The Syracuse Orange have been the cream of the Big East crop all season long, and they look to win their first NCAA tournament Championship since the 2003 season. Senior Guard Andy Rautins has been exceptional this season for the Orange, along with Junior Forward Wes Johnson who leads the Orange in points per game and rebounds per game as well. The Orange were a tough team to beat in the difficult Big East Conference this year, as they are 15-3 within the Big East this season. However, the Orange were upset by #22 ranked Georgetown in the first round of the Big East tournament this past weekend, and could be vulnerable for another upset once this tournament kicks off.
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First Round Opponent – Vermont Catamounts (25-9) America East (12-4)
Syracuse March Madness Tournament Prediction – The Syracuse Orange will be looking to come out of the West Region in this year’s tournament to compete in their 5th Final Four in school history. The Orange may be the first #1 seed eliminated from the tournament due to the fact they are cold coming into this tournament ice cold. They lost in the first round of the Big East tournament to Georgetown, and before that they were dumped by Louisville in their last game of the season by 10 points.
The Orange will be looking to avoid early disappointments in this tournament, which is what they experienced in 05′ and 06′ as they were eliminated in the first round in both of those tournaments. The Orange did not qualify again until 2009 where they were dumped by Oklahoma in the Regional Semi Final. Syracuse may be able to get out of the West Region though, seeing as they still have only managed to lose 4 games on the year. The key team for Syracuse to beat on their march to the Final Four could be a possible 3rd round matchup with Vanderbilt, who have a 24-8 record coming out of the SEC this season.
If Syracuse can get back on track before it’s too late, this will be a team that is hard to take down with their veteran leadership being their key to success.
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