Syracuse makes its 17th appearance in the NCAA Tournament “Sweet 16” when it takes on Wisconsin on Thursday, March 22 at 7:15 p.m. at the TD Garden in Boston. The Orange (33-2) is the No. 1 seed in the East Region and is ranked No. 2 in both polls, while the Badgers (26-9) are the 4th seed in the region and are 14th in the media poll and No. 13 in the coaches poll. The game will be broadcast on CBS. HEADED TO BOSTON?
Syracuse University’s Office of Alumni Relations invites all Orange fans to a pre-game event at West End Johnnie’s, which is located one block from the TD Garden. Syracuse’s official radio station, TK99/TK105 will broadcast live from the event, which will feature appearances by the SU cheerleaders, Sour Sitrus Society pep band and Otto. HOW SWEET IT IS
The Orange has advanced to the NCAA Tournament’s “Sweet 16” in three of the last four seasons. Overall, Syracuse has been among the final 16 in 17 seasons since 1975. The Orange has a 2-0 record all-time in NCAA Tournament games played in Boston. The 2002-03 squad played its first and second round games there on its way to the school’s first national championship. A CLOSER LOOK AT THE ORANGE
Top-seeded Syracuse claimed a spot in the “Sweet 16” with a 75-59 victory against eighth seed Kansas State in the NCAA Tournament third round on Saturday, March 17 in Pittsburgh.
The Orange trailed early 9-2 before Kris Joseph
and Dion Waiters
combined to lead SU on an 11-2 scoring run, giving Syracuse its first lead at 13-11. Following a media timeout, Waiters and Scoop Jardine
recorded the next eight points of the game as part of the Orange’s 21-3 scoring run that extended the lead to 23-14 with 7:28 remaining in the half. Kansas State responded by scoring the next seven points and ended the half on a 12-2 scoring to cut the deficit to one, 25-24, at halftime.
Five different players combined to score 11 points for Syracuse in the first four minutes of the second half. With SU clinging to a 36-34 lead, Jardine and Brandon Triche
helped the Orange score nine consecutive points during an 11-3 scoring run. Rakeem Christmas
recorded six of his eight points during the run that extended SU’s lead to 47-37 with 11:42 to play.
The Wildcats would get back within five, but two free throws by Joseph and back-to-back three pointers by Jardine and James Southerland
gave the Orange its largest lead of the game at 55-42 with 9:02 remaining. Syracuse extended its lead to as many as 18 as it went on to the 16-point victory.
Waiters scored a game-high 18 points to lead four SU players in double figures. Jardine had 16 points, while Southerland and Joseph scored 15 and 11 points, respectively. SCOUTING THE BADGERS
Wisconsin advanced to the “Sweet 16” after a 60-57 third-round victory against fourth-seeded Vanderbilt in Albuquerque, N.M. The Badgers defeated Montana in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, 73-49.
UW carries a 26-9 record into the match-up with the Orange on Thursday. The Badgers finished fourth in the Big Ten, and posted a 12-6 record in conference play.
Jordan Taylor leads the Wisconsin offense with 14.7 points a game. A first-team All-Big Ten selection, Taylor paced the Badgers in their third-round win versus the Commodores, scoring 14 points and registering three assists. Ryan Evans is the squad’s leading rebounder, grabbing 6.8 boards per contest, and is second on the team in scoring, tallying 11.3 points per game.
Bo Ryan is in his 11th year at the helm in Madison, Wisc. The Badgers have qualified for the NCAA Tournament in each of Ryan’s seasons, including five “Sweet 16” appearances and one Elite Eight designation in 2005. Coach Ryan owns a 268-100 record at Wisconsin, including a 16-10 mark in games played in the NCAA Tournament. SERIES HISTORY
Syracuse and Wisconsin have split the two previous meetings between the two institutions. The Badgers and Orange last met in the Carrier Dome in 1999, resulting in a 68-49 SU triumph.