NCAA BK

East: Syracuse tops Indiana 61-50; Marquette next

Share This Story

   
 

WASHINGTON (AP)

Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim knows full well that one of the secrets to success for his team's 2-3 zone defense is the way it confounds opponents who aren't used to playing against that suffocating system.

The No. 4-seeded Orange won't have that element in their favor in the NCAA tournament's East Regional final.

That's because Syracuse will face a familiar foe Saturday with a Final Four berth at stake: Big East rival Marquette, the East's No. 3 seed.

''We're much better when we play teams that don't know us,'' Boeheim said. ''Marquette knows us. They know how to play against us, so it will be very difficult.''

Paced by Michael Carter-Williams' 24 points, Syracuse reached the round of eight with some dominant defense during a 61-50 victory over top-seeded Indiana in the regional semifinals Thursday night. The Orange forced 19 turnovers, blocked 10 shots, and limited the Hoosiers to 33 percent shooting while holding them to their lowest scoring output of the season.

''Our perimeter defense was tremendous,'' Boeheim said in an arena hallway afterward, his arms crossed across his purple tie, the way he stood for much of the lopsided game. ''This is one of our best defensive teams ever. They play it well.''

There's an understatement.

''In practice, it's hard to simulate how tall they really are,'' said Indiana's Jordan Hulls, a 6-foot senior who was at least 4 inches shorter than the players usually guarding him and went 0 for 6 on 3-point tries. ''We had the right game plan. We prepared really well. But we had too many turnovers.''

Three more, in fact, than shots made (16).

''Let's face facts. We haven't seen a zone like that,'' Indiana coach Tom Crean said. ''They're very good. They're where they're at for a reason.''

Next up is Marquette (26-8), which beat No. 2 seed Miami 71-61 in Thursday's first game in Washington.

Syracuse (29-9), heading to the Atlantic Coast Conference this summer, lost at Marquette 74-71 during the Big East regular season on Feb. 25.

That was part of a stretch in which Syracuse lost four of five games. Since then, though, the Orange are 6-1, with the only loss coming against Louisville in the conference tournament final. In that game, Syracuse fell apart in the second half, going from a 16-point lead to trailing by 18 in a 13-minute span.

The Orange built an 18-point lead in the first half against Indiana, and while that dwindled to six early in the second half, Boeheim's squad never let it get closer than that.

The last time these two schools faced off in the NCAA tournament, Indiana won the 1987 championship on a late shot - and it took winning the 2003 national title with Carmelo Anthony for Boeheim to get over it. That decade-old group was also Syracuse's last visit to the Final Four.

Less than a half-minute into Thursday's game, as Indiana star Victor Oladipo headed to the free-throw line, the arena's overhead scoreboard showed a replay of ''The Shot,'' as it's come to be known - Keith Smart's baseline jumper in the final seconds that lifted Bob Knight's Hoosiers past Boeheim's Orange.

Boeheim entered Thursday with 50 wins in the tournament, fourth-most in history, and more than 900 victories overall, with so much of that success built on his unusual zone defense, 40 minutes of a puzzle for opponents to try and solve.

Indiana (29-7), like most teams outside the Big East, isn't used to seeing that sort of thing, and it showed right from the outset. Didn't matter that Indiana ranked third in the country this season in scoring, putting up 79.5 points per game - and never fewer than 56 - while making 48.6 percent of its shots.

''Not too many teams are used to our zone,'' said Brandon Triche, who scored 14 points Thursday and whose uncle, Howard, was on Boeheim's 1987 squad. ''That's what we play. Other teams that play zone, they (also) play man, they switch up defenses. But our main (thing) is zone. ... We're very long, and we're very active, and when we're active like we were today, we're hard to score on.''

Cody Zeller was held to 10 points on 3-of-11 shooting. Oladipo scored 16 for Indiana, none easily.

''Credit them,'' Oladipo said, his head bowed and voice hushed. ''They did a great job with their zone. They're well-coached.''

Boeheim looked on calmly, occasionally resting his chin on his right fist while seated. He seemed something like an interested observer rather than active participant in the proceedings.

Sure must have liked what he saw, though.

''They never really succeeded in getting the ball in the right places,'' Boeheim said about the Hoosiers. ''And it's not that easy, but it can be done. But they didn't know how to do that.''

---

Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HowardFendrich

Tagged: Marquette, Indiana, Howard, Syracuse, Victor Oladipo

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



NCAA BK Videos

Georgetown, Syracuse to renew CBK rivalry Posted: Jun 10, 2014
Georgetown basketball coach John Thompson III on the renewal of the rivalry betw...

Cuonzo Martin new head coach at Cal Posted: Apr 16, 2014
Cuonzo Martin is introduced as Cal's new head coach.

UConn tops Notre Dame in women's final Posted: Apr 09, 2014
Hear from Geno Auriemma and his players after their National Championship victor...

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike Florida Gators #1 Replica Elite Basketball Jersey - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Florida_Gators/browse/featuredproduct/885881/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_885000/ff_885881_xl.jpg&w=100 74.95 Nike Florida Gators #1 Replica Elite Basketball Jersey - Black
    Nike Georgetown Hoyas #22 Hyper Elite Road Performance Jersey - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Georgetown_Hoyas/browse/featuredproduct/1030243/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1030000/ff_1030243_xl.jpg&w=100 119.95 Nike Georgetown Hoyas #22 Hyper Elite Road Performance Jersey - Navy Blue
    Nike Duke Blue Devils #5 Tourney Takeover Replica T-Shirt - Duke Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Duke_Blue_Devils/browse/featuredproduct/1032710/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1032000/ff_1032710_xl.jpg&w=100 27.95 Nike Duke Blue Devils #5 Tourney Takeover Replica T-Shirt - Duke Blue
    Nike Oregon Ducks X-Ray Ball T-Shirt - Green http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oregon_Ducks/browse/featuredproduct/1052002/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1052000/ff_1052002_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Oregon Ducks X-Ray Ball T-Shirt - Green
    Nike Ohio State Buckeyes Road Warrior Tri-blend T-Shirt - Scarlet http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Ohio_State_Buckeyes/browse/featuredproduct/1052645/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1052000/ff_1052645_xl.jpg&w=100 29.95 Nike Ohio State Buckeyes Road Warrior Tri-blend T-Shirt - Scarlet
    Indiana Hoosiers 2013 NCAA Men\'s Basketball Road to March Madness T-Shirt - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Indiana_Hoosiers/browse/featuredproduct/1124528/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1124000/ff_1124528_xl.jpg&w=100 19.95 Indiana Hoosiers 2013 NCAA Men\'s Basketball Road to March Madness T-Shirt - Cri..
    adidas Louisville Cardinals 2013 March Madness #10 Premier Swingman Jersey - Red http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Louisville_Cardinals/browse/featuredproduct/1127200/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1127000/ff_1127200_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas Louisville Cardinals 2013 March Madness #10 Premier Swingman Jersey - Red
    adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2013 March Madness #45 Premier Swingman Jersey - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Notre_Dame_Fighting_Irish/browse/featuredproduct/1127218/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1127000/ff_1127218_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2013 March Madness #45 Premier Swingman Jersey ..
    Nike Gonzaga Bulldogs March Madness Bracketville T-Shirt - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Gonzaga_Bulldogs/browse/featuredproduct/1155821/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1155000/ff_1155821_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Gonzaga Bulldogs March Madness Bracketville T-Shirt - Navy Blue
    Top of the World Miami Hurricanes 2013 NCAA ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament Champions Adjustable Hat – Green http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Hurricanes/browse/featuredproduct/1177723/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1177000/ff_1177723_xl.jpg&w=100 25.95 Top of the World Miami Hurricanes 2013 NCAA ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament Cham..