Syracuse’s NCAA tournament title hopes took a significant hit Tuesday when the school announced sophomore center Fab Melo will not participate because of eligibility issues.
Melo did not travel with the team to Pittsburgh for its first-round game. The school did not offer any further details.
The sophomore center has dealt with eligibility issues before this season, which caused him to miss three games in January, including the Orange’s loss to Notre Dame. He’s among the nation’s elite shot-blockers and is the team’s leading rebounder. An ESPN report says the NCAA revisited the earlier academic issue and deemed Melo ineligible.
Related: Even without Melo, ‘Cuse won’t lose to 16 seed
Syracuse (31-2) had been able to deal with two off-court distractions this season, but here’s one that could affect their chances to even make the Elite Eight, let alone cut down the nets in New Orleans. The East’s top seed should still get by UNC Asheville in the first round, but later games against the likes of Kansas State, Vanderbilt or Wisconsin loom large.
Coach Jim Boeheim tried to downplay the injury, but did tell the Associated Press that “all we can do is be ready to play with the guys we have.”
“That’s all we can do,” he said. “There are injuries, things happen during a season. We’ll be ready to play and we’ll go play.”
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It’s Wednesday, which means it’s time for me to be joined by a guest on the podcast and today, it was Jeff Eisenberg of Yahoo Sports.
Jeff is a west coast guy, so we spent some time talking about Pac-12 hoops and USC vs. Oregon. We also got into Kansas-West Virginia, Purdue’s win over Michigan State and Denzel Valentine vs. Buddy Hield.
And like me, Jeff is a bit of a beer snob, so we did have a chance to chat about some of our favorites early on. At this point, I should be sponsored by Bell’s.
Anyway, you can listen to the podcast by clicking “play” on the Soundcloud player embedded below. Or you can do so through either iTunes or Stitcher if you so choose. Thanks for listening!
Kentucky’s ‘Dancing Guy’ has turned into a fan favorite at Rupp Arena.
Every home game, during one of the TV timeouts in the second half, ‘Mony Mony’ will come on, Dancing Guy will hop into the aisle and he’ll break it down like only a middle-aged white guy from Kentucky can.
As you can see, it didn’t quite go all that well for Dancing Guy on Tuesday night, as he tried to do a rail slide while holding a young, female fan and completely ate it.
Here’s another angle of the fall:
It looks much scarier that it actually was, as all reports indicate that everyone made it through the fall healthy.