The Case For the ‘Cuse

I would like to say that this is a story about how I taught my son to pick the teams in his NCAA Tournament bracket, but it’s not.  The simple rule that I have every year is to pick Syracuse.  I can honestly say that since I started picking the winner probably sometime around 12 years old, Syracuse has been my champion.  So if we look at the math involved, I have been right 3.7% of the time with SU’s lone win coming in 2003.  It’s not the greatest prediction rate, but at least I don’t root for a team like Stony Brook or Pittsburgh.

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Otto will be Number One

It’s not all just for the love of the team though.  There is logic involved, and mainly it boils down to the Syracuse 2/3 zone.  NOBODY else plays the the zone like Syracuse plays the zone.  That reason alone gives them a chance every year.

But lets take a closer look at why they will win it this year.

Since Jim Boeheim took control of the team in 1976 the longest amount of time that Orange have gone without making a trip to the Championship game is 11 years.  They lost to Indiana in 1987, Kentucky in 1996, and they beat Kansas in 2003.  Well that lone title was 10 years ago now and they are due for a return visit.  The team should have won the title in 2010 when they lost their starting center to injury and they should have been in the championship game last year were it not for some ineligibility issues with their starting center as well.  Needless to say, it’s been too long and it’s time to make up for the problems of the past few years.

Syracuse is the type of team that will either make it to the Championship game or they will lose in the first round.  We obviously know the history of Richmond and Vermont, but this years Montana team is not like them.  For starters their best player is out for the season.  That is a pretty big hole to fill, and while it may be easy to overcome that loss in the Big Sky… this is the NCAA Tournament we are talking about, and there is no team like SU in the Big Sky.

Next up is most likely UNLV.  We are prepared for a team like that.  Remember that game we played on the Air Craft carrier back in November.  Yeah, these guys play San Diego State twice a year.  And while they beat them twice, the games were much closer than the thrashing that the Orange gave them.  I won’t say that it’s going to be an easy game, but having only one day to prepare for the Orange 2/3 zone is not an easy task.

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After playing their first two games out west for the Eastern Bracket (dumb I know) Syracuse returns to the friendly confines of the Eastern seaboard.  If you have been following this team at all, you know that ESPN considers any state east of the Mississippi River to be a home game.  Well, we are in one of our homes away from home in Washington DC.  Outside of Syracuse and New York City it seems that there is no bigger alumni base for Syracuse than the Nations Capital.  The Sweet 16 will be a HOME game for the Orange, and look who they will have to play… Indiana.  About that game 26 years ago? Payback is a bitch.  I know that Indiana has been one of the most consistent teams this year, but an overlooked SU team (think John Wallace) is NOT one to mess with.  With the crowd on their side and a resurgent Brandon Triche, Syracuse rolls.

Then comes Miami.

I actually don’t think Miami will make it past the first round, I kind of equate them to Missouri of last year.  Funny how they both involve Frank Haith in some way.  But for the sake of this argument lets assume that they do make it this far.  I think back to the 2003 championship and and the throttling that they gave Oklahoma.  Here was the big bad Sooners with no time to prepare for the SU zone, and the Orange spanked them all over Albany (again another home court.)  Look for more of the same.

8423869-largeBy now we know that SU either loses by the Sweet 16 or they make the National Title game, so our next game is against most likely Kansas (or why not Georgetown once again) should be a cake walk.  This is Kansas we are talking about.  We have a history there (think Carmelo, Gerry, Kueth…)  While I would be much more comfortable if Kansas was still coached by Roy Williams (has there been a coach in the history of the NCAA that has done less with more than this guy?) it’s still Kansas.

So we are on to the title game.

And look who is waiting. Will it be Gonzaga? Ha. Ohio St? Unlikely. Duke? Please Duke! Michigan St?  Most likely it will be none of these as Louisville will continue its roll that started at the 15:00 mark of the Big East Championship game against Syracuse.  SU was leading 45 to 29 and Louisville outscored them 187 to 13 the rest of the way.  Let’s face it, we made Louisville the top seed in the whole tournament.  Normally I would say I don’t like playing a team four times in one season (has it ever happened?) but in this case I like it.  We obviously know that SU has the ability to beat Louisville. We beat them in Louisville, lost a close game at home, and hell we were up by 16 to what everyone is now calling the best team in the country.  Let’s not forget about that.  Sure we played a horrible 15 minutes of basketball, but Louisville will not be able to get away with the crap they were pulling last weekend.  Gone will be the hand checking and the ball slapping.  The finals will not be played in the same fashion as the Big East Tournament.  The NCAA hates that brand of basketball.  What they like is seeing James Southerland hitting three pointers and CJ Fair dunking over some state of Kentucky loser.

So if I were a shop owner along South Salina Street I would start getting ready for the Championship parade to roll through.  It’s time. Oh and to everyone in the ACC, look who’s coming to town.

Yippee, Ki-yay Coach K.

So who is your team and what is the logic behind why you are picking your winner?  We want you to join OUR contest at ESPN Tournament Challenge.  Just click the link RIGHT HERE and use the password DRT2013 to join.  The winner will get a custom engraved trophy, a laser engraved travel coffee mug, and a set of four coasters courtesy of us and the fine folks at Urban Timber Fine Woodworking.   Don’t sit on the sideline.  Be a part of the action.

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The Beginning
About Daddysincharge

After 15 years as a News Photographer in the fast paced world of television news, I am now knee deep in Legos and laundry as the stay at home dad to to little boys. It was my choice to stay at home, so don't look at me like I am some kid of freak show. We're all parents just trying to raise our kids the right way. Some might be better at it than others, but if our kids love us for who we are, who cares.

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Comments

  1. Well said. Especially about the Louisville game. Both regular season contests against them were down to the wire, I see no reason why another game against them would be any different, particularly if legitimate refereeing is available. If they make it to DC, the Verizon Center is going to be even more orange than usual.

    PS. We just started a bracket contest where you are required to pick Syracuse to win it all in order to enter. You should join since you’re picking them anyway!

    • Also: “At least I don’t root for a team like Stony Brook or Pittsburgh” had me laughing out loud.

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