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And with that, Scoop's career, along with KrisJo, is over.
Syracuse earned it's Elite status this season, by making their first Elite 8 since 2003. And while the weekend was many things, Syracuse was not ultimately the regional champion and able to punch their ticket to the Final Four. So we examine each game below.
Wisconsin v. Syracuse
This game was, for basketball fans, extremely entertaining. For Syracuse fans, it was extremely frustrating because Wisconsin shoots the ball very well. The first half was very tight until Syracuse took the lead with about 5:56 to go in the first half. Syracuse opened up their biggest lead of the game late in the second half, ten points. However, mental mistakes allowed the Badgers to close the gap 33-27 at the break. Wisconsin came out hot as they quickly made the game close again. Drilling three after three it seemed as if the Badgers couldn't miss, but Syracuse always kept the game close, continuing to score inside. Syracuse was up by a point with less than a minute left when Kris Joseph was fouled with a 1-and-1 coming. He missed the first shot giving Wisconsin the chance to win. Syracuse played tough defense and escaped with a one point win, 64-63.
  • CJ Fair was Syracuse's leading scorer with 15 points. He was also the game's leading rebounder with seven rebounds. Three other Syracuse players had double digit scoring.
  • Brandon Triche scored his 1,000 point in this game.
  • Scoop Jardine led Syracuse with four assists. He also only had one turnover.
  • Fair also had Syracuse's only steals. He had four. Most of which were grabbed on predicting passing lanes for Wisconsin, and essentially jumping the routes.
  • Syracuse only had one block in the game, coming from Baye Moussa Keita.
  • Syracuse only committed six turnovers. Wisconsin only had six as well.
  • Syracuse shot well from the floor. They shot 51.5% from the floor and 55.6% (5/9) from three point range. Wisconsin was brilliant from long range, hitting 51.9% (14-27). However, they only shot 42.9% from the floor overall and 31.8% from inside the arc.
  • This was the second highest number of three point baskets a team has made against Syracuse with 14. The highest being 15 in 1995. Syracuse won that game as well.
  • Syracuse outscored Wisconsin 8-4 in the last seven minutes and outrebounded the Badgers 5-1.
  • Wisconsin did not make a field goal inside the three point line in the last 14 minutes of the game.
  • There was a good number of Syracuse fans in the Garden. Maybe 60%. But the Wisconsin fans, along with the other non-Syracuse fans, joined together when Wisconsin kept hitting threes.
  • Just note now, there were 13 fouls called against Syracuse and Wisconsin took 12 free throws.
Ohio State v. Syracuse
Syracuse then took on Ohio State in the Elite 8 for a trip to the Final Four. Ohio State jumped out to a small early lead before trading the lead back and forth for the rest of the first half, ending with both teams heading to the locker room tied at 29 all. Foul trouble put Ohio State's Jared Sullinger on the bench for most of the first half, but Ohio State kept the game close. In the second half, Ohio State's offense really played well, and both teams shot a ton of free throws. State's lead expanded to a game high ten points, but Syracuse chipped away. However, late game turnovers and failure to score allowed Ohio State to keep the lead and head to the Final Four. They beat the Orange 77-70.
  • Brandon Triche was the leading scorer for the Orange with 15 points. The two seniors also scored double digits in their final game.
  • Keita led Syracuse in rebounding with ten. A superb effort.
  • Scoop again led the team with six assists. He only had two turnovers in the game.
  • Joseph led Syracuse with three steals. Keita led with four blocks.
  • Syracuse had 12 turnovers. Ohio State 11. The last few are really what killed Syracuse.
  • Syracuse shot 41.5% from the floor. Ohio State was close with 41.2%. Syracuse hit 6/16 (37.5%) from behind the arc. Ohio State made 4-13 (30.8%) from the same. Ohio State made 31-42 free throws. Syracuse made 20-25.
  • Syracuse committed 28 fouls and Ohio State had 20 for a total of 48 fouls, totaling 67 free throws for both teams combined. Ohio State shot 42 of those. That's over 3 times the amount Wisconsin shot in their game.
  • This was the worst officiated NCAA Tournament game I have ever seen. It was officiated even in its awfulness though. However, no team could get into an offensive rhythm and both teams had foul problems. This was an Elite 8 game. I've never seen the referees dictate a game as much as this one. They continued to insert them into this game. Those officials were Tom O'Neill, Mike Nance, and John Higgins.
  • The officials were not the reason Syracuse lost, but it made this game pretty awful to watch. And these were both great teams in a great matchup. Shame for the NCAA.
  • Jim Boeheim picked up his first technical in this game for the season. It was officially because he was out of the coaching box and gesturing. It was really because he was upset the officials were calling the tightest game of the season. It was Boeheim's first technical since November 20, 2010 against Cornell.
  • Jared Sullinger was fantastic in the second half, earning 15 of his 19 points then.
  • Ohio State had about the same game that Syracuse did against Wisconsin down the stretch. Just hitting shot after shot in the closing possessions. It allowed them to stay ahead.
  • Had Kris Joseph finally learned how to dribble, maybe he wouldn't have turned the ball over down the stretch. Just a thought.
  • Dion Waiters also had a bad turnover, dribbling into the corner and bouncing the ball right off the baseline.
And now we close the 2011-2012 season for the Orange. Scoop Jardine and Kris Joseph are graduating and Dion Waiters will be going pro. The fate of Fab Melo is still up in the air as of right now. But going to the Elite 8 without your starting center and finishing 34-3 is a pretty successful season. We'll have more final thoughts on the season in the coming days most likely, but after this weekend we will turn our attention full time to lacrosse. Which seems to be a mess right now. But we'll get into that later. For now, March Madness has ended for Syracuse and it was a pretty entertaining ride all things considered. As for off the court, it's a great thing this season is finally over.

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