With the Tarheels and Miami now comforting each other on the couch, Syracuse has my full attention going forward. Their zone defense against the #1 ranked Indiana prevailed as they won 61-50. Syracuse has had their struggles, mainly Brandon Triche’s shooting woes. In the Big East conference Triche’s offensive slump contributed to losses against Georgetown (2x), Pittsburgh, and he shot for an awful 25% vs. Louisville in the Big East finals a few weeks ago. But based on last night’s performance, that slump isn’t indicative of his complete talent.
Against the overrated(?) Indiana, the backcourt duo of Triche and Michael Carter-Williams combined for 15/31 and 38 points. Cuse’s zone defense held Indiana’s Victor Oladipo and Jordan Hulls to 5/12. In the front, Cody Zeller was being exposed by Baye Keita, who played center most of the game due to Rakeem Christmas’s early fouls. Ultimately what did this Indiana team in was not making free throws and turnovers.
Syracuse needed this redemption for that 1987 game, in which Triche’s uncle, Howard played in. The Orange will take on Marquette. Based on how Marquette put the zone to Miami, that’s going to be quite a slow and low-scoring game.