The top seed in Washington D.C. was stifled and upset by a Syracuse 2-3 zone that has been the focal point for head coach Jim Boeheim for decades now.
Indiana had trouble all night with poor shooting and turnovers and that’s credit to the Orange who are advancing forward to the Elite 8. Syracuse will meet their Big East rival, Marquette. The Golden Eagles advanced to their first Elite 8 since 2003 with the victory, stifling Miami (FL) with some impressive defense of their own.
Marquette, who had advanced to their third consecutive Sweet 16 here in 2013, finally broke through with their victory on Thursday night. Ironically enough, Marquette took care of Syracuse in the teams’ lone meeting during the regular season. The game was played in Milwaukee and the Golden Eagles won by a final score of 74-71.
Once again the key to victory in this one will come down to Marquette’s ability to penetrate and hit shots against Syracuse’s 2-3 zone. Davante Gardner scored a career-high 26 points the first time these two teams met, but don’t expect that to happen again with a trip to the Final Four on the line. Syracuse will surely make adjustments and make things difficult for Gardner.
However, if Marquette can look to get the ball inside and collapse the zone, this could open up shot attempts for the Golden Eagles on the perimeter. Marquette guards Vander Blue and Junior Cadougan need to be ready to attack on the offensive end.
There’s a trip to Atlanta on the line in this old school, Big East rivalry, but who will be the one to make the move to the Final Four on Saturday?