Syracuse Basketball: Top 3 NCAA Tournament games in Boeheim era

Syracuse basketball(Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse basketball(Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Leading up to the early part of the 2021-22 Syracuse basketball campaign, it’s a good time for a 10-part series highlighting the best of the Boeheim era (1976-present).

I’ll give my takes, ranking the “Top 3” in many categories, from best free throw shooters to most exciting on a fast break. From top games in the Dome, to top games in the NCAA tourney and everything else in between.

I was 7-years-old in 1976 when Jim Boeheim, who is second all-time in career victories within Division I men’s basketball, became the head coach of the Orange. If I haven’t watched (or listened on the radio) intently to every single Syracuse basketball game since then, then it’s close to 98%.

Statistical facts in each Top 3 are fueled by the awesome web site.

Part 1: Top 3 Triple Doubles.
Part 2: Top 3 Free Throw Shooters.
Part 3: Top 3 Most Exciting on Fast Break.
Part 4: Top 3 Games at the Carrier Dome.
Part 5: Top 3 Shot Blockers.
Part 6: Top 3 Scorers.
Part 7: Top 3 Dunkers.
Today, it’s Part 8: My Top 3 NCAA tournament games in the Boeheim era.

Jim Boeheim, in his 44 years as coach, has taken Syracuse basketball to the NCAA Tournament 35 times. He’s advanced to the Sweet 16 in 20 of those tournaments and the Elite Eight 7 times. Boeheim has been head coach of the Orange for 5 Final Fours, been to 3 national championship games, and of course, won the National Championship once.

He’s fourth all-time in NCAA tournament wins, behind only Coach K (Duke), Roy Williams (Kansas and North Carolina) and Dean Smith (North Carolina).

That’s a long way of saying Syracuse basketball fans have enjoyed an awesome ride through the magic of March Madness for decades, so choosing the top 3 NCAA Tournament games in Boeheim’s career isn’t easy, but here it goes: