10K80 by Ian Romaker March 16, 2021
Carmelo Anthony’s 2003 Syracuse team defeated 13-seeded Manhattan en route to one of the most brilliant all-encompassing performances of March Mayhem. The Syracuse Orange find themselves in the March Madness tournament again, but can they reinspire what the ’03 team accomplished?
G-Mac, Hakim & Carmelo was one of the illest trios of the new millennium. So let’s take a look back at this iconic squad in all their glorious splendor.
Luck is what happens when opportunity meshes perfectly with preparation. All three are required in order to maintain longevity in the NCAA tournament gauntlet.
We really witnessed an elite class of talent around the turn of the new century with the likes of Carmelo, Tracy McGrady, Kobe, LeBron, KG and more.
Notice, that only one of those high-caliber stars went on to play college hoops. And that was where Carmelo made people remember his name with the Syracuse Orange.
That man Carmelo Anthony had the single-handedly most impressive one-and-done career.
Before the one-and-done rule went into effect, Melo knew he was going to test the collegiate stage for at least two semesters. And boy did he ever.
The title win is impressive – no doubt – but the way in which he willed his team to victory night in and night out provided even more entertainment value.
Carmelo’s ability to beat a defender off the dribble, second jump rebound and recover after missed shots is uncanny. Or, he might just jab step you into submission to create space for a knockdown jumper.
Regardless, the skill magnitude he possessed as a freshman in college might be the highest of all-time. Not only that, but Syracuse was led by two freshmen during a time where many players would stay until graduation to improve their skills entirely.
The Melo-led Orangemen will go down in history as one of the most improbable victors of any March Madness saga. That ‘03 team brought the championship home to the Carrier Dome and provided memories that will last a lifetime for all of New York.