Despite turning the ball over 15 times and shooting 26-of-41 from the free throw line in its Round of 32 matchup with California Saturday night, No. 4 Syracuse has advanced to the Sweet 16 with a 66-60 win at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.
C.J. Fair led Syracuse with 18 points on 6-of-14 shooting from the floor. Three other players joined him in double figures, including James Southerland, Baye Keita, and Michael Carter-Williams. The Orange survived a 12-minute scoring drought in the second half to get the victory.
Syracuse’s main responsibility defensively Saturday was to contain the Pac-12’s leading scorer, Allen Crabbe, and force Cal’s offense to find production elsewhere. Partly due to a lack of aggressiveness from Crabbe and party due to the way Syracuse was playing defense on him, Crabbe finished with eight points on 3-of-9 shooting and turned the ball over five times.
That forced freshman Tyrone Wallace to take nearly double the number of shots he had been averaging throughout the season, not helped by cold shooting from guard Justin Cobbs either.
Syracuse now moves on to play the winner of Indiana-Temple, which tips off Sunday at 2:45 p.m. ET. Temple already beat Syracuse earlier this season when the two teams met at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 22. If Indiana were to advance, they would likely have the three-point shooters capable of breaking Syracuse’s zone defense. Syracuse would need to be physical inside against Indiana forward Cody Zeller and work to make the Hoosiers take contested shots to counter.
Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_
N.C. State, whose season has been something of a disaster to date, face a must-win game against Wake Forest in Raleigh on Saturday afternoon, and since nothing can be easy for Mark Gottfried’s club, they’ll have to find a way to win the game after their bus broke down en route to PNC Arena:
This is why you can’t have nice things, N.C. State.
The Atlantic 10 invades NBCSN and the NBC Sports app on Saturday with two games that will air as part of a doubleheader.
It starts with Fordham at UMass at 12:30 p.m. and concludes with Rhode Island heading to Duquesne at 2:30 p.m.
CLICK HERE to watch the Atlantic 10 on NBCSN
During North Carolina’s blowout win over N.C. State on Jan. 8, the Tar Heels weren’t the only ones in the building who were feeling it.
As it turns out, North Carolina ball boy Asher Lucas was the hottest shooter of anyone in the building that night.
During halftime of that Jan. 8 game, Lucas nailed three consecutive halfcourt shots, as his father, Adam Lucas, a North Carolina columnist, released the video this week to YouTube. The video quickly went viral as Asher’s unreal streak of shots was all over TV and the Internet.
The Tar Heels have been struggling to find consistent perimeter shooting for the last few seasons, so maybe they need to start scouting Asher for a future roster spot.
Milwaukee picked up a Horizon League win on Friday night as guard Brock Stull knocked in a buzzer-beater to topple Cleveland State.
Stull only had four points on the night as he played 30 minutes and finished with five assists and six rebounds.
Oregon released a statement on Friday afternoon that said star forward Dillon Brooks had seen doctors and was in a walking boot, but gave no further update on his condition.
Brooks suffered what the program termed a “lower leg injury” on Thursday night against Cal. The injury was to his left leg – on replay, it looked like he rolled his ankle – which is concerning because his left foot is the foot that he injured over the summer, which caused him to miss the first three games of the season.
“He’ll be evaluated in the next couple of days and see where he’s at,” head coach Dana Altman said after Thursday’s game.