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FINAL FOUR SPECIAL EDITION HOUSTON, APRIL 2-4.

THE JOURNEY TO

THE FINAL FOUR FINAL FOUR SPECIAL EDITION INDIANAPOLIS, APRIL 3-5.


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special edition

INSIDE

SCRIBBLE

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POSTER

Want a poster of Trevor Cooney and Brittney Sykes to hang up in your room?

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There is a large discrepancy between the amount of coverage and attention to women’s sports compared to men’s sports.

How this year’s SU team compares to the 2003 team. See dailyorange.com

Alexa Torrens Alexa Diaz Matt Schneidman Rachel Gilbert Kathryn Krawczyk Chloe Meister Riley Bunch Devyn Passaretti Ali Linan Annie Palmer Jon Mettus Jacob Gedetsis Nick Coggiola Brendan Winter Michael Burke Rachel Sandler Sara Swann Caroline Colvin Alex Archambault Lizzie Michael Chris Libonati Paul Schwedelson

Check out our comprehensive breakdown of this weekend’s Final Four matchups.

ONLINE

SU Abroad students are searching for places to watch the Final Four. See dailyorange.com

t h e i n de p e n de n t s t u de n t n e w s pa p e r of s y r ac u s e , n e w yor k

Mara Corbett

Justin Mattingly

EDITOR IN CHIEF

MANAGING EDITOR

Asst. Photo Editor Asst. Photo Editor Design Editor Design Editor Design Editor Design Editor Design Editor Design Editor Asst. Copy Editor

Zach Barlow Liam Sheehan Emma Comtois Matthew Hankin Lucy Naland Kiran Ramsey Colleen Simms Estella Xian Sam Fortier

Asst. Copy Editor Asst. Copy Editor Asst. Copy Editor Asst. Copy Editor Asst. Copy Editor Asst. Web Editor Asst. Web Editor Asst. Web Editor General Manager IT Manager

PULP

Pulp’s guide to throwing the ultimate Final Four viewing party.

BACK PAGE

NEWS

ONLINE

News Editor Editorial Editor Sports Editor Feature Editor Feature Editor Presentation Director Photo Editor Head Illustrator Copy Chief Development Editor Digital Editor Social Media Director Video Editor Web Developer Asst. News Editor Asst. News Editor Asst. News Editor Asst. Editorial Editor Asst. Feature Editor Asst. Feature Editor Asst. Sports Editor Asst. Sports Editor

SPORTS

Here’s how our basketball beat writers predict each team will do in the Final Four.

ONLINE

Both Indianapolis and Houston are holding entertainment events this weekend. See dailyorange.com

Business Assistant Tim Bennett Advertising Manager Lucy Sutphin Advertising Representative Emily Chalon Advertising Representative Manuel Garcia Advertising Representative David Ondrich Advertising Representative Kylie Packer Advertising Representative Gonzalo Rodriguez Alexis Strahl

Digital Sales Special Events Coordinator

Brigid Kennedy Tomer Langer Danny Mantooth Satoshi Sugiyama Clare Ramirez Alex Erdekian Connor Grossman Delaney Van Wey Christopher Russo Maxwell Burggraf

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Social Media Manager

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Social Media Manager

Sarah Stewart

Special Events Coordinator

Linda Bamba

Special Events Coordinator Taylor Sheehan Advertising Design Manager Abigail Starobin Advertising Designer Cyrstal Yanf Advertising Designer Nicole Corcoran Circulation Manager

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SCORE BIG with part-time degree programs in Creative Leadership or Knowledge Management. ASK US ABOUT

New York State residents may qualify for a 50% tuition scholarship when they enroll in these programs.

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final four guide

MOVING ON

TREVOR COONEY had to miss the postseason last year after Syracuse self-imposed postseason ban in response to rule violations that happened several years ago. Now, he and the rest of the Orange get to play in the NCAA Tournament that they deserve to be in. logan reidsma senior staff photographer

If nothing else, the SU players deserve this Final Four run

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HICAGO — STANDING AT CENTER COURT in the United Center on Sunday night, it took one slow 360-degree spin to understand the breadth of what Syracuse just did. In between the celebrating players — Final Four hats cocked in every direction, smiles that could’ve lit the way to Houston right then and there — were signs of a historic moment for the program and school. Syracuse University Chancellor Kent Syverud, holding short passing conversations with his glasses nearly falling off his nose. Director of Athletics Mark Coyle, who had left a heartfelt voicemail to SU women’s basketball coach Quentin Hillsman three hours earlier and now had Jim Boeheim to seek out. New head football coach Dino Babers, soaking in the success and spirit of a Power Five program and likely

JESSE DOUGHERTY THE DOCTOR’S IN

daydreaming about his own team’s future. And then there was Rakeem Christmas, sandwiched in between Tyler Ennis and C.J. Fair, watching his former teammates cut down the nets from the other side of the court. Christmas wasn’t trying to call attention to himself. Off the court, that’s never really been his goal. But it was hard not to pause on him while surveying the scene. It was hard not to look at him as a reminder of this time last season, when his college career prematurely ended due to a self-imposed postseason ban. It was hard not to, if for only a second, divert your attention away from the celebration and

see a player whose senior season was sacrificed so this team could make the unlikeliest of Final Four runs. Somehow it seems that it’s always the players who pay the price in college athletics — and that was no more apparent than with last year’s Syracuse team, which sat out of postseason play because of violations committed way before college coaches even started blowing up their cell phones. Christmas evoked this retrospective, probably unknowingly and most definitely unwillingly, just by standing on the court after the Orange beat top-seeded Virginia. So at Christmas’ expense for one last time, let’s agree on this: You can say what you want about Boeheim, Syracuse as an institution and whether or not the Orange deserved a Tournament spot in the first place, but the current players deserve this. The players who sat on their couches at this time last season have had to answer

see dougherty page 8

THEN & NOW The past 13 months have been a whirlwind for the SU men’s basketball program. Here’s a look at the ups and downs.

MARCH 7, 2015 FEB. 4, 2015

Syracuse self-imposed a postseason ban

Jim Boeheim skipped postgame press conference after NC State

MARCH 6, 2015

NCAA imposed sanctions, including loss of scholarships and suspension of Jim Boeheim

NOV. 25, 2015

Syracuse won back one scholarship for each of next four years in NCAA appeal

MARCH 18, 2015

DEC. 5, 2015

Boeheim began serving suspension against Georgetown

DEC. 3, 2015

SU appealed punishments, NCAA denied Jim Boeheim announces Boeheim’s 9-game planned retirement and suspension appeal Daryl Gross steps down.

JAN. 12, 2016

NCAA allowed Syracuse to count three scholarships in 2016 toward penalty

JAN. 10, 2016

Jim Boeheim returned from suspension against North Carolina

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MARCH 13, 2016 Syracuse earned No. 10 seed in NCAA Tournament

FEB. 10, 2016

NCAA committee chair said SU’s play during Boeheim’s suspension will “certainly” be considered


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ALEXIS PETERSON has averaged the most minutes per game out of any Orange players, but it’s led to her picking up nagging injuries along the way. However, she’s determined to not let those stop her as she leads her team to record-setting levels. logan reidsma senior staff photographer

HEADSTRONG

Point guard Peterson battles through injuries during best stretch of career By Jon Mettus digital editor

LEXIS PETERSON CLUTCHED HER LEFT HIP and staggered to her feet with only her right arm — outstretched and pushing off the ground — to keep her from falling to the floor. Peterson draped her right arm over Taylor Ford, who helped her to the bench, so the starting point guard could get a bag of ice from a trainer and shove it into her shorts. As she sat on the bench between the first and second quarters, she clenched her teeth to fight back the pain from a battered left hip and stared up to the ceiling of Denny Sanford Premier Center. After a few minutes, Peterson ripped the bag of ice out and hobbled back onto the court. “It was just one of those things where she had to make a decision,” Syracuse head coach Quentin Hillsman said of the moment that happened during Syracuse’s Elite Eight win over Tennessee, in which Peterson had a game-high 29 points. “Play through it or risk not being at this point.” For Syracuse’s best player, the risk has never been worth it. She’s missed just one game due to injury this year — the first game in a stretch of 16 to date in which the Orange has lost just once. Peterson is in the best stretch of her career, averaging 25.3 points while guiding the Orange through the NCAA tournament. The Orange will

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need its star player to battle through the injuries for at most two more games — starting with No. 4 seed SU’s (29-7, 13-3 Atlantic Coast) game against No. 7 seed Washington (26-10, 11-7 Pac-12) at 8:30 p.m. on Sunday in Indianapolis in the Final Four. “If this would be midseason or preseason, we may rest her,” assistant coach Tammi Reiss said. “But at this time of the year, warriors, they suck it up and you got to do what you got to do and that’s the type of kid she is. She just wants to win.” This year’s injuries started just before the Orange’s hot streak began: a blowout loss to Louisville at home on Jan. 25 and the low point of SU’s season. Peterson was tripped driving through the lane and fell on her right hand and wrist. She fought back tears as she shot nearly one-handed foul shots. She stayed on the sideline for a few minutes before returning to the game with her wrist taped up — not knowing this would be the start of an incessantly nagging injury all season. The following game at Boston College, the team’s leader with 32 minutes per contest missed her only full game of the season. Afterward, Hillsman said there was nothing structurally wrong with Peterson’s wrist and she was just sore. “It was my decision just because I knew it was just there was no way I could be able to play in that game,” Peterson said on Thursday. In at least five games since then, Peterson has reinjured her right hand. Each time, she goes to the bench for only seconds worth of game time and returns with her middle and ring fingers taped together.

SHOOTING STAR 48

. 5%

NCAA TOURNAMENT FIELD-GOAL PERCENTAGE

Alexis Peterson has converted on 48.5 percent of her field-goal attempts during four games of the NCAA tournament.

25.3 Alexis Peterson is averaging 25.3 points per game in the NCAA tournament this year.

She’s played possessions with one hand and has had games where she gets checked out by associate athletic trainer Karen McKinney almost every timeout. “The dangerous part is that it’s not going to get better for her until we get out of season and she’s going to get extended rest,” Hillsman said after Peterson hurt her hand again on Feb. 11 against Virginia. The bench and coaches try not to

make spectacle when Peterson goes down, Reiss said. “‘Petey, get up. We need you. You’re good,’” Reiss says she yells to her so as to not make a big deal of it. “It’s like when you’re a kid and you get a huge cut,” Reiss said. “You’re like ‘Oh, it’s not that bad. Just put a Band-Aid on it’ when their head, their brain is showing.” In the ACC tournament semifinal game, the Louisville’s Mariya Moore ran into Peterson’s arm just eight minutes into the game. As was routine at this point, she got her fingers taped up then iced her hand on the bench any chance she got. At halftime, she took ibuprofen and wrapped it up for the few minutes that she could. “I didn’t want to take myself out,” Peterson said. “I try to stay as heavily medicated just to kind of numb the pain and just to get through the game.” During normal games, the pain ranks about a five or six on a 10-point scale, Peterson said. But in ones that she bumps her hand, as has happened often, it spikes to 10. Recently, the hand hasn’t bothered Peterson to the point where she thinks she can’t play. But now, add the hip injury from Sunday’s game into the mix, and the team’s top scorer is looking a little bit worse for wear. “I’m feeling pretty good, believe it or not,” Peterson said. “We’ve never really played this deep, but I think if we were to have played this long in previous seasons I would feel just as good. I don’t really feel too much pain or too much soreness. It’s just trying to stay fresh.” jrmettus@syr.edu | @jmettus


final four guide

IT’S ON

TAKE THE PLEDGE TO END SEXUAL ASSAULT

#ItsOnUsSU

Monday, April 4 “THE HUNTING GROUND” SCREENING AND PANEL DISCUSSION This documentary follows college sexual assault survivors pursuing both their education and justice, despite ongoing harassment and the devastating toll on them and their families. The event will include remarks by special guest Caroline “Carrie” Bettinger-López, the White House Advisor on Violence Against Women. Bettinger-López, who coordinates the administration’s efforts to reduce domestic violence, sexual assault and gender violence issues, is a senior advisor to Vice President Joseph Biden L’68 and serves on the White House Council on Women and Girls.

Wednesday, April 6 “IT’S ON US” TABLING 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Schine Student Center

TIQ & KIM MILAN Annual Transgender Day of Liberation celebration speakers Tiq and Kim Milan, Black queer and trans* partners in life and in work, will give voice to the lives, identities, possibilities and experiences of trans* communities. Tiq and Kim will highlight the revolutionary power of love, share insights gleaned from their work (community-based education and advocacy) and tell their stories of hope. 7 p.m. Maxwell Auditorium

SU Rising candlelight vigil on the Hendricks Chapel steps will follow. 7 p.m., Stolkin Auditorium, Physics Building

Thursday, April 7 “IT’S ON US” TABLING

Tuesday, April 5 “IT’S ON US” TABLING

ART INSTALLATION ON THE SHAW QUAD

Find out more information about the national “It’s On Us” campaign and how to get involved. Volunteers will be handing out teal ribbons, informational pamphlets, bracelets and much more. Stop by to also take photos and to take the pledge to stop sexual assault on college campuses. 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Schine Student Center

TEAL TUESDAY All members of the Syracuse University community are invited to participate in “Teal Tuesday!” Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to wear teal to show their support for sexual assault survivors. All Day, Entire Campus/Community

BREAKING THE SILENCE Open Mic Night run by A Men’s Issue 7 p.m., Grant Auditorium

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10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Schine Student Center Stop by the Shaw Quad to see a visual representation of the intersection of alcohol and sexual assault. All day

Friday, April 8 BREAKTHROUGH WORKSHOP Participants will discuss how gender norms are linked to sexual assault and how to take action to change them. The workshop is facilitated by Breakthrough, a global human rights organization. R.S.V.P. to papeter@syr.edu by Friday, April 1, to attend. Hall of Languages, Room 214

Follow “It’s On Us” events ItsOnUs_Cuse

ItsOnUs_SU

#ItsOnUsSU

www.facebook.com/itsonuscuse


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MEN’S BASKETBALL GRAPHIC BREAKDOWN

SYRACUSE PLAYER SPOTLIGHT

UNC PLAYER SPOTLIGHT

MICHAEL GBINIJE

BRICE JOHNSON

OH, SHOOT

BRYCE ALMIGHT Y

Michael Gbinije has been the anchor for Syracuse this season and has helped carry the Orange to an improbable Final Four. 48

41

%

REGULAR SEASON FG%

27.9

%

21 17.1

3.5

3-POINT SHOOTING IN LAST TWO GAMES

1.5

POINTS PER GAME

They got a beast down low with Brice Johnson.

CUTTING IT CLOSE

Michael Gbinije has scored in double digits in all 36 games this season. He’s come dangerously close to dipping under 10 points twice this season.

Michael Gbinije

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MTSU

GONZAGA

23

Brice Johnson has tallied 23 double doubles this season in North Carolina’s 38 games.

VIRGINIA

OPPONENT

STATS TO KNOW

LAST TIME THEY PLAYED

Syracuse came close to upsetting UNC in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Here’s some key stats from the game. SU

40

UNC

34

Take a look at how Syracuse and North Carolina shoot from the field and from beyond the 3-point arc. 32 48 . 1% .2 %

42

.5

UNC 3-POINT%

36

%

16

SU FIELD GOAL %

21

3-POINT SHOOTING

REBOUNDS

LEAD

Check out what it looks like to have Syracuse’s leads and deficits mapped from its games against Gonzaga and Virginia. Syracuse has led just 18.7 percent of the last two games it’s played.

5

LENGTH OF GAME 40 MINUTES

0

DEFECIT

-5

-10

-15

-20

KEY SYRACUSE AGAINST GONZAGA SYRACUSE AGAINST VIRGINIA

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FGCU

PROVIDENCE

INDIANA

NOTRE DAME

OPPONENT

SU 3-POINT%

. 1%

I said, ‘You’ll win one.’ Didn’t tell him he’d win two. I hope I didn’t make him think he could win three. Same thing Bob Knight said to me. He said, ‘You’ll win one of these one of these days,’ in ‘87. Jim Boeheim

su head coach on what he said to roy williams after the 2003 national championship game

POINTS OFF TURNOVERS

DON’T CALL IT A COMEBACK

10

8

THEY SAID IT

STRAIGHT SHOOTERS

UNC FIELD GOAL %

25% 24%

Brice Johnson is an elite rebounder. After a down game against FGCU in the first game of the NCAA Tournament, Johnson has shown how elite he is.

10

Brice Johnson has averaged 15 points in UNC’s two meetings against SU. That’s about two points below his season average.

DAYTON

HEATING UP

POINTS

20

10

MINUTES PLAYED

12

BY THE NUMBERS

15

su head coach

BLOCKS PER GAME

su point guard

25

POINTS

Jim Boeheim

TOURNAMENT

1 1%

%

3-POINT SHOOTING IN FIRST TWO GAMES

33.3

SEASON

TOURNAMENT FG%

45

He’s really become a point guard in a lot of ways ... It’s been a tremendous evolution. I think he’s improved as much or more than any player that I’ve ever coached.

All season, Brice Johnson has been a consistent player for North Carolina on the boards and scoring. That’s continued in the NCAA Tournament.


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WOMEN’S BASKETBALL GRAPHIC BREAKDOWN

SYRACUSE PLAYER SPOTLIGHT

WASHINGTON PLAYER SPOTLIGHT

ALEXIS KELSEY PETERSON PLUM BY THE NUMBERS

BY THE NUMBERS

13-3

40

Kelsey Plum has played all 40 minutes in each of UW’s four NCAA tournament games.

Syracuse’s record when Alexis Peterson scores 17 or more points in a game.

25.3

26.2

Number of points Alexis Peterson has averaged in the postseason, which is 9.2 points higher than her season average.

Kelsey Plum averages 26.2 points per game, which ranks third in the nation.

HOT WHEELS

Alexis Peterson has displayed her impressive scoring ability on a national stage with her recent postseason hot streak.

26

19

ARMY

ALBANY

USC

32

29

22

UND

Washington’s improbable postseason run has been on Plum’s back and she’s shown that in the past seven games.

POINTS

POINTS

19

18

NC STATE LVILLE

UT

23

CU

STANFORD OREGON

In the postseason, Alexis Peterson has relied more on 2-pointers to score than compared to the regular season.

% .5

Quentin Hillsman 45

.9

.7

%

23

.1

%

25

.8

%

POSTSEASON 51

%

She’s an amazing scorer. You have to find her early in transition and really have to stay in front of her. She’s a really crafty guard. She can put you in foul trouble, she can draw fouls and she can shoot the ball.

KENTUCKY STANFORD

In each of her three seasons, Kelsey Plum’s scoring numbers have increased.

FREE THROWS

REGULAR SEASON

su head coach on alexis peterson

UMD

STEADY RISE

.1

POINTS

2-POINTERS

28

PENN

OPPONENT

HOW IT WORKS

3-POINTERS

26

24

27

14

OPPONENT

25

(Peterson’s) been good for us all year long. She’s been tough and she’s made plays where we’ve needed her to make plays. And she’s just really carried us through rough patches in the season and games.

29

24

MOVING AND GROOVING

20.9

22.6

2013-14

2014-15

%

26.2

Quentin Hillsman

2015-16

su head coach on kelsey plum

SEASON

STATS TO KNOW

BREAKING IT DOWN

Comparing all four teams’ offensive and defensive points per game

HEAD COACH MATCHUP

POINTS PER GAME (OFFENSE)

CONNECTICUT (48.2, 88.4) 80

OREGON STATE (51.2, 67.3) 60

40

60

QUENTIN HILLSMAN 10TH YEAR

80

POINTS PER GAME ALLOWED (DEFENSE)

THE POINT

Syracuse has increased its points per game in the postseason by more than four compared to the regular season.

After eclipsing 200 career wins earlier this season, Hillsman has brought the Syracuse program to new heights this postseason: SU's first-ever Sweet 16, Elite Eight and Final Four. He preaches a distinct style of play, which includes a full-court press defense, a 2-3 zone halfcourt defense and a desire for his players to shoot every open jump shot.

MIKE NEIGHBORS 3RD YEAR

Neighbors helped lift the Huskies to its first-ever Final Four in his third year as Washington’s head coach. En route to Indianapolis, UW knocked off No. 2 seed Maryland. Then Washington took down No. 3 seed Kentucky and No. 4 seed Stanford in the next two rounds as Neighbors’ offense received contributions from players outside of sharpshooter Kelsey Plum.

PPG

REGULAR

31

69

BUCKET TRACKER

80

40

2015-16 GAMES

%

Take a look at Syracuse’s scoring trends over the course of the season and how the Orange is currently amid one of its best streaks of the year.

72.9 SYRACUSE'S AVERAGE POINTS THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE SEASON

START OF STREAK OF WINNING 15 OF THE LAST 16 GAMES

%

POSTSEASON 3-POINT ATTEMPTS

POSTSEASON

60

POSTSEASON

On 187 3-point attempts in the postseason, Syracuse has hit 31 percent, a slight increase from its 29.3 percent mark in the regular season.

100

POINTS

76.4 72.0

WASHINGTON

SYRACUSE

100

SYRACUSE (59.6, 72.9) WASHINGTON (62.8, 71.8)

FOR THREE


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for the program’s past demons and lost their head coach for nine games a few months back, they deserve it. Because those players sacrificed and stuck around, they deserve it. From the players’ standpoint, let’s partly view this Final Four run as a celebration of lost time. Because in an isolated world of college sports, where there’s only so much time to achieve anything worth achieving, these players have probably lost enough. “We didn’t think we were like owed anything,” Michael Gbinije, SU’s starting point guard, said a day before his team upset the Cavaliers. “But at the same time this is very nice after last year. We’ve been through a lot, this team, so yeah it’s nice to be able to make a run after that.” SU (23-13, 9-9 Atlantic Coast) is just the fourth-ever double-digit seed to make the Final Four, but it hasn’t grabbed the nation’s collective heart like the first three. It actually has done quite the opposite. First the Orange was considered outside of the NCAA Tournament bubble. Then it was considered to have gotten an easy path to the Sweet 16 when Michigan State was upset set by Middle Tennessee State in St. Louis. Now, with a Friday night game against North Carolina (32-6, 14-4) at Houston’s NRG Stadium, the narrative is that two teams mired by NCAA sanctions are set to meet on the sport’s biggest stage. Is that narrative at least somewhat warranted? Absolutely, because we too often allow success in sports to turn our attention away from moral failure. Let’s consider that a handful of Syracuse’s current players could have left the team. Boeheim’s suspension was announced, scholarships were taken away and recruiting restrictions were slapped on. Gbinije and fellow fifth-year senior Trevor Cooney could have transferred and played without sitting out a year. Incoming freshmen Malachi Richardson, Tyler Lydon and Frank Howard could have said no thanks.

And who would have blamed them? But aside from the transfers of B.J. Johnson and Ron Patterson, everyone else stayed put. Now they’re rewarding themselves, one improbable victory at a time. “I’m happy I made the trip here and was able to witness this happen,” Christmas said on the court after the game. “... I’m just happy the team made it this year.” That’s the narrative Christmas stuck with, that he went to three tournaments and a Final Four in 2013. That he feels no ill will toward the university or program after how his career ended. That he’s happy, selflessly, that these guys somehow have a fighter’s chance at winning the second national title in Syracuse history. Yet no player, especially a senior hitting the apex of his career, should strive for the postseason for three months and then get blindsided by a decision made because of the past and for the future. The recent trend of self-imposed postseason bans in college basketball is troubling at best, calculated administrative moves infamously made in Syracuse last year, Louisville this season and, if the NCAA ever drops the hammer on North Carolina, possibly Chapel Hill down the road. And because self-imposed ban seamlessly translates to “sacrificing one season for the benefit of the future,” it’s easy to let the players from that one season get lost in the shuffle. Christmas was a needed reminder that every player has a chance at a run that could morph into reality with a single play. Syracuse’s run isn’t about the magic of the NCAA. It’s not about the men in suits, far away from the court, charged with both monitoring the mess and cleaning it up years later. It’s not, if you’ll excuse me for a second, about SU’s head coach. It’s about the players who weren’t allowed to play basketball one year ago, and are now getting the kind of attention they deserve.

Jesse Dougherty is a Senior Staff Writer at The Daily Orange, where his column appears occasionally. He can be reached at jcdoug01@syr.edu or @dougherty_jesse.


final four guide

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JIM BOEHEIM has repeatedly been hard on his players, whether in the locker room or to the media postgame. But it’s seemed to be working as they’ve elevated their play in the Tournament and have credited Boeheim’s tough love and inspiration for their success. logan reidsma senior staff photographer

NO HOLDING BACK

Jim Boeheim’s harsh criticism of players pays off in Tournament

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leader on a team that will go down in Syracuse history. Then there’s Tyler Roberson — the guy that Boeheim let the world know wouldn’t have played a minute of Syracuse’s loss to Pittsburgh in February had he been able to sub in anyone else. He dribbled sideways, Boeheim said. Didn’t look for his shot. Didn’t play 100 percent. But now, Roberson has kept the Orange in games with his second-chance putbacks. When the offense is sinking, he keeps it afloat. Time after time, Boeheim has criticized Frank Howard. After Syracuse’s first conference win in January he said Howard played because he “was trying to get him to do something. It didn’t work.” Two weeks later, “If he stops taking 10-foot floaters, he’ll stay in the game.” On Feb. 14, it was about his defensive mistakes.

SAM BLUM

THAT’S WHAT I SAID honest that got it there. “It just shows how persistent he is,” Gbinije said. “How he’s able to adjust to situations. He’s just a great coach.” Of course, Gbinije is the player that Boeheim didn’t think he wanted until assistant coach Adrian Autry convinced him to take a chance. His transition to point guard was laced with shouting, including on his first play in practice when he decided to shoot the ball. But now, here’s Gbinije, a polished point guard, a

see blum page 11

MOVING AND GROOVING “If I had anyone else, he wouldn’t play a minute.” -Jim Boeheim

POST-QUOTE

Tyler Roberson’s rebounding production increased after head coach Jim Boeheim said the above quote.

REBOUNDS

HICAGO — WHEN SYRACUSE GOT BACK TO THE LOCKER ROOM ON SUNDAY NIGHT, down 14 points to top-seeded Virginia, Malachi Richardson knew the brunt of his coach’s anger would be thrust in his direction. A two-point first half. The first player subbed out because he had passed up a shot. A careless turnover because he was found standing on the end-line. From his coach’s perspective, he was mentally out of the game. And with 20 minutes to go in the Orange’s last shot to make a Final Four, all that mattered is what his coach thought. “‘Man, I’m getting yelled at again,’” Richardson said he remembered thinking. “‘I just can’t stop getting yelled at.’” “But it worked.” Boeheim’s halftime barking led to 21-second half points, and in turn, an improbable Syracuse win. “I typically don’t start coaching him until when it’s late — late second half,” the head coach said, unafraid to give himself the credit he deserves. Because while Boeheim is a 40-year head coach that often gets chastised — and rightfully so — for being salty and overly and publicly critical of his players, this NCAA Tournament run shows genius behind his coaching style. Look up and down Syracuse’s roster. Michael Gbinije is a starting point for the first time this year. Tyler Lydon is playing center, and he’s on the wing. Dajuan Coleman is coming off of two years of injuries. Three of the best players are up-and-coming freshmen. So little of the oncourt product is proven, yet this team has come together in a way that would suggest otherwise. The No. 10 seed Orange (23-13, 9-9 Atlantic Coast) will be playing for a right to compete in the national championship when it takes on No. 1 seed North Carolina (32-6, 14-4) at 8:49 p.m. on Saturday in Houston, and it’s thanks to the head coach that isn’t afraid to be

18

12

11 9

8

6 4

FSU

4

BC

LOUISVILLE

3

3

PITT

NC STATE

4 2 UNC

FSU

OPPONENT

PITT

DAYTON

MTSU

GONZAGA

UVA


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FINDING HER SHOT In the final stretch of her career, Maggie Morrison is comfortable in her reserve role

By Connor Grossman asst. web editor

M

AGGIE MORRISON HAD TO LEARN it’s OK. It’s OK to leave a Vanderbilt team she averaged less than two points per game on to sit out a year at Syracuse. OK to relinquish the pass-first mentality she built her basketball career on. OK to shoot 13 times and hit once. The fifth-year senior longed for acceptance in a role that contradicted her lifetime’s worth of basketball. No longer was Morrison running the offense as a point guard who excelled at playmaking in transition. At the start of her Syracuse career, she was sitting, waiting for her name to be called. “‘When you get on the court,’” Pat Morrison recalls telling his daughter, “‘make the most of your minutes. Everything else will take care of itself.’” She struggled to grip her father’s words last year as she played single-digit minutes in more than half her games. It was Morrison’s first eligible season after NCAA transfer

50

Maggie Morrison’s 3-point percentage, which is the best on the team among players with at least six attempts.

rules kept her off the court in 2013-14. When she did play, it was a turbulent balancing act. Trying to evenly shoot enough for head coach Quentin Hillsman to keep her in, and pass enough to fulfill her inherent devotion to taking care of the ball. A year of trials was needed for Morrison to blossom into the sharpshooting threat off the bench she’s turned into. She’s emerged as the go-to “seventh man,” and is expected to inject life into No. 4 seed Syracuse’s (29-7, 13-3 Atlantic Coast) offense off the bench against No. 7 seed Washington (26-10, 11-7 Pacific-12) in the Final Four on Sunday at 8:30 p.m. Like a clutch pinch-hitter in baseball, Morrison’s come off the bench this postseason and hit. She sunk 3-of-5 shots from behind the arc against Albany, 1-of-2 against South Carolina and 3-of-5 against Tennessee. All while playing only a handful of minutes, and on the heels of a 1-for-13 shooting performance in the opening round of the NCAA tournament. A performance that once would have sunk her for good. “Everybody is expected to be able to score,” Morrison said of Hillsman’s system. “… Having the freedom to be able to shoot whenever I want was the biggest adjustment.” In that opening-round win against Army on March 18, Morrison hoisted 10 3s while only one fell through the rim. She reluctantly recalls Hillsman egging her on to shoot through the slump. To this day, her head coach stands by her 8 percent shooting performance and said she did what needed to be done: Shoot. That’s exactly what Morrison did after the game. Twohundred and fifty times over with freshman Abby Grant in the Carmelo K. Anthony Basketball Center just hours after the team’s first-ever postseason home game. Morrison doesn’t forget the harsh adjustment to playing off the bench, and the harsher reality coming back to the bench knowing she passed up shots. In Hillsman’s world, the pass-first player sits. The shootfirst player plays. “I think the bench is a cure-all,” Hillsman said. “I always tell her, it would be a shame if you’re friends and family say, ‘Why aren’t you playing?’ and you have to respond, ‘Because I don’t shoot the ball.’ “They’ll think you’re crazy.” Putting up dozens of shots after a game isn’t a rarity for Morrison. Her teammates don’t mistake her occasional craziness for intensity. While struggling to dribble with her left hand at the age of 5, she’d go to her older brother’s basketball practice with her dad. She dribbled up one side of the court

MAGGIE MORRISON transferred to Syracuse from Vanderbilt. She’s grown into her role as a sharpshooter for SU and has earned the trust of coach Quentin Hillsman. logan reidsma senior staff photographer

with her right hand, and down the other with her left. For 90 minutes. Three times a week. For four months. Her competitive clock hasn’t stopped ticking, rooted in eternal competition with her four siblings. Quitting board games before finishing as the loser. Racing to finish dinner the quickest. Sprinting down the stairs and into the car before school. If it could be made into a competition, it was. For 18 years. “Maggie gets after it,” said Cornelia Fondren, Morrison’s roommate and teammate. “She’s real quiet when we lose.” Instead of her siblings, now she’s competing against no more than two teams this year. The only two standing between Syracuse and its’ first national championship. She doesn’t know when she’s going to be called upon, or how many shots will fall in her valuable time on the court. But Morrison will shoot unconditionally to try and extend SU’s season, and that’s OK with her. “Being the old head on the team, the fifth-year senior, transferring onto the team I’ve kind of seen it all,” Morrison said. “… (I’m) just coming in trying to be a spark off the bench.” cgrossma@syr.edu | @connorgrossman

STEADY RISE

Maggie Morrison went 0-for-2 from 3 in the ACC Championship game and 1-for-10 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. But in her last three games, the junior has hit seven of her last 12 from long range.

3-POINT SHOOTING PERCENTAGE

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Maggie Morrison has hit 50 3s in 150 tries this year, playing significant minutes off the bench for Syracuse.

.600

.600 .500

.100

ARMY

ALBANY

SOUTH CAROLINA

OPPONENT

TENNESSEE


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blum

On Feb. 21, it was about him shooting when he’s only 20 percent from the field. But now Howard plays big minutes. He’s become the team’s best passer, and has found a knack of getting to the basket when the defense gives it to him. “They’re going to get pushed, and if they’re not responding, I’m going to push them harder. “I always tell these guys, ‘If I wasn’t upset, you wouldn’t be playing. And If I’m not talking to you, it’s because you’re not playing.’” On Sunday, he inspired a second-half comeback that will never be forgotten. The players credit it to his halftime words, both to the team as a whole and directly to Rich-

ardson. Boeheim might have a demeanor that lacks compassion. One that leads to him subbing players out at the first hint of a mistake. One that might have him screaming at a player as he walks back to the bench, in full view of every television camera to document. But he’s said it all season, and most prominently when his future predecessor Mike Hopkins took over during his suspension. This is his team. They respond to the way he coaches. And on Sunday, when everything seemed over and done with, that fact was proven in a very tangible way. “He’s an amazing coach and an amazing guy,” Trevor Cooney said. “He built this. .”

Sam Blum is a Senior Staff Writer at The Daily Orange, where his column appears occasionally. He can be reached at sblum@syr.edu or @SamBlum3.

MICHAEL GBINIJE gets to play in the Tournament this year after being forced to sit out last season due to a self-imposed ban. logan reidsma senior staff photographer

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men’s basketball

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Paige can challenge SU similar to UVA’s Perrantes By Matt Schneidman sports Editor

CHICAGO — Somehow, Virginia guard London Perrantes, who came into last Sunday shooting 48 percent from 3-point range, had ample space to hit five first-half long balls to open up a 14-point halftime lead. The Cavaliers’ intricate ball movement inside and around the zone often ended with the ball in Perrantes’ hands and Syracuse’s guards scrambling to get a hand in his face as the ball soared toward the hoop straight-on, inevitably going in. “Especially late in the clock with the way that Perrantes was shooting,” assistant coach Gerry McNamara said after the game, “it’s difficult to sit back and watch a team so efficient hitting them 5, 6 feet behind the line.” Syracuse will face a similar streaky 3-point-shooting point guard on one of the most efficient offensive teams in the country when it takes on North Carolina on Saturday. Marcus Paige spearheads an attack for the No. 1 seed Tar Heels (32-6, 14-4 Atlantic Coast) that could be the second consecutive top seed to fall to 10th-seeded Syracuse (2313, 9-9), this time with a spot in the national championship game on the line. Paige has struggled mightily against the zone this year, going a combined 2-of-13 from behind the arc in two matchups against Syracuse. It’s been the Tar Heels’ frontcourt manhandling the Orange down low, but the point guard’s recent hot streak from deep poses another dimension to an offense that hasn’t exactly blown Syracuse away in two wins. SU chose to give Perrantes room to start the game and he missed his first two shots from atop the key. But the next five in the first half, with one dropped in from the

corner, showed that a zone exploited by an effective high-low attack (that UNC also poses) can be further exploited by a shooter stranded atop the key that stays open after the zone collapses in the paint. “At first in the game, we were going to stay back a little bit,” assistant coach Mike Hopkins said. “Then (head coach Jim Boeheim) said after he made one or two we were going to start pushing up but after we pushed up he was getting closer and closer to half court.” In North Carolina’s four NCAA Tournament wins, Paige has led the team in 3-pointers made in each. Against Florida Gulf Coast, all three of his field goals came from behind the arc. In a win against Providence, two of his four made shots came from deep. His breakout game was against Indiana, when he nailed 6-of-9 from behind the arc and led UNC with 21 points. And in an Elite Eight win against Notre Dame, Paige hit another pair of long balls. He likely won’t lead the team in scoring as frontcourt-heavy North Carolina relies on Brice Johnson and a combination of Justin Jackson, Isaiah Hicks and Kennedy Meeks to do that. But Perrantes wasn’t a likely candidate to lead Virginia in scoring either and despite only one made 3 in the second half, his 18 points did just that. The key to shutting down Perrantes en route to Syracuse’s furious comeback, Frank Howard said, was making him put the ball on the ground. He, Trevor Cooney and Michael Gbinije closed out quicker outside the key and forced Perrantes to distribute or attack the lane, which he did unsuccessfully. Against Paige, especially if SU hones in on the frontcourt that’s torn it apart twice in 2016, the Orange could be stretched out again by another point guard who gets hot at just the right time. mcschnei@syr.edu | @matt_sc hneidman

women’s basketball

Previewing No. 7 seed Washington before Final Four By Paul Schwedelson asst. sports editor

No. 4 seed Syracuse (29-7, 13-3 Atlantic Coast) takes on No. 7 seed Washington (26-10, 11-7 Pac-12) in both teams’ first-ever Final Four on Sunday at 8:30 p.m. at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. The Orange had never advanced past the Round of 32 before this year and is amid its best season in program history. SU has won 15 of its last 16 games, its only loss coming in the ACC championship game against then-No. 2 ranked Notre Dame. Here’s everything you need to know about Syracuse’s Final Four matchup with the Huskies. All-time series history: SU leads 1-0 Last time they played: The Orange got its only win ever against UW, 66-62, earlier this season on Nov. 27, 2015, in Las Vegas. SU led by as many as 21 late in the second quarter, but Washington clawed nearly all the way back. Led by 22 points (11 in fourth quarter) from Talia Walton, 19 from Kelsey Plum and 10 from Chantel Osahor, the Huskies made it close down the stretch. Syracuse went just 7-of-33 from behind the arc and was outrebounded 48-46. However, the Orange did force 19 turnovers compared to committing just eight, which led to SU outscoring the Huskies 13-4 on points off

turnovers. With 3:47 left to play, Washington trailed by just one. But six free throws down the stretch helped seal the Syracuse victory. “Kelsey Plum did well, (Walton) did an excellent job making shots, getting rebounds and (Osahor), she’s been having a good season so far and in the tournament,” Syracuse’s Cornelia Fondren said Thursday, “so we just want to come out and compete hard like we’ve been doing all year.” The Washington report: Plum averages 26.2 points per game, which ranks third in the country. And throughout the postseason, the Huskies have also received contributions from Walton and Osahor, who average 16.2 and 10.3 points per game, respectively. It’s that three-pronged attack that has made UW dangerous in the postseason as it has knocked off Maryland, Kentucky and Stanford in its last three games. Washington averages 12.6 turnovers per game while Syracuse forces opponents to commit a nation-leading 24.2 turnovers per game. The last time they played, the Huskies committed 19 turnovers. “(Plum) is a great shooter. She’s a lefty that can get to the basket,” Fondren said. “She can shoot it pretty well, she can shoot the ball off the bounce, she’s been having a pretty good season so far.” pmschwed@syr.edu | @pschweds


LIFE

final four guide

OF THE

PARTY

IF YOU’RE NOT A FAN OF BIG CROWDS and would rather avoid Chuck’s or Faegan’s to watch the Final Four games, don’t worry. Pulp has you covered on how to throw a successful viewing party in the comfort of your home or dorm room for what’s sure to be a busy weekend. — Compiled by The Daily Orange Pulp Staff / Photo by Frankie Prijatel

Beers and snacks matchup: Nothing says game day quite like beer and snacks. Instead of going to the store and randomly choosing what to buy, here are our picks of snacks and drinks.

CHIPS AND SALSA WITH A CORONA EXTRA This an easy classic. Grab a big bag of salty tortilla chips and a jar of salsa, then crack open a Corona Extra and garnish with a lime. The spicy-salty taste from the snack will wash away perfectly with a refreshing, crispy sip of Corona.

See dailyorange.com for nutrition columnist Khija Rockett’s latest article featuring healthy recipes for roasted corn and cheese dip, superfood salsa and pesto and turkey cucumber rolls.

Tips and tricks:

Don’t forget:

HAVE MULTIPLE SCREENS

TO CLEAN

If you’re hosting a party with a lot of people, having more than one screen to watch the game on will make it more exciting every time SU scores.

If you want to make a good impression, don’t forget to tidy up before your friends come over. Yes, they’re your friends and will likely not care about your mess — but keep in mind you have to clean up afterward, too. See if you can recruit any of your friends beforehand to agree to stay behind and help you tidy up once the party is over.

CHARGE YOUR PHONE If Syracuse wins and you’re heading out to celebrate, you won’t want to do so when your phone battery is at 10 percent.

BUFFALO CHICKEN DIP AND A LIGHT BEER

NON-ALCOHOLIC DRINKS

Take any light beer — Bud, Coors, Miller, Genesee — and pair it with some warm, gooey buffalo chicken dip. Scoop up some dip with chips and wash away the zing with a cold, simple-tasting beer.

BOWLS, BOWLS, BOWLS When it comes to snacks and drinks, variety is key, set out plenty of bowls with all sorts of options. It’s always a good idea to make sure guests have a lot to choose from.

Keep in mind not everyone drinks alcohol. Make sure to have a variety of choices as well for your friends who don’t drink. You can’t go wrong with water, Gatorade (or other sports drinks) and soda.

PRETZELS AND AN IPA

SPARE A THOUGHT FOR DECORATIONS

ICE

IPAs are bold in flavor — you’ll want something to cleanse your palate so you can enjoy the other snacks at the party. Take a few sips, grab a handful of pretzels and wash the floral flavors out so you can have some of the dip.

To really set the tone, make sure you have SU paraphernalia set up around your viewing area. The SU Bookstore has also been selling gear all week, so take advantage of the limited edition shirts and use them while they’re still relevant.

This can be one of the most overlooked things when it comes to throwing a viewing party. Make sure you have enough ice, not only to keep your coolers cold, but also for anyone who may want ice in their beverages.

Takeout and delivery guide: With a weekend full of games and parties, there are bound to be plenty of orders going to Marshall Street businesses this weekend. So if you’re not a whiz in the kitchen and are planning to spare yourself some cooking by ordering out, do it as early as possible. Think hours in advance — if you’re thinking it’s too early, it’s not. Some restaurants will even take orders a day early, so it may be worth your time to call on Friday instead of Saturday to make sure your pizza comes on time.

BOTTLE OPENERS

We know that we’re going to get slammed with business, especially because they’ve made it so far into the tournament, but we’re not going to do anything completely different. J.D. Hovater

VARSITY Diana Hester, manager of Varsity Pizza — generally considered a classic among the Syracuse University crowd with its many varieties of pizza and sandwiches — said that she’s not sure they will be able to make deliveries on Saturday. “If we’re not overwhelmingly busy, we’ll probably be able to deliver to Crouse or the cancer center — you know, places over there in that direction,” she said, motioning toward Irving Avenue, away from the SU campus. “I don’t know what time they’re blocking off the streets, if they even will. I just don’t know, we’ll have to wait.”

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insomnia cookies store manager

INSOMNIA Insomnia Cookies down the street from Varsity opens at 11 a.m. but won’t be delivering until noon, said store manager J.D. Hovater. “We know that we’re going to get slammed with business, especially because they’ve made it so far into the tournament, but we’re not going to do anything completely different,” he said.

You can’t drink beer if you can’t open the bottle.

AMPLE SEATING We’re not saying go and buy another couch, but keep in mind how many people are coming to your place. Make sure everyone can stay in a spot that’s comfortable and where it’ll be easy to see what’s happening during the game. This might involve some furniture rearranging. Even if people are sticking to sitting on the floor, throwing a couple of pillows in their direction goes a long way.

UTENSILS It’s easy to focus on what kind of food you’re going to serve, but let’s not forget about paper plates, cups, napkins and anything of the sort. If you really want to sport your Orange pride this weekend, Tops has Syracuse-decorated paper plates for about $3 per pack.


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pulp

Houston offers more than just basketball Food

Activities

Drinks

Shopping

WHATABURGER

DISCOVERY GREEN

SAINT ARNOLD BREWERY

THE GALLERIA

If you’re taking a 25 hour-long bus ride to Texas, you’re probably going to want something quick and simple by the time you get there. Try the Southern staple, Whataburger. Although the chain now has almost 800 restaurants across the country, the family owned business was born in Corpus Christi, Texas, just down the road from Houston — or maybe a bit further, because everything is bigger in Texas.

Sandwiched between Minute Maid Park and the Toyota Center — home of the Houston Rockets — Discovery Green is a community park that offers a patch of green and a small lake in the concrete jungle of downtown. In preparation for the Final Four tournament, Discovery Green has now contains a Ferris wheel and a stage which will host a variety of performers from Maroon 5 to Pitbull.

Texas’ oldest craft brewery offers a variety of year-round and seasonal beers, and even make a root beer with a top secret recipe for those underage. Take a tour of the brewery where everything from brewing to bottling to drinking is done ­the epitome of cutting out the middle man. You will leave the tour with a souvenir glass and a belly full of four different beer samples.

Although slightly smaller than Syracuse’s Destiny USA, The Galleria hosts even more shops with 375 stores, from upscale places like Gucci to the more casual ones like Gap and Hollister for younger shoppers. For those who aren’t ready to empty their wallets on new clothes, there are also plenty of places to eat at the mall and a full sized ice rink. The Galleria receives more than 30 million visitors a year.

PAPPASITO’S CANTINA

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER

ANVIL BAR AND REFUGE

HIGHLAND VILLAGE

Pappasito’s website shows it has a handle on the business concept of vertical integration. It owns and drives the trucks delivering its food, it make the furniture for its restaurants and it, of course, cooks and serves all of the meals. If you order guacamole at Pappasito’s, the wait staff will bring the kitchen to you and make it at the side of your table — right down to crushing the avacados.

Houston, we have a visitor. Childhood dreams of being an astronaut can be brought to life at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Get up close and personal with the Saturn V rocket, veteran of the Apollo missions, touch a real moon rock, or you can even have lunch with an astronaut. And there’s no reason to feel like this is just for kids; the center is open for all ages, so feel free to explore the cosmos.

A testament to the comfortable nature reflected in its name, this place boasts over 100 different craft cocktails. If you’re looking for something to munch on rather than chug, don’t worry — and menu on their website is 55 pages long. If you don’t want to read a War and Peace length menu, ask for your regular favorite, or, ask the bar tender for a custom drink based on your favorite flavors.

Highland Village is a little quieter than the expansive Galleria and has been around since 1957. It offers high scale shops and eateries, but you’ll pay for the class. But although it is a bit pricier, in some shops it is worth it to beat the line. Hint: The Apple shop. —Compiled by Rachel Gilbert, co-feature editor, rcgilber@syr.edu

Unbeatable destinations in Indianapolis Food

Activities

Drinks

Shopping

BAZBEAUX

INDY MOTOR SPEEDWAY

THIRSTY SCHOLAR

MASS AVE

This handcrafted pizza joint was created in Indianapolis and has since spread across the city. There are multiple locations, including ones in trendy Broad Ripple and downtown Indy. But Bazbeaux’s not all about pizza. To start, try their Greek Salad and fresh mozzarella plate. Meat lovers can grab the Colossus pizza for vegetarians should try the pesto, the Basilica or Bazbeaux special.

This is a must-see for any NASCAR enthusiast. And if you’d rather not watch cars zoom a track 500 times, never fear. May 29 will mark the 100th running of the world-famous Indianapolis 500. Even a few months in advance, you can check out how the track is preparing for the upcoming race day. The record for most victories — which is four — is shared by three men: A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears.

This coffee, beer and wine bar serves more than just drinks. There are also plenty of choices for light fare and appetizers. And on weekends, be sure to check out their wide selection of live entertainment. It’s also a trendy college spot— hence the name. Students from Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis tend to hang out at this joint, grabbing coffee by day and wine by night.

Mass Ave brands itself as “45 degrees from ordinary” with its diverse art galleries, eclectic shops and small, locally-owned boutiques. There are plenty of highlights, including the oldest shoe store in the nation, Stout’s Shoes, which was established in 1886. There’s also a shop called The Best Chocolate in Town, which is pretty self-explanatory, and IndyFringe, a theater and performing arts venue.

YATS CAJUN CREOLE

WHITE RIVER STATE PARK

KILROY’S BAR N’GRILL

SILVER IN THE CITY

Looking for something a little different than standard midwestern fare? Yats is the place. Famous for its gumbo and other Cajun and Creole dishes, Yats boasts affordable and quick food, yet it’s all still made of high-quality ingredients. To really fit in with the locals, try specialties like their Drunken Chicken or chili cheese etouffe, as well as their amazing freshbaked bread.

To get an active look at one of the most beautiful spots of the city, Visitors can walk, run, bike or even rent pedal boats down this scenic path. Twisting through downtown Indianapolis alongside the White River, the White River State Park and the Canal Walk connect visitors with the NCAA Hall of Champions, the Indianapolis Zoo and the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, among others.

Even though you’re in Indianapolis, you can still get a taste of another state: Tennessee. Advertising Memphis-style barbecue, Kilroy’s Bar covers all your barbecue taste needs. If, by some chance, barbecue isn’t your thing, Kilroy’s also serves pizzas, burgers, sandwiches and wraps. There are plenty of TV’s so you can stay entertained and updated on the world outside of the Final Four.

One of Indianapolis natives’ favorite gift shops, Silver in the City crafts jewelry, housewares and miscellaneous items in its shop on Mass Ave. Looking for a souvenir from your time in Indianapolis? Look no further, as Silver in the City sells Indiana T-shirts and other quirky apparel. —Compiled by Danny Mantooth, asst. copy editor, dmantoot@syr.edu


GAME FACE 18

final four guide

pulp

Creative face paint is a simple way to add more Orange pride to your Syracuse gear Text by Taylyn Washington-Harmon staff writer

Photos by Doris Huang staff photographer

ITH BOTH Syracuse University basketball teams playing in this weekend’s NCA A Tournaments, it’s time to get your game face on — literally. Face paint is a classic way to show school pride and the love of the game, but why not kick it up a notch and get creative with your orange and blue war paint? While everyone’s doing Otto face stickers and stripes, get crafty with your paint set and show some personality alongside your Orange Pride.

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ABSTRACT Chances are, the paint’s going to get a little messy from all of your yelling and screaming. Save yourself the trouble of re-applying your face paint and go abstract. As long as the colors are orange and blue, no one cares whether your design is perfect. Paint your letters in wacky, wild ways, throw in random shapes and lines, and don’t forget to show love for your favorite player with a lucky jersey number. Here’s to you, Malachi Richardson. To complete the look, throw on a mess of basketball-themed Mardi Gras beads. Shake ‘em, wave ‘em, whip ‘em, show the crowd who’s boss.

2

ORANGE NATION Let your freak flag fly free with funky geometric shapes, inspired by war paint of days past. Channel your inner Braveheart and put on your best display of Orange Pride and go wild with your face paint. No one will want to get on your bad side with intimidating paint and a classic angry fan scowl to match. Tie on a bandana or an old scarf to prove you’re ready to go to war for your team and no one’s getting in your way.

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FULL FACE FANFARE Got a favorite player? Let them know you’re their number one fan. Go all out and plaster their name across your face as a symbol of loyalty and true confidence in their abilities. Wear their name and number proudly. Don’t forget to grab a selfie with them off the court. To look even more like the crazed fan you are, let your hair get messy and spray it orange. If that’s too daring, you can always try a funky wig instead.

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CLEMENTINE CUTENESS Not all face paint has to be over the top. If you’re feeling a more subtle way of showing off your Orange Pride, paint your cheeks with tiny oranges so cute even Otto would blush. If you’re feeling more creative, draw faces on the oranges for little Ottos or the numbers of your favorite players. twashi01@syr.edu


final four guide

19

news

A breakdown of Final Four tickets over past 6 years asst. news editor

Tickets for both NCAA Final Four men’s basketball games and the championship are about 22 percent cheaper than last year, according to data from TipIQ, a secondary ticket aggregator. All-session tickets, which can be used to attend both semi-final games and the championship game in Houston, are averaging $1,756.93 each on the secondary market. The secondary market includes ticket sales not from the official NCAA seller, PrimeSport. Last year, the average ticket price on the secondary market was $2,245.67 each. The cheapest available tickets on PrimeSport cost $175 as of 7 p.m. on Thursday. Those tickets are for the seats furthest away from the court. The most expensive, for the seats closest

to the court, are each $4,675. Syracuse University offered students $40 tickets for the men’s game against the University of North Carolina on Saturday and for the championship game if the Orange advances. Venue and fan base size are some of the biggest factors that determine ticket pricing. Historically, if a venue draws in big crowds, ticket prices go up, said Rodney Paul, a sports economist and professor of sport management in the David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics. If the venue is in close proximity to the schools playing and a large airport, ticket prices also go up, he added, especially on the secondary market after the Final Four is set. “It’s about how accessible these places are,” Paul said. “That makes a huge difference because interest in buying those tickets drives prices up.” The only school close to Houston this year

is the University of Oklahoma, which Paul said may be contributing to the decline in ticket prices on the secondary market this year. “Maybe there’s not quite as much demand as there was last year,” he said. Last year, the Final Four was played in Indianapolis, which is relatively close to some of the teams that played last year: the University of Kentucky, the University of Wisconsin and Michigan State University. Teams with large, national fan bases that are willing to travel also create an increase in demand, which in turn drives up tickets prices, Paul said. Schools that don’t make it to the Final Four very often — the anomalies — also drive up prices, Paul said, because fans do not know if that school will make it to the Final Four again. rsandler@syr.edu

ON THE MARKET

Here’s a breakdown of average ticket prices for all-session Final Four tickets — which include the championship game — on the secondary market over the past six years. The secondary market includes tickets not sold through the official NCAA vendor, PrimeSport. 2,245.67

average price ($)

By Rachel Sandler

1,884.83 1,756.93 1,290.11

822.53

source: tipiq

856.14 2011

2012

2013

2014

year

2015

2016

ACC dominance of NCAA tournament will benefit SU asst. web editor

The ACC will break the record for most games played by conference members in this year’s NCAA Tournament, and will in turn earn a record amount of revenue from the NCAA. ACC revenue from the tournament is split evenly among member schools, which means teams in the conference that go far do not earn more money. So although Syracuse University will not receive extra funds for going to the Final Four, its success — as well as that of the rest of the ACC — will result in higher revenue streams for all conference members. The true value of the ACC’s success, though, is in the prestige and attention it will bring to member schools. “The bottom line is that Syracuse got in a more influential conference by getting into the ACC,” said Rick Burton, SU’s faculty athletics representative to the ACC and NCAA and the David B. Falk Endowed Professor of Sport Management. SU transferred to the ACC from the former Big East — now called the American Athletic Conference — in 2013. Although this required a $7.5 million exit fee, the prestige of the ACC as a Power 5 school would come to benefit SU. In the 2013-14 fiscal year — the first year SU was in the ACC — the school earned $19.2 million of the ACC’s $302 million total revenue, accord-

ing to the ACC’s tax filings. Member schools are paid by the ACC in monetary packages that include all potential revenue streams, such as the NCAA Tournament and football bowls. In 2012-13, SU earned $11.9 million in conference revenue, according to the American Athletic Conference’s tax filings. That was the university’s last year in the Big East. Daryl Gross, former director of athletics at SU, oversaw the university’s transition to the ACC. He said SU had been looking to join the ACC for a long time before the university formally moved to the conference. Gross said the monetary distribution from the ACC was much greater than that from the Big East, but said both conferences were extremely competitive. This year, the ACC has dominated the NCAA Tournament. It saw seven teams make the tournament and four make it to the Elite Eight. As a result, the ACC stands to earn more from tournament play than ever before. By the end, ACC teams will have played in a recordsetting 25 games — the championship game not included — which count as “units.” These units are how the NCAA divides up revenue. Based on these units, the ACC will earn $21.5 million for this year’s tournament, said David Teel, a reporter who has written extensively about the ACC. In 2013-14, the conference earned $17.5 million.

The fact that the funds are split among the 15 teams in the conference makes basketball earnings pale in comparison to football earnings.

acc’s ncaa tournament revenue

By Delaney Van Wey

19.3%

21.5%

2014-15

2015-16

17.5%

2013-14 source: david teel

year

“The impact won’t be as great as the big number might lead you to believe,” Teel said. The tournament revenue will only account for about 6 to 7 percent of the ACC’s total revenue, Teel said. The ACC receives much more from college football payouts, he said. In 2013-14, the ACC earned about $246 million from football television and football bowls, according to the conference’s tax filings. “It ’s worth more in prestige and probably recruiting than it is strictly financially,” Teel said. Burton said academic rigor among ACC

schools has also put SU among good company. High academic standing is also one of the reasons SU was accepted into the ACC in the first place, Burton said. The highly competitive nature of both the men’s and women’s basketball teams also gives SU an edge when it comes to tournament play, which Burton said is beneficial. Burton said both men’s basketball head coach Jim Boeheim and women’s basketball head coach Quentin Hillsman would agree that “there are no off nights in the ACC.” The influx of fresh blood has helped the ACC in turn. In 2012, the University of Louisville was invited in, and in 2013, SU, the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Notre Dame joined. This allowed the ACC to renegotiate its television rights contract for a much higher payout, Teel said. ACC teams have also done well on the field and court, as is evident by this year’s NCAA Tournament and SU’s unpredictable run. Before moving to the ACC, Gross, the former director of athletics at SU, said SU’s teams felt they were as good as any other team in the country. He said the success of both the men’s and women’s basketball teams does not come as a surprise to him. Said Gross: “Coming to the ACC, we knew we were ready to compete for championships.” dovanwey@syr.edu

Marshall Street restaurants, stores see boom in business By Rachel Sandler asst. news editor

On a Tuesday in the middle of the afternoon, days before the historic weekend when both Syracuse University’s men’s and women’s basketball teams will play in the Final Four, Manny’s on Marshall Street was in a state of chaos. Customers could barely move through the store as people rummaged through stacks of newly ordered T-shirts, trying to find the size they wanted or a design they liked. The 20-person line reached the end of the store and streams of people — mostly families — kept coming in, leaving little room for the staff at Manny’s to breathe. “We’re swamped in here,” said Devon Smith, an employee at Manny’s. “It’s crazy.” Smith said the store has been selling thousands of T-shirts per day since Sunday, when both the men’s and women’s teams advanced to the Final Four. If the men beat the University of North Carolina on Saturday and advance to the NCAA championship, Smith expects the store’s business to be “like this but on steroids.” “We’re making history here,” he said. “We’re the underdog, so I think that’s why people are

Customers eat sandwiches in Jimmy John’s on Marshall Street. The sandwich shop will have additional staff on board this weekend. zach barlow asst. photo editor

even more excited.” Syracuse is the first No. 10 seed team to make it into the Final Four. This is also the first year the women’s team has made it into the Final Four.

Manny’s is not the only business on Marshall Street reaping the benefits of SU’s basketball victories. Shirt World, another SU apparel seller, has also seen an uptick in business since Sunday. “Business is good, business is great. We’re

kickin’ it,” said Dave Jacobs, the owner of Shirt World, before he went back to ringing up customers. He said the store was too swamped to take more time to provide further comment. Jimmy John’s, a sandwich shop on Marshall Street, saw huge increases in business during and directly after the Elite Eight game on Sunday when the men upset No. 1 seed University of Virginia. A Jimmy John’s employee said the store exceeded what employees were expecting in sales, especially because it was Easter. “Before the game we were extremely busy,” the employee said. “But after the game it was complete chaos, to say the least.” He said Jimmy John’s is planning to have more staff working on Saturday night, when the men’s team will play North Carolina in Houston. As far as bars in the area go, Faegan’s will also be expecting a huge bump in business, not only for the both the men’s and women’s basketball games, but also the University of Notre Dame and SU men’s lacrosse game on Saturday. “We’re going to be pretty slammed,” said Meg Dellas, a manager at Faegan’s. “I think people are just going to keep on coming in.” rsandler@syr.edu


20

final four guide

news

Final Four won’t significantly help Houston’s economy By Michael Burke asst. news editor

Houston is currently in an economic funk relative to much of the United States, and economists say that the men’s Final Four being held in the city won’t significantly help the burden. Low oil prices have taken a big toll on the city’s economy, and it’s unlikely that the local economy grows much, if at all, in 2016, said Adam Perdue, an economist for the University of Houston’s Bauer Institute for Regional Forecasting. And while it has been reported that the NCAA men’s Final Four will generate $300 million in revenue for Houston, economists say that number is misleading and overstated. Victor Matheson, an economics professor at the College of the Holy Cross who specializes in the economic impact of big sporting events, said Final Fours generally have smaller economic impacts than what is projected. One of those reasons, he said, is leakage, which occurs when money is spent in a city such

Sustaining

as Houston, but doesn’t stick there. “So for example, hotel rooms are probably double or triple their usual price this weekend,” he said. “But the big national chains, they’re not doubling or tripling the money they pay to their desk clerks or room cleaners. And so that money doesn’t stick in Houston, it just goes back to corporate headquarters.” Another reason for the minimal economic impact is the “crowding-out effect,” Matheson said, which occurs when locals or people who would otherwise be spending money in an area are discouraged from doing so because of the number of tourists in the area. “Let’s say a bunch of people from Syracuse, for example, go down (to Houston) and they spend money there,” Matheson said. “That crowds out other people who would’ve been there anyway. It’s a pretty good week for basketball fans, but it’s a bad week for regulars.” Justin Yu, the owner of Oxheart Houston, a contemporary American restaurant in the Texas city, said he’s already seeing that

type of effect take place at his restaurant. Oxheart is a higher-end, reservation-type restaurant, Yu said, which he said doesn’t tend to appeal to the type of people visiting Houston for the Final Four. At the same time, Yu said, many of the locals who are drawn to Oxheart are making an effort to avoid the downtown area — where Oxheart is located and where the Final Four games will be played at NRG Stadium — during the Final Four. As a result, reservations are actually down for this weekend. Media outlets have reported that $300 million will be generated for Houston from the Final Four, but Matheson credited that to a manipulation of numbers and said it’s more likely that the total revenue will be somewhere around $30 million. And that’s without taking into account the $8.4 million the state of Texas paid in subsidies to host the Final Four. Perdue said that while he couldn’t estimate an exact amount for total revenue, it won’t be an overly significant figure.

“It’s just one week and a few thousand people,” he said. “... It’s a drop in the bucket compared to the greater economy.” Matheson did say, though, that this year’s Final Four field — consisting of North Carolina, Oklahoma, Syracuse and Villanova — could lead to an impact more positive than usual, since all are big-name programs with large fan bases that could swarm Houston. “If you’re Houston … you’re more than happy that Gonzaga goes down, that you don’t have a George Mason or a Butler type thing,” he said, referring to mid-major schools that have made the Final Four in recent years. “Those teams might be good for ratings, but they just don’t have a good enough fan base to generate much.” Matheson also said he understands why cities are eager to host events such as the Final Four. It’s fun, he said, and it’s an opportunity for the host city to show itself off on a national stage. For that, he said no economist would “begrudge” a city for seeking to host a Final Four. mdburk01@syr.edu | @michaelburke47

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final four guide

21

news

Why women’s sports are less popular, receive less coverage than men’s sports

illustration by devyn passaretti head illustrator

By Sara Swann asst. news editor

A

look at the attendance differences between Syracuse University’s men’s and women’s basketball games makes it pretty clear that there is a focus on the men’s team. On average for home games in the Carrier Dome this season, there is an 187 percent difference between the attendance of men’s and women’s games. The average attendance for men’s games this season was 21,909, while for the women it was 752. Anne Osborne, an associate professor of communications in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, said it was questionable for a while if the men’s basketball team would even make it to the NCAA Tournament, but there was no doubt, she said, that the women’s team would make it into the tournament, which is reflected in each team’s record during the regular season. The men’s record during regular season play was 19-12, while the women had a better regular season record of 23-6. But the men’s team still received a lot of media coverage, she said, adding that she doesn’t think the women’s team received the same amount of attention until both teams advanced to their respective Final Four tournaments. Osborne said that although she thinks the women’s basketball team has garnered more attention since

making it to the Final Four, she wonders how much of that attention is the result of spillover from the men’s basketball team’s advancement to the Final Four. “You can’t ever have guessed how things would have been if it was different, but I wonder if the men had lost on Friday in the Elite Eight how much people would have been paying attention to the women’s Elite Eight game,” Osborne said. The men’s and women’s basketball teams will play in the Final Four on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. SU is one of only a few schools in NCA A history to have both its men’s and women’s basketball teams advance to the Final Four in the same year. This is also the first year the SU women’s basketball team has advanced past the second round.

I think it would take a concerted effort over an extended amount of time to see a real shift. Anne Osborne

associate professor of communications at su

Osborne said there are more things the university can do to market and promote the women’s basketball team. She said she saw SU release more about the men’s basketball team’s success than the women’s. “And often, the visuals for the women games would be next to the visuals for the men’s games based on

promotion for the men’s team that stood alone,” Osborne said. “So I think that it certainly seems to me as an audience member there’s more communicated about for the men’s team and less communicated about for the women’s team.” In the SU Bookstore on Wednesday afternoon, there were eight different T-shirts for sale related to this weekend’s Final Four games — five of them were for the men’s team, one was for the women’s team, one had both teams and one was neutral. Newhouse Dean Lorraine Branham said she thinks women’s sports are typically seen as “second-class” in comparison to men’s sports. “When you think about doing brackets, nobody is doing brackets for (the women’s teams), they’re doing brackets for the men’s teams,” Branham said. She added that unfortunately, the same amount of money that’s spent on men’s sports isn’t spent on women’s sports. As a result, it’s common that fewer scholarships are available to women athletes than to men athletes, so women have fewer opportunities to play sports in college. Improving the culture around women’s sports, Osborne said, turns into a question of the chicken or the egg — sports journalists, broadcasters and networks don’t cover women’s sports because they don’t have a large fan base, but women’s sports can’t build a larger fan base without the media providing more coverage, she said. “I think it would take a concerted effort over an extended amount of time to see a real shift,” Osborne said. A good example of when women’s sports were given see women

athletes

page 22


22

final four guide

news

Syracuse police to increase campus presence during games By Michael Burke asst. news editor

Local law enforcement agencies are planning to have extra officers patrolling the streets this weekend, when the Syracuse University men’s and women’s basketball teams will be playing in their respective Final Four games. The Syracuse Police Department and SU’s Department of Public Safety have been in communication throughout the week to determine how to best secure campus and the surrounding community, particularly if the men’s or women’s basketball teams are to win any games this weekend. In Houston, the site of the men’s Final Four, police said they are expecting a challenge — but a manageable one — in keeping the city safe, given the number of people who will be there for the Final Four.

We work pretty closely. They’ll have an idea of what we’re doing, and we’ll have an idea of what they’re doing. Sgt. Richard Helterline spokesman for the syracuse police department

Representatives from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department did not immediately return phone calls requesting comment for this story. Indianapolis is the host city for the women’s Final Four. Tony Callisto, the chief law enforcement officer for DPS, said that DPS and SPD have a protocol in place for events such as the Final Four — a protocol he said was followed in 2003 and 2013,

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the last two times the men’s basketball team reached the Final Four. That includes increasing police presence on campus and monitoring specific hotspots such as Armory Square, Castle Court, Marshall Street and bars near campus. But Callisto added that this year will require even more of a police presence throughout the weekend, given that both the men’s and women’s teams will be playing. “This is certainly an unprecedented time,” he said. The men’s team plays Saturday, and the women play Sunday. The men would play in the national championship Monday if they advance, and the women would play Tuesday if they advance. Police already have specific plans for Saturday and Sunday, and they’ll develop plans for Monday and/ or Tuesday if necessary, Callisto said. Officials from both DPS and SPD have had meetings and briefings together this week to coordinate those plans. “We work pretty closely,” said Sgt. Richard Helterline, a spokesman for SPD. “They’ll have an idea of what we’re doing, and we’ll have an idea of what they’re doing.” Helterline said students can expect to see DPS and SPD officers working together in some of the same spots this weekend, but he added that the two agencies have different jurisdiction that they’ll need to follow accordingly. SPD, unlike DPS, has the authority to enforce New York state laws and city ordinances in areas off campus. DPS officers can enforce those laws and ordinances, but only on campus. DPS officers are also able to enforce the Syracuse University Code of Student Conduct, something SPD can’t do. But Helterline said that the two agencies are hoping they will only need to monitor the community and not intervene, as was the case on Sunday, when there was a similarly strong police presence on campus after the men’s and women’s teams each clinched their Final Four berths. No SU students were arrested on Sunday night into Monday morning. “We want everybody to relax and have a good time,” Helterline said. “It is a very exciting time. We’re just hoping that they can do it somehow responsibly, so everyone gets home safe.” If things are to get out of hand, though, there is an emergency plan in place, which would entail using an even larger police presence by bringing in on-call officers, Helterline said.

0

The number of people who were arrested in the university area Sunday night, after the men’s and women’s basketball teams won their respective Elite Eight games.

In Houston, meanwhile, officials from the Houston Police Department have been working for “quite some time” with the Houston Fire Department, the mayor’s office and other agencies to prepare for the week, Assistant Police Chief Matt Slinkard said. The department has past experience patrolling the city during events similar to this year’s Final Four, Slinkard said. The city hosted the 2013 NBA All-Star Weekend, the 2011 men’s Final Four and Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004. But Slinkard added that it’s never an easy task to ensure that Houston remains a safe, familyfriendly area during such events. “You always try to learn from what went well last time and what didn’t,” he said. “And you try to adjust to make it a good event for the public and a safe event for all.” mdburk01@syr.edu | @michaelburke47


final four guide

23

news

from page 21

women athletes profiles of individual players so that we actually felt like we got to know them, we had some attachment and investment in their success,” Osborne said. “All of those are the sorts of things that help to build a fan base.” She added that these kinds of efforts are not being made over an extended period of time for women’s sports, so even if there is a flurry of activity, it goes back to normal and then people forget who the players are until the next big event, which makes it hard to build a fan base.

187

The percentage difference between average men’s game attendance and average women’s game attendance If the media provided more coverage and more opportunities to read or hear about women athletes, Osborne said people would become more attached and inwvested in women’s sports. Rick Burton, a David B. Falk Endowed Professor of Sport Management, said he would love for Syracuse media outlets to be an outlier in providing more coverage to women’s sports. He said he hopes Syracuse is better than the national norm in terms of coverage, but he said he’s not sure whether

that’s actually the case. Burton said he thinks women’s sports provide a lot of opportunities for young journalists to get their stories published, which in turn also gives women athletes more coverage. “Winning begets more coverage,” Burton said. One school that Osborne, Branham and Burton all agreed had a women’s basketball team that was almost — if not equally — as popular as its men’s basketball team was the University of Connecticut. Since UConn’s women’s basketball team is very successful — it’s won 118 out of its last 119 games, and all by double digits, according to FiveThirtyEight — Branham said it’s more popular than other schools’ women’s programs because “success leads to more success.” Branham added that she thinks success is something that will also lead to more interest in the game and more support for women athletes. “That’s why I’m so excited about this year’s run, because I think it’s going to open up a lot of new opportunities for them and help a lot of people who haven’t been paying a lot of attention see how good they are,” she said. Burton said he wonders if this winning streak in the tournament for Syracuse women’s basketball might be the team’s tipping point. “That’s my hope, that the women making it into the Final Four — and I hope into the Championship game — does become a tipping point for all of us to become more committed to women’s sports,” Burton said.

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final four guide

special edition

BEAT WRITER PREDICTIONS By The Daily Orange Sports Staff

For the first time in Syracuse history, both the SU men’s and women’s basketball teams have advanced to the Final Four in the same year.

On the men’s side, No. 10 seed Syracuse (2313, 9-9 Atlantic Coast) will square off with No. 1 seed North Carolina (32-6, 14-4) on Saturday at 8:49 p.m. in the Final Four in Houston. The Tar Heels beat the Orange in two previous

matchups this season, but now they will play for a berth in the national title game. On the women’s side, No. 4 seed Syracuse (29-7, 13-3 Atlantic Coast) will face No. 7 seed (26-10, 11-7 Pacific-12) in both teams’

first-ever Final Four. Earlier this season, the Orange beat the Huskies, 66-62, in Las Vegas in the teams’ first-ever matchup. Here’s how our beat writers predict the game will unfold.

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Sam Blum (21-15) | NORTH CAROLINA 70, SYRACUSE 60 | FINAL GAME Who really even knows at this point? Syracuse’s improbable run through the NCAA Tournament was supposed to end against Gonzaga. Then it was supposed to end against Virginia. Now, here we are, with another team that’s supposed to beat the Miracle Orange. It’s tough to beat a team three times in a season, but if Pittsburgh can find a way, so too can the Tar Heels. Syracuse will keep this close, but UNC will blast the painted area to grab a late lead. And unless there’s more press magic for the third straight game, SU’s season will end successfully — if not triumphantly — with a Final Four loss.

Connor Grossman | WASHINGTON 64, SYRACUSE 63 | STILL ON UPSET ALERT Syracuse barely skated by Washington in an early-season game in Las Vegas, and will fall to the Huskies in this second go around. Both teams are vastly improved since their November meet-up, and head coach Quentin Hillsman dipped deeper into his bench than he likely will on Sunday. The Orange has to be cognizant of Kelsey Plum, the third-leading scorer in the country, but also of Chantel Osahor, the 6-foot-2 center who hit three 3s against Stanford on Sunday. UW advances to its first-ever national championship, and SU’s unlikely March run comes to an end.

Jesse Dougherty (23-13) | NORTH CAROLINA 73, SYRACUSE 69 | THE CAROLINA WAY I picked North Carolina to win this whole Tournament back before it started (when we all thought Syracuse wouldn’t make it out of St. Louis alive), and the Tar Heels haven’t given me any good reason to deviate that. The Orange has given us all reason to believe that it could go all the way to the national championship game on Monday, but it gets into a shootout with UNC and can’t quite keep up. This doesn’t invalidate SU’s success this season, as it will have far out-reached expectations, it’s just a stinging third loss to a North Carolina team that Syracuse always competes against until it matters most.

Jon Mettus | SYRACUSE 76, WASHINGTON 61 | WHAT UP SQUAD? Outside of Connecticut, Syracuse has been on the hottest streak in the country. Alexis Peterson and company have this team storming through the tournament, having won 15 of its last 16 games with the only loss coming against Notre Dame in the conference championship. SU and Washington are much different teams than when the Orange won by four in late November (SU had a 21-point lead at one point). Unfortunately for the Huskies, the Orange is the most improved. As long as Peterson stays healthy and SU keeps knocking down shots, the Orange will make it to the national championship game.

Matt Schneidman (25-11) | SYRACUSE 73, NORTH CAROLINA 70 | NEAR-PERFECT 10 Because why not? Why can’t Syracuse pull off another upset of a No. 1 seed from its own conference? Sure, North Carolina will be a tougher task than Virginia simply because of how outmatched the Orange is in the frontcourt, but all it takes is a monstrous performance from Tyler Roberson, support from Tyler Lydon and not falling behind by double digits early. If Syracuse can keep it close, and keep Marcus Paige and Brice Johnson in check while not being exploited by the high-low attack that has hurt in the past, SU will head to the national title game.

Paul Schwedelson | SYRACUSE 75, WASHINGTON 68 | THE OTHER HUSKIES In women’s college basketball, only one team nicknamed “Huskies” matters. On Sunday night, Syracuse takes down the other Huskies and advances to the championship game (probably) against Connecticut. Right now, Syracuse is in such a groove with Peterson playing as well as anyone in the country, and she’ll pour in another 25-plus points. Kelsey Plum, the nation’s third-leading scorer keeps it close for UW, but the diverse scoring triumvirate of Brianna Butler, Brittney Sykes and Cornelia Fondren come through when the Orange needs key baskets late.

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2016 Final Four Special Edition  

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