Syracuse basketball fans, rejoice, the dancing continues as SU defeated Dayton 70-51 to advance in the NCAA Tournament.
What an incredible win for the Syracuse Orange. This team showed why they deserved to make the tournament. Through all of the criticism and haters, the Orange kept their heads down and got the job done, and they did so in Boeheim fashion.
The 2-3 zone was simply too much for the Dayton Flyers as Syracuse basketball was absolutely dominant on defense and the glass. The Orange out-rebounded the Flyers 45-26.
Every key player of this team made an impact on this game (yes, even Trevor Cooney). It also happened to be raining threes in St. Louis, as the Orange hit eight. However, it wasn’t all smooth sailing for Syracuse basketball, as they really struggled to score in the first half.
The Orange got off to a freezing cold start, as they were 3/12 from the field in the first ten minutes of the game. Freshman Malachi Richardson was the answer to Syracuse’s prayers, as he got the Orange going with two threes and an impressive finish at the rim.
This eight point run by Malachi got the Orange offense cooking, as both Lydon and Gbinije hit threes to keep Syracuse in it. Lydon was aggressive throughout the first half. He was active on the boards and passed up deep jump shots to drive to the rim, which was effective.
Tyler Roberson was key in the paint, as it looked as if he pulled in every rebound in the first half. The Orange were sloppy with the ball which is a big part of why Dayton kept it close, as they finished the first half with 11 turnovers compared to Dayton’s 6.
As Boeheim said after the half, “We gotta stop turning the ball over, it’s giving them easy layups.”
After the half, Syracuse basketball blew the game wide open, outscoring Dayton 26-5 at one point and marching out to an insurmountable lead. They cut down on the turnovers and cruised to the finish line in style.
As you can see, the Orange deserved to be playing in this game. They were put in as a 10 seed and blew out a 7 seed by 19. That’s an even wider margin than some of the #16 vs. #1 games.
This was a statement game for the Orange. Michigan State better be ready, because the Orange definitely will be. After this game, their confidence will be soaring and if MSU thinks Sunday’s game will be a walk in the park, they better think twice.