Syracuseâ??s Fab Melo will not play in the NCAA Tournament

This has been a tumultuous season for the Orange who began the season on the heals of allegations of sexual abuse against assistant coach Bernie Fine, and in recent weeks, allegation of drug testing policy violations.

Now, Syracuse University has announced that sophomore center Fab Melo will not play in this yearâ??s NCAA Tournament. Their first game is Thursday afternoon.

According to Syracuse University Athletics, "Fab Melo did not travel with the team to Pittsburgh, and will not take part in the NCAA Tournament due to an eligibility issue. Given University policy and federal student privacy laws, no further details can be provided at this time."

"All we can do is be ready to play with the guys we have," Jim Boeheim told the Associated Press.

Pete Thamel of The New York Times is reporting that this may be the end of Melo's Syracuse career. "Multiple sources, both in the N.B.A. and at Syracuse, have said Melo plans to declare for the N.B.A. draft after this season," reports Thamel.

Syracuse has a Number 1 seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament after losing the Big East Semifinal last week. Syracuse will play UNC-Asheville at 3:15pm on Thursday in Pittsburgh.

Earlier this season, Melo missed three games due to an an academic issue. While Melo was off the court, Syracuse was 2-1, losing their first game of the season to Notre Dame on January 21.

ESPN reported earlier in the day that an academic issue prompted the NCAA to suspend Melo again. ESPN then corrected the article, saying Syracuse University suspended Melo, not the NCAA.

Melo was named Big East Defensive Player of the Year with 3.7 blocks per game in league play and 3.1 overall.

After the news broke, Fab Melo was trending on Twitter in the United States and Worldwide and many tweeted saying they were now changing their brackets. ESPN is monitoring Syracuse's bracket popularity live here.

What do you think this means for the Orange? Have you changed your bracket? Do you think Syracuse could fall to a Number 16 seed?

What you're saying on Facebook and Twitter:

Nathan Jones: It means a lot of disappointed fans are now rearranging their brackets :/

Jennifer Lynn Murphy: Syracuse has a well put together TEAM. Fab is not the TEAM. We have strong players and if they get their asses in gear and BUCK UP, they'll get it done. Have faith in our boys.

Edward Purcell: It means absolutely no friggin chance at the elite eight, much less final four

@SyrMichael: IF this is an academic issue, the professor in me reminds people that these are student-athletes ... student first

Mike Mcpheron: Wow I thought that was all cleared up!

@beneg92: Time to regroup and get optimistic. No one thinks we can win it now, we've never had a better chance to prove them wrong!

Dave Willeat Morekfc: leave it to cuse to be the big choke artist. only game lost in the regular season and they didn't have melo

Anthony Griffin: Like coach I will ride and die with this team, Still number one in my heart. Melo let the team and fans down, but that does not mean we should bail on them. I still believe and I will not make any excuses, we already have one and its name is melo...

@RoscoDeGama: Wow!! What a bummer....

PeteThamelNYT: That's what happens when you cause everyone to fill in a new bracket. RT @DOsports: Fab Melo is currently a worldwide trending topic.

Sue C. Thatcher-West: Not saying much for our other players! they are all excellent!! They don't need Malo they've won without him before! They can do it! Why are S. U. Fans so fickle!! Go CUSE!!!