Syracuse takes down top-seeded Indiana

WASHINGTON — It took winning a national title for Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim to get over a late-shot loss to Indiana the last time the schools played in the NCAA tournament. This meeting, 26 years later, was never close enough to come down to the final seconds, thanks mostly to Boeheim’s trademark 2-3 zone defence. Now he has the Orange one victory from getting back to the Final Four.

WASHINGTON — It took winning a national title for Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim to get over a late-shot loss to Indiana the last time the schools played in the NCAA tournament.

This meeting, 26 years later, was never close enough to come down to the final seconds, thanks mostly to Boeheim’s trademark 2-3 zone defence. Now he has the Orange one victory from getting back to the Final Four.

Limiting Indiana to its lowest output of the season while forcing 19 turnovers and blocking 10 shots, fourth-seeded Syracuse used Michael Carter-Williams’ 24 points to upset the No. 1 seed Hoosiers 61-50 Thursday night and reach the East Regional final.

“Our perimeter defence was tremendous,” Boeheim said. “This is one of our best defensive teams ever. They play it well.”

After getting past preseason No. 1 Indiana, Syracuse (29-9) will face No. 3 seed Marquette on Saturday night in an all-Big East matchup for a berth in the Final Four. Boeheim and the Orange haven’t been to the national semifinals since Carmelo Anthony led them to the 2003 title.

Marquette beat No. 2 seed Miami 71-61 in Thursday’s first game in Washington.

Syracuse, which is leaving for the Atlantic Coast Conference this summer, lost at Marquette 74-71 during the Big East regular season on Feb. 25.

Less than a half-minute into Thursday’s game, as Indiana star Victor Oladipo headed to the free-throw line, the arena’s overhead scoreboard showed a replay of “The Shot,” as it’s come to be known — Keith Smart’s baseline jumper in the final seconds that lifted Bob Knight’s Hoosiers past Boeheim’s Orange in the 1987 national title game.

Boeheim said he wasn’t able to put that behind him until 16 years later, when he got his title. Boeheim entered Thursday with 50 wins in the tournament, fourth-most in history, and more than 900 victories overall, with so much of that success built on his unusual zone defence, 40 minutes of a puzzle for opponents to try and solve.

Indiana (29-7), like most teams outside the Big East, isn’t used to seeing that sort of thing, and it showed right from the outset. Didn’t matter that Indiana ranked third in the country this season in scoring, putting up 79.5 points per game — and never fewer than 56 — while making 48.6 per cent of its shots.

The Orange held Indiana to 33 per cent shooting and frustrated the Hoosiers — from the players down to the coach, Tom Crean.

“Let’s face facts. We haven’t seen a zone like that,” Crean said. “They’re very good. They’re where they’re at for a reason.”

Cody Zeller was held to 10 points on 3-of-11 shooting. Victor Oladipo scored 16 for Indiana, none easily.

“Credit them,” Oladipo said. “They did a great job with their zone. They’re well-coached.”

At one point early on, Crean scanned a sheet of notes, then shoved it into his navy blue suit jacket’s inside pocket.

No help there.

Then, more than 5 1/2 minutes in and his team still without a field goal, Crean called a timeout while trailing 11-3. By then, the Hoosiers had four turnovers and were in the process of missing their first five shots.

Always moving, Crean called over freshman forward Jeremy Hollowell to give him a talking-to and a slap on the backside. Later, Crean got down on a knee and used a white towel to help dry a wet spot on the floor in front of his team’s sideline. Crean barked “Are you sure?!” at an official after one non-call when Indiana let yet another possession go astray.

Boeheim, in contrast, looked on calmly, taking it all in with his arms crossed over his midsection or with his chin resting on his right fist. He seemed something like an interested observer rather than active participant in the proceedings.

Sure must have liked what he saw, though.

The Hoosiers needed more than 10 minutes of action to record their second field goal, and they didn’t crack double figures in points until Zeller’s tip-in with 14 minutes elapsed made it 22-11.

Even with no one guarding them, the Hoosiers couldn’t put the ball in the basket, failing to make their free throws consistently. They started 3 for 8, and Zeller and Oladipo each had an 0-for-2 trip to the line in the first half.

It all helped Syracuse build an 18-point edge, at 29-11 with about 3 1/2 minutes left in the first half, on C.J. Fair’s inside basket. Fair finished with 11 points, while Brandon Triche — whose uncle, Howard, was on the 1987 team that lost to Indiana — scored 14.

Christian Watford finally made Indiana’s first 3 — on the team’s seventh attempt from beyond the arc — with 1 1/2 minutes to go in the half, cutting the deficit to 11 and earning a palm slap from Oladipo. But Syracuse took a 34-22 lead into the locker room.

Oladipo’s 3 made it a six-point game with 14 minutes left and Syracuse ahead 38-32. That’s when Carter-Williams really took over, scoring 10 during a 14-5 run that put the Orange up 52-37 with 9 minutes to go.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta has 1,910 active cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday. Red Deer is reporting five active cases, with 108 recovered. (File photo)
Red Deer reports 25th COVID-19 death

415 new cases identified provincially Saturday

More than 120,000 Albertans have signed up to get the COVID-19 vaccine in the first two days of appointment bookings. (Photo courtesy Alberta Health Services Twitter)
Alberta Health Services apologizes after seniors struggle to book vaccine appointments

The CEO and president of Alberta Health Services is apologizing after seniors… Continue reading

Red Deer’s Kyle Moore, 26, will be a houseguest on Season 9 of Big Brother Canada. (Photo courtesy Big Brother Canada)
Red Deer man will be a houseguest on Big Brother Canada

A Red Deer man will be a houseguest on the upcoming season… Continue reading

Red Deer Public Schools says that in the absence of additional funds from the provincial government, there was no consideration of using alternate classroom sites in the district. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Red Deer Public Schools launches online engagement process

Red Deer Public schools is seeking community input to help ensure a… Continue reading

Red Deer Rebels defenceman Mason Ward battles with a Medicine Hat Tigers’ forward during the WHL Central Division season opener. (Photo by Rob Wallator/ Red Deer Rebels)
Tigers come back to spoil Red Deer Rebels home opener

It’s been nearly 345 days since the Red Deer Rebels last played… Continue reading

An arrest by Red Deer RCMP is facing online scrutiny. No charges have been laid and the incident is still under investigation. (Screenshot of YouTube video)
Red Deer RCMP investigating violent arrest caught on video

Police say officer ‘acted within the scope of his duties’

Ottawa Senators goaltender Matt Murray (30) stands in his crease as Calgary Flames left wing Andrew Mangiapane (88), left to right, defenceman Rasmus Andersson (4), Matthew Tkachuk (19), Mikael Backlund (11) and Mark Giordano (5) celebrate a goal during second period NHL action in Ottawa on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Calgary Flames beat Ottawa 6-3 to end Senators’ three-game win streak

Flames 6 Senators 3 OTTAWA — The Calgary Flames used a balanced… Continue reading

Toronto Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews (34) falls on his knees as he skates around Ottawa Senators defenceman Artem Zub (2) during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Thursday, February 18, 2021. The Maple Leafs will be without star centre Auston Matthews when they take on the Edmonton Oilers Saturday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Toronto star Auston Matthews won’t play as Leafs face Oilers

EDMONTON — The Maple Leafs will be without star centre Auston Matthews… Continue reading

Crosses are displayed in memory of the elderly who died from COVID-19 at the Camilla Care Community facility during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on November 19, 2020. The number of people who would have died from a COVID-19 infection is likely to be much higher than recorded because of death certificates don't always list the virus as the cause of a fatality, experts say. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Death certificates don’t accurately reflect the toll of the pandemic, experts say

The number of people who would have died from a COVID-19 infection… Continue reading

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. A single dose of Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine is barely enough to cover the average pinky nail but is made up of more than 280 components and requires at least three manufacturing plants to produce. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
From science to syringe: COVID-19 vaccines are miracles of science and supply chains

OTTAWA — A single dose of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine is barely enough… Continue reading

Wetaskiwin RCMP say a Maskwacis man died after he was struck by a vehicle. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Clare’s Law in Saskatchewan used handful of times; Mounties review their role

REGINA — A first-of-its-kind law in Canada meant to warn those at… Continue reading

The Magpie river in Quebec is shown in a handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Boreal River MANDATORY CREDIT
Quebec river granted legal rights as part of global ‘personhood’ movement

MONTREAL — With its kilometres of rapids and deep blue waters winding… Continue reading

Thorough sanding of a table top is usually the first step to renewing a finish. Wax contaminants can sometimes still remain on a surface like this after sanding. Cleaning with rubbing alcohol and a rag gets rid of these contaminants without leaving a residue behind. (Photo by Steve Maxwell)
Houseworks: Fixing wood finishes

Q: How can I stop polyurethane from beading up on a mahogany… Continue reading

Most Read