.
They might have played well in the second round, but it was Western Michigan; they should have played that way. Kansas is a different beast, unlike any team in the ACC. As long as Kansas makes it to the Sweet 16, Syracuse will not go any further.
Shane Phillips is a College Basketball Writer for RantSports.com. Follow Shane on Twitter @ShaneRantSports, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also email Shane at ShaneRantNBA@gmail.com.