Two similar teams face off in the third round of the NCAA tournament.
The Syracuse Orange will take on a tough opponent in the California Golden Bears in the third round of the NCAA tournament on Saturday, after being handed a 48-point victory over the Montana Grizzlies Thursday night.
The Bears (20-11, 12-6 Pacific 12) have a very similar team to the Orange. California is similarly sized, has similar records, employs a successful zone defense and has an almost identical shooting percentage. Syracuse shoots slightly better from beyond the arc, but Cal shoots marginally better from the charity stripe.
In the final Big East tournament for No. 19 Syracuse, the Orange could not hold on to a halftime lead, eventually falling to the No. 4 Cardinals, 78-61.
The No. 4 Lousiville Cardinals (29-5) won the Big East Championship for the second straight year and third since 2009. This time, it was a 78-61 victory over No. 19 Syracuse. The Orange (26-9) came out swinging in the first half, coasting to a 35-22 lead at halftime. However, the second half was all Louisville, who outscored the Orange 56-26, including a 44-10 run.
“I thought that they were the best team in the league from the beginning of the year,” head coach Jim Boeheim said. “They proved that today.”
The Orange dropped its second straight game, losing to Marquette, 74-71
Syracuse's best player is CJ Fair
Not Michael Carter-Williams, Brandon Triche or James Southerland. CJ Fair. His 20 points against Marquette was the 12th time this season he has had 15 or more points. He has nine double-doubles on the season, including five in conference play.