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This Syracuse final possession was just so pathetic (Video)

Jim BoeheimSyracuse lost to NC State 66-63 in the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament on Friday. The ‘Cuse is going to be a highly-seeded team in the NCAA Tournament, so losing this game isn’t the worst thing to happen to them. That’s why we feel completely comfortable totally mocking them for this horrific possession to end the game.

The Orange were down by three with 24.6 seconds left when disaster struck. Syracuse first went for a quick two, but they missed the shot and a putback. They then got three more consecutive offensive rebounds to set up 3-point attempts, all of which they missed.

Final stats:

    - 1 possession
    – 6 missed shots
    – 4 missed 3-pointers
    – 1 airball
    – 1 ball off the side of the backboard

Good job, good effort, Syracuse.

Thanks to our buddy World of Isaac for putting that video together

Hypocrisy: Syracuse Twitter tells fans to buy Tyler Ennis jersey

Syracuse Tyler Ennis jersey

The official Syracuse athletics Twitter account made a major blunder on Friday by associating a specific player with merchandise they are selling at the team store. The ‘Cuse tweet shows they are clearly trying to capitalize off amateur athletes, which goes against what the NCAA has defensively argued for years, though their logic defies all common sense.

The ‘Cuse athletics’ official Twitter account sent out the following tweet, which linked to the team store where fans could purchase a No. 11 basketball jersey. Syracuse specifically called it a Tyler Ennis jersey in the tweet:

Syracuse Tyler Ennis jersey tweet

The NCAA has long contended that they don’t market or profit off of individual amateur athletes despite all evidence to the contrary. This time a school was indisputably caught trying to profit off a specific athlete, one who has become super popular thanks to his fantastic play this season.

Obviously schools are profiting off individual athletes while preventing the athletes from profiting off themselves. This is hypocrisy at its most obvious levels.

H/T Mark Ennis

Michigan-Syracuse ending marred by charging call

Michigan was on the verge of blowing a lead against Syracuse in the Final Four Saturday, but they benefited from controversial calls by the officials and held on to win 61-56.

The controversial call that stood out was a charging foul called on Brandon Triche with 19.2 seconds left in the game. Syracuse was down 58-56 at the time and Triche drove to the hole looking to tie the game. Just as Triche was elevating for a layup, Jordan Morgan appeared to shuffle into defensive position in front of him.

The referees called a charging foul on Triche, giving the ball to Michigan. Based on the NCAA’s charging vs. blocking rule, a blocking foul should have been called on Morgan.

Here is the applicable guideline from the NCAA Rules Committee:

Before the offensive player (with the ball) becomes airborne, the defender must have two feet on the floor, be facing the opponent and be stationary to draw a charge. Otherwise, it should be a blocking foul.

That wasn’t the only call to go in favor of Michigan in the final two minutes.

[Read more...]

Syracuse University Twitter account mistakenly shares link to article about Jim Boeheim retiring

Syracuse had to do some damage control after a tweet sent from the university’s official Twitter account suggested that basketball coach Jim Boeheim would be retiring.

Here’s the tweet sent following Syracuse’s 78-57 home win over DePaul on Wednesday that caused the confusion:

Jim Boeheim tweet

The tweet links to a post on a Syracuse blog that was written by a Florida community college student, who says the longtime coach was asked by the school to retire.

The tweet was later deleted, and the school moved quickly to clarify:

Boeheim has been the school’s basketball coach since the 1976-77 season. He has won one national championship, reached three Final Fours, and he is second on the Division I career wins list with 913. Syracuse’s last regular season game is Saturday at Georgetown.

H/T Deadspin

Is Syracuse destined for NCAA Tournament failure without Fab Melo?

Very few teams in the 2012 NCAA Tournament had a better shot at cutting down the nets in April than Syracuse. In the course of a single day, the Orange have become a long shot to advance even to the Sweet 16. Syracuse announced on Tuesday that sophomore center Fab Melo will not participate in the tournament due to an “eligibility issue.” As far as setbacks go, that’s about as big as it gets for Jim Boeheim and company.

According to ESPN.com, Melo’s ineligibility is a result of an academic issue related to the one he had earlier this season. Melo was cleared to play after missing three games in January, but the NCAA has since revisited the issue and once again deemed him ineligible.

One of Syracuse’s two losses this season came against Notre Dame, with Melo watching from the bench. That was hardly a coincidence, as he is the anchor of a zone defense that has carried the Orange to a No. 1 seed in the tournament and made them a championship contender. After a lackluster freshman season, Melo was arguably the nation’s most-improved player as a sophomore this year, when he averaged 7.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, and nearly three blocks per game.

Syracuse’s biggest concern heading into The Dance is rebounding, an area in which they rank 125th in the nation. Losing their 7-foot center could result in teams dominating the Orange on the glass — even 16th-seeded UNC-Asheville. Could this be the first time in tournament history a No. 16 seed knocks off a No. 1 seed? Probably not, but the stars are certainly aligned perfectly for it to happen.

Syracuse reportedly ignored players’ positive drug tests

Yahoo! Sports is on the case again, this time nabbing Syracuse for reportedly violating its internal drug policy. The report says the school’s basketball program overlooked positive drug tests by some of its players and either miscounted positive tests, or just continued to play players who should have been suspended based on the athletic department’s drug policy.

The most serious examples of Syracuse ignoring positive drug tests are the charges from Yahoo! that “at least one player continued to play after failing four tests and another player played after failing three.”

The report states at least 10 players since 2001 tested positive for a recreational drug, which most people are assuming is weed.

There is no NCAA drug policy for its member schools, but each school’s athletic department has its own policy. Last November, CBS showed the inconsistencies in drug policies when it came to NCAA football programs. We can imagine that there is similar variance when it comes to basketball programs.

I have two thoughts on this — one about Syracuse, and one about Yahoo! Sports. With Syracuse, though a player smoking some weed is not a huge deal, the school intentionally breaking its rules is a bad precedent. By overlooking positive drug tests, you’re placing the importance of winning basketball games above following rules. You’re also doing the athletes a big disservice because you’re sending two messages: one, being a basketball player gives you preferential treatment; two, you’re allowing them to get away with smoking weed, which isn’t good preparation for the NBA when players would get in trouble for positive tests.

Lastly, Yahoo! Sports has once again perfectly timed a program-shaking report. They published this report on the Monday of the Big East conference tournament, a week ahead of the NCAA tournament. If anyone knows how to rattle a successful program and maximize attention to their reports, it’s them.

West Virginia Screwed on Goaltending Play by Syracuse (Video)

Syracuse beat West Virginia 63-61 Saturday after getting a break on a missed call by the referees. West Virginia’s Truck Bryant bombed a three and missed in the final seconds, but Deniz Kilicli got the rebound and went up for the putback. His ball bounced off the backboard and was blocked by center Baye Moussa Keita. The referees did not call a goaltend like they should have, preserving Syracuse’s 63-61 lead. Mountaineers coach Bob Huggins is convinced they missed the call.

“Do I think it was? No. I know it was. I saw the replay,” Huggins said. “It’s hard. You’ve got 30 seconds and you’re trying to get them refocused and they’re all thinking about other things.”

Syracuse won 63-61 to improve to 22-1, but they probably should have gone to overtime for the game. They certainly are much weaker without Fab Melo in the lineup and caught a break Saturday.