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_
Steve Prohm announced on Monday that starting center Jameel McKay will not be in the lineup on Wednesday when the Cyclones take on Texas Tech.
“He’ll practice today because I want him in practice,” Prohm said, “but game-wise, he’s suspended.”
McKay did not make the trip to Stillwater with the team on Saturday, where Iowa State beat Oklahoma State, 64-59. Prohm has not gotten into specifics regarding the cause of McKay’s suspension, but it’s reportedly an issue with the way he has been practicing. McKay is dealing with a nagging knee injury, which may play a role in the situation as well.
“My hope is he’ll be with us on Saturday,” Prohm said.
Like the Coaches Poll, Villanova found themselves No. 1 in the AP Poll during the regular season for the first time in the history of the program.
And like the Coaches Poll, there isn’t much in the way of a consensus when it comes to who is the No. 1 team, as there are six teams that received No. 1 votes in the poll this week.
The biggest shock to me?
The No. 1 team in the NBC Sports Top 25, Iowa, received just 11 first place votes and is ranked fourth in the AP Poll.
They were ranked fifth in the Coaches Poll.
Can we get Fran McCaffery the love they deserve?
Here is the rest of the AP Poll:
1. Villanova (20-3, 32 first-place votes)
2. Maryland (21-3, 13)
3. Oklahoma (19-3, 7)
4. Iowa (19-4, 11)
5. Xavier (21-2)
6. Kansas (19-4, 1)
7. Virginia (19-4, 1)
8. Michigan State (20-4)
9. North Carolina (19-4)
10. West Virginia (19-4)
11. Oregon (18-4)
12. Miami (FL) (18-4)
13. Louisville (19-4)
14. Iowa State (17-6)
15. Texas A&M (18-5)
16. SMU (20-2)
17. Arizona (19-5)
18. Purdue (19-5)
19. Dayton (19-3)
20. Providence (18-6)
21. Baylor (17-6)
22. Kentucky (17-6)
23. USC (18-5)
24. Texas (16-7)
25. Wichita State (17-6)
DROPPED OUT: No. 22 Indiana, No. 25 South Carolina
NEW ADDITIONS: No. 23 USC, No. 24 Texas