SU men’s basketball lands No. 11 seed in first round of NCAA Tournament

SU men's hoops lands No. 11 seed in NCAA Tourney

Fans can breathe a little easier as the Orange avoid a play-in game.
Published: March 14, 2021 | Updated: April 6th, 2021 at 3:29 pm
Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim talks with his players during a time-out in the first half against N.C. State on Wednesday, March 10, 2021 during the ACC Tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, N.C.
Syracuse men’s basketball landed the No. 11 seed heading into the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday.

After losing to Virginia by a 3-point buzzer-beater on Thursday, the Syracuse men’s basketball team’s only chance of making it to the NCAA Tournament was to be chosen by the March Madness selection committee on Selection Sunday.

The Orange avoided a play-in game, coming into the first round of the tournament as a No. 11 seed. Syracuse University will tip-off against No. 6 seeded San Diego State on Friday, March 19.

Head coach Jim Boeheim said he thinks his team is in a good place heading into Friday’s matchup.

“I think certainly by Friday we should be at full strength,” Boeheim said. “We got a real tough draw. I’ve seen San Diego State play a couple of times. They’re a really good shooting team. They shoot well from three. They’re really good.”

Boeheim commended his players for continuing to push after facing multiple speedbumps due to COVID-19 issues at the beginning of the season.

“We put ourselves in a tough position early in the year,” Boeheim said. “The grit and determination of these guys to win the Bryant game and to come back against Buffalo, without that, and Northeastern really, without those games, we’d already be planning for next year.”

Boeheim also said the game against the Aztecs won’t be easy.

“It’s a real tough challenge for us,” Boeheim said. “But, where we were, we’re happy to have the challenge ahead of us.”

An addition to the highlight reel for ‘Cuse this week was Buddy Boeheim as he became the first-ever Syracuse player named to the ACC All-Tournament First Team.

Boeheim, who averaged 29 points in both ACC Tournament games last week, said he was both excited and nervous heading into Selection Sunday.

“I felt like we had a good resume,” said Boeheim. “When the show started, I was shaking, I was nervous…Once we saw our name get called, it was just a great feeling.”

With the NCAA Tournament cancelation last year due to the pandemic, Boeheim said this year’s experience is even more special.

“Just to have it completely shut down, like it did last year, it was a bad feeling,” Boeheim said. “Hearing your name called is one of the best feelings as a player.”