2016 NCAA Tournament Preview: No. 10 Syracuse vs. No. 11 Gonzaga

By Trevor Lowry

Consider this matchup the Cinderella game of the Sweet 16.

Typically, Cinderella doesn’t really match up with programs like the Syracuse Orange and Gonzaga Bulldogs, but both teams find themselves with double-digit seeds regardless, and they are actually the only double-digit seeds left in the 2016 NCAA tournament.

Gonzaga’s run started with a victory over the Seton Hall Pirates and continued with a win over the Utah Utes. As for the Orange, they took down the Dayton Flyers and Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders.

Entering the season, the Bulldogs were expected to do some damage in college hoops by making a run in the tourney. Their season has been up and down — to say the least. Syracuse entered the year with a ton of uncertainty thanks to some off-the-court issues.

But here both teams are, partaking in the Sweet 16.

What To Watch For

Gonzaga has one of the best two-headed monsters in the tournament in Kyle Wiltjer and Domantas Sabonis. If they can’t be stopped, then the Bulldogs will likely do some more surviving and advancing.

Syracuse’s leading man in the scoring department is Michael Gbinije, but players like Malachi Richardson and Trevor Cooney are more than capable of keeping the scorekeeper busy.


At this stage of the game — the Sweet 16, that is — every team has the goods to win a title. Therefore, these tourney contests basically become coin-flippers.

Let’s go with the Bulldogs, though. Although Syracuse is notorious for its zone, Wiltjer and Sabonis are more than capable of dropping 20 apiece on the best defenses this sport has to offer.

Syracuse 68, Gonzaga 72

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