Coming into tonight’s game, you knew Indiana State was going to compete. At the very least, the Sycamoes wouldn’t be intimidated by Syracuse. They’d probably contribute to the highlight reel, get Gus excited, execute an inspiring second half run to keep the same respectable, and then fold in the end because they lacked size.
Guards are pretty important in the NCAA Tournament, but size really matters when those tournament games are being played against a bunch of long guys that play a 2-3 zone.
Starting four players at 6’5″ or smaller, Indiana State was fun to watch. They found a way to cut the deficit to just four mid-way through the second half, but shot only 7-21 from beyond the arc, shooting themselves out of the tournament in a 77-60 loss.
Adding to this motif that size will prevail in these situations, Rick Jackson – Jim Boeheim’s best big man – comfortably scored a season high 23 points, 11 of which came from the foul line as a result of an undersized opponent swatting and slapping at the ball.
Syracuse will take a breather then meet up with conference foe Marquette – a much larger and stronger team that probably won’t shy away from attacking the seams in the Orange’s zone.