March 23, 2016 Louisville, KY. (Analyzed Sports) BY: Stephen Patrick
2016 NCAA MEN’S TOURNAMENT: The Madness Continues
This NCAA tournament has been one of the most chaotic in recent memory with 10 double digit seeded teams winning during opening weekend. The second round brought more calm to a lot of people brackets. There were few upsets coming out of the round of 32. In the beginning of the tournament the ACC had 7 teams tied with the Big Ten, Pac-12 and Big 12(Louisville self-imposed ban would’ve made it 8). Another year of the 15-team ACC brought an extraordinary number of NCAA tournament berths. Those births bring 6 teams from the ACC to the sweet sixteen which is a record for any conference.
No one complained for a second that the league over the years has become the premier college basketball conference. The ACC’s two number one seeds No. 1 have survived. Regular-season and tournament champion North Carolina are joined by title-game loser Virginia as the 1 seeds. This was not only a sign of respect for the ACC but a harbinger of success for the conference in the NCAA tournament. The four previous times the ACC had two No. 1 seeds from the selection committee, an ACC team won the national title three times.
Joining North Carolina and Virginia are Norte Dame, Miami, Duke and Syracuse. Every one of those teams had great reason to believe that had a chance at a long run. Of those teams nobody expected Syracuse to make a run. A majority of college basketball aficionados would’ve agreed that Syracuse didn’t belong in the dance after an up and down season. But here we are with Jim Boeheim and the men in orange seeking yet another trip to the Elite Eight.
“Well, we knew it was a hard conference. We were in it all year,” Boeheim said. “And when we played outside the conference in the tournament (in the Bahamas) we had some success. We struggled in the conference for the most part because we were playing good teams, really good teams, and it’s hard to judge a conference during the year. I mean, it is hard. But I think you have to go a little bit by what conferences do in the tournament. “
And in the tournament the Orange has averaged 72.5 while giving up 50.5. All be it was against Dayton and Middle Tennessee. “Thank you for the motivation,” Michael Gbinije said to the doubters in his postgame interview with CBS’ Dana Jacobson. Gbinije had 23 against MTSU, while Tyler Roberson is averaging 11.0 points and 13.5 rebounds per game thus far in the tournament.
Syracuse has an extremely short rotation, so avoiding fatigue and foul trouble are the first steps to success. The Orange has a sweet sixteen date with Gonzaga. Now, things get serious. It may be a No. 10 vs. No. 11 matchup, but Syracuse will be the underdog against Gonzaga (favored by 5). The winner will have a chance to face either Virginia or Iowa State in the Elite Eight.