Syracuse hopes to exorcise ghost of 1987

Jim Boeheim

Exorcising the ghost of 1987 once and for all.

When Syracuse meets Indiana it can do the one thing it hasn't been able to accomplish since that devastating national title game loss to the Hoosiers in 1987 - beat Indiana in the NCAA Tournament.

Syracuse has just about exorcised every ghost of that fateful night- The Orange has beaten the Hoosiers since then and most importantly won the 2003 National Championship.

However, the sting of that loss stuck with Coach Boeheim until his team won it all 10 years ago.

"You never get over games like that" Boeheim said. "I thought we played as well as we could play in that game. Indiana was a big, big favorite in that game. I thought we played as well as we could play and we certainly had a lot of opportunities to win the game. At the end of games you can be ahead, you can be a little bit better, but that doesn't mean you're going to win if you miss a free throw.

"Keith Smart made 10 of their last 12 or 13 points. He played great the whole last part of the game after being taken out of the game, and he was one of the guys that I was worried about in that game. He came back in and he was the guy that beat us. We played very well in the game. When you lose a game like that, you really almost never get over it. I got over it in 2003. That's when I really I probably thought about it for those (16) years most of the time. I never think about it anymore," Boeheim went on to say.

Of course, Brandon Triche's uncle Howard played in that game and was a captain for the 1987 team. When asked if he had extra motivation to avenge his Uncle's loss, Brandon was quick to say "no."

So while Orange fans are itching for "revenge", if Syracuse wins, it won't be about that. It will be about the 2013 edition of Syracuse Orange Basketball advancing to the Elite 8 by beating one of the best teams in college basketball.

"I feel like I see them every time I turn on ESPN. They're a good team, consistently all year and definitely one of those teams you look forward to playing against. They have great talent, great shooters and all around great players. We feel like we will match up pretty well against them," SU Senior James Southerland said.

Any way you slice it, when the Orange and Indiana lock horns Thursday night it will be a classic contest.

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