Syracuse starting center Fab Melo will not participate in the NCAA Tournament and did not travel with his teammates to Pittsburgh for the first round, accroding to SUAthletics.com. ESPN's Dana O'Neil is reporting that Melo's second suspension of the year is in fact related to the academic issue that caused him to miss three games earlier this season. The unidentified source told O'Neil that the NCAA initially cleared Melo to play, but then revisisted the case and deemed him ineligible.
Melo, a native of Juiz de Forz, Brazil, ends his sophmore season with an average of 7.8 points per game with 5.8 rebounds per game. He also had a total of 88 blocked shots in 30 games.
Melo's suspension is the second straight time that the Orange will be without their starting center when entering the NCAA Tournament as a No. 1 seed. Two years ago Arinze Onuaku was injured in the Big East Tournament and did not participate in the NCAA Tournament. The Orange lost to Butler that year in the Sweet Sixteen.
Syracuse will face UNC Asheville in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday in Pittsburgh at 3:10 p.m.
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