10K80 by Ian Romaker March 30, 2021
March Madness has been moving right along. And with all of the swift movement – there have been near advancers, busters, and those who just didn’t show up to the tournament. Syracuse was one of the basketball teams to ride an electric wave fairly deep into the tourney before bowing out.
We wanted to quickly reflect on the Syracuse Orange and pay our respects to the team that inspired NY basketball fans to dream again.
One of the field of the 68s was the Syracuse Orange. Entering the tournament firmly on the outer bubble, the tournament committee gave New York’s college basketball team a bid into the tournament.
Syracuse’s basketball teams always manage to play decent during the regular season. And they have an inclination to really play above their talent level when they reach the tournament.
A major reason that they are able to play above their typical caliber is that their coach is of a different basketball background. Meaning, Jim Boeheim has been to multiple NCAA tournaments and knows exactly how to throw an opponent off of their rhythm.
Typically, Boeheim’s gameplan is oriented heavily around defensive tactics. The revolving and rotating style of the 2-3 zone makes teams have to earn their victory.
While facing the zone, opposing players are forced to check multiple boxes every possession to find a very slim window to find an open shot.
Once players complete several tireless tasks, then, and only then, can they attempt a shot against the zone. The part where Orange players catch others lacking is on their defensive close-outs. With tremendous wingspan length and an ability to spring through space on the close out, Syracuse normally locks down their opponents.
This year, Syracuse was the eleventh seed at the tourney table. And managed to notch a few hard-earned victories on its belt before being eliminated by number two seed Houston.
Both teams entered the contest on a defensive tear, but the Houston Cougars happened to be slightly more well-seasoned and defensively-able than Syracuse.
Either way, Syracuse’s run was very honorable. And it goes to show why the team always gets a chance.
It is difficult to tell how far the squad will go. As well as what kind of magic they are capable of performing when they got Boeheim(s) on the team.
The last time Syracuse won a championship, star player Buddy Boeheim was only seven.
The Knicks seem to be headed in the right direction finally. The Nets are title favorites. There is life in New York basketball once again.
But as far as men’s college basketball goes, basketball is not thriving in the state. Syracuse is the best hope New Yorkers have to feel that immeasurable sense of joy in March Madness.
Syracuse certainly gave us a few weeks of that. And in years past, especially with Melo, they did it in abundance. We look forward to see what the Orange can pull out of the rabbit’s hat next year.