The Syracuse Orange basketball team (27-5, 14-4 ACC) was selected as a 3-seed in the 2014 NCAA Tournament. The Orange is in the South region, and will play Western Michigan on Thursday in Buffalo at 2:45 p.m. The game will be televised on CBS.
SU is coming off the best start in school history at 25-0, but struggled down the stretch, dropping five of their last seven games. The team earned a double-bye in the ACC Tournament, but lost in their quarterfinal matchup with NC State. SU earned the 10th overall seed in the NCAA Tournament.
"The last two times we won the conference tournament i think we lost in the first round game [of the NCAA tournament]," said head coach Jim Boeheim. "I've seen teams struggle in their conference tournament and they go and do well in the NCAA. Villanova did that and they won it one year. It's how you play starting this week and I'm very confident with the way we've played the last couple of games."
The top overall seed in the tournament, the University of Florida is the 1-seed in SU's bracket. SU or Western Michigan will play the winner of 6-seed Ohio State and 11-seed Dayton. Ohio State and Dayton play the first game of the day in Buffalo, tipping off at 12:15 p.m. Don't forget, the Orange lost to Ohio State in 2012 in the Elite 8. Senior C.J. Fair, however, says that loss is the furthest thing from his mind at the moment.
"I don't think it will help us thinking about getting revenge over Ohio state," said Fair. "We look at the bigger picture: trying to make another Final Four run and [play for] a national title so if they're in the way of that then we've got to take them down as well."
If the Orange can get past those hurdles, they could potentially match up with Kansas, the 2-seed in the region. The Sweet Sixteen/Elite 8 in the South region will be played in Memphis, TN. SU's struggles down the stretch may have cost them a chance to play in the East region, which features Madison Square Garden as the site of the Sweet Sixteen/Elite 8.