Syracuse players disappointed by loss, proud of success this year

Even though the disappointment of losing to Michigan was still fresh, junior forward C.J. Fair said he would remember the 2012-2013 season as a success.

"I am proud of the way we handled things this season. We had a lot of ups and downs but we stuck with it and believed in ourselves. We just came up short at a crucial time," said Fair as he sat at his locker.

In the Syracuse locker room, several players took questions about the difficult ending of the Michigan game. Starting point guard Michael Carter-Williams had fouled out but the Orange battled back and were within two points with under a minute left. Senior Brandon Triche drove to the basket but was called for an offensive foul. Triche fouled out of the game and the ball went back to Michigan.

"That's a moment you dream about. Those final seconds, the ball in your hands, opportunity to make the best play for your team - pretty much dropped the ball," said a somber Triche. "Probably remember that the most."

Even though Carter-Williams and Triche were fouled out, the Orange had one more chance to tie the game. Guard Trevor Cooney attempted a drive to the basket but lost the ball.

"We were trying to get James (Southerland) the ball and they covered him so I just tried to make a play,' said Cooney.

Despite the loss, Syracuse players took pride in their Final Four appearance. The team had faced plenty of criticism over the course of the season and during a late season slump, but freshman forward Jerami Grant said the Orange never gave up.

"Nobody thought we were going to beat Indiana or Marquette and make it here so definitely after everything we've been through - I'm proud of everybody," said Grant.

Grand and Fair said the experience gained during the NCAA tournament would help Syracuse next year and made them hungry for another shot at a championship.

"When you get to the Final Four it shows it's possible to get here. It's hard to get here but it shows the Syracuse community it's possible for us and I think that gives us an edge going forward,' said Fair.