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The freshman put on a show in his first NCAA Tournament game.
In a funny joke the Selection Committee likes to make now and then, Syracuse was set to play the Dayton Flyers. The last team to knock Syracuse out of the Tournament 2 years ago, Syracuse then sat out a self-imposed postseason ban. So then the committee decided, might as well give them Dayton again. Sure. We'll play your game, your rogue. Syracuse ended up on a 2nd half romp, giving SU the win over Dayton 70 to 51. They didn't deserve to be in huh?
  • Malachi Richardson, with a favorable matchup and the majority of the defense concentrating on Michael Gbinije and Trevor Cooney, went off for a game high 21 points. He kept Syracuse in the first half and kept going. He was 3-8 from 3, but 8-9 from the free throw line.
  • Tyler Lydon was next on the scoring list with 14 points off the bench. He was 4-7, 1-4 from the floor, and 5-6 from the free throw line. He also had a solid 7 rebounds.
  • Trevor Cooney finished with a surprising 13 points on 4-10, 2-5 shooting. He played just well enough to be effective in the game, and take the attention of the defense to allow Richardson to score.
  • Tyler Roberson scored 10 points, going 4-8 from the floor, and 2-2 on free throws. But he had the 2nd best rebounding performance ever for Syracuse in the NCAA Tournament with 18 rebound. Just an unbelievable individual performance and one of the most important times.
  • Syracuse had 48 rebounds to Dayton's 28. Syracuse was able to contain Dayton's big men and absolutely crush them on the boards.
  • Syracuse was able to stay in the first half, and pull away due in part to Dayton missing 15 layups or dunks in the game. One of the biggest fails in terms of bunnies I've ever seen.
  • Both teams were pretty close from behind the arc. Syracuse was slightly better shooting 8-22 from distance, to Dayton's 6-22.
  • Syracuse also benefited from going 20-23 (87%) from the free throw line. Dayton only made 9-19 (47.4%).
  • Syracuse had 15 turnovers to Dayton's 9. That is part of the reason the game was so close in the first half. Syracuse tightened up in the 2nd half and pulled away.
  • Here's the chart for the scoring in the game. As you can see, the 2nd half was all Orange and Syracuse was really never in danger of losing in the final 20 minutes.
  • Syracuse held Dayton to 32.1% shooting.
Syracuse now advances to play Middle Tennessee State, who had the big upset of 2 Seed Michigan State. Syracuse need to take care of business in much the say way and they'll head to the Sweet 16. Who would have thought?

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