WOW what a victory.
The Syracuse Orange dominated their match up with the top seeded Indiana Hoosiers 61-50, in a game that really wasn’t even that close.
Syracuse came out of the gates swinging, taking a big advantage early on in the game. The Orange had a lead as large as 15 points in the first half, and hung on to a 12 point lead at intermission. The Hoosiers came out strong to start the second half, cutting the lead to as low as six points before the Orange pulled away for good. Michael Carter-Williams played the best game of his Syracuse career and led the way with a career-high 24 points. Brandon Triche added 14, and CJ Fair put in 11 for the ‘Cuse.
This was a game that was absolutely dominated on the defensive end, where Syracuse forced 18 turnovers while recording 11 blocks in the game. This was by far the best defense we’ve seen from the Orange all season, and it came at an absolutely perfect time. Indiana was held to both their lowest point total (50) and their lowest field goal percentage (34%) on the season.Victor Oladipo led the way offensively for the Hoosiers in the losing effort. Oladipo scored 15 points, and grabbed three steals. Christian Watford scored 13 points, and Cody Zeller put in 11 for Indiana.
Syracuse now moves forward to the Elite Eight, where they have a rematch with the Marquette Golden Eagles. Marquette won the only meeting with Syracuse this season 74-71, in a game that saw a Syracuse 11 point second half lead evaporate with a lot of free throws from big man Davanta Gardner. Gardner shot more free throws than the entire Syracuse team in that game, and the Golden Eagles came back late for the win while Syracuse was in the midst of their late season struggles heading in to the Big East Tournament.
This game with Marquette is without a doubt a game that Syracuse is more than capable of winning. I believe Indiana has more talent offensively than Marquette does, and if the Syracuse defense can play with the kind of intensity they played with tonight that the Orange should have no trouble in that game. Marquette escaped with a victory at home the last time these two teams matched up, but I believe that if Syracuse can play their game, they will be right in position to get the win late in the game. This team responded incredibly well to the Indiana run to start the second half, and if they can keep their poise throughout the game Saturday, Syracuse fans should have a lot to cheer about when the final horn sounds.