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The birth of a superstar: Carmelo on the Syracuse Orange

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.

carmelo syracuse
Melo Been Ahead of his Time – Just Check the 2 Toned Jersey (Credit: Anou Enright)

Syracuse took the tournament by perfect storm

Luck is what happens when opportunity meshes perfectly with preparation. All three are required in order to maintain longevity in the NCAA tournament gauntlet

carmelo syracuse
After coming back against Oklahoma State in the second round – this Syracuse team amassed unheralded confidence. (Credit: UnKut Raw)

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.

Melo breaks the mold

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.

Carmelo joins legendary company on draft night after notching 22 double-doubles while in college (Credit: NBA)

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. 

There will never be another Carmelo and ’03 Syracuse Orange squad

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.

syracuse orange
Carmelo jumps for jubilant joy during the most exciting time of his life (Credit: Tumblr)

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.

What Carmelo did for Central NY and the Syracuse program as a whole cannot be understated. (Credit: Pinterest)

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.