Indiana rolled by Syracuse, becomes second No. 1 seed knocked out of NCAA tournament

Baffled by Syracuse’s impenetrable 2-3 zone, overmatched inside and helpless along the perimeter, No. 1 Indiana is no more.

The Hoosiers simply had no counter for Syracuse’s zone defense, nor could their undersize back court compete with the Orange’s longer guards. Cody Zeller turned into the Invisible Man and the nation’s top-ranked offense took 34 minutes to reach 40 points. The end result, a 61-50 bruising at Verizon Center, made Indiana the second top seed bounced from the NCAA tournament.

The Orange, meanwhile, are rolling. Hours after their Big East colleague Marquette drubbed Miami on the same floor, Coach Jim Boeheim’s squad did the same to Indiana. Indiana guard Yogi Ferrell played out of control, committing four turnovers. Zeller had five shots blocked and shot 3 for 10. Victor Oladipo, a national player of the year finalist playing near his alma mater DeMatha, finished with a team-high 14 points.

Syracuse’s 11 blocks were three shy of the NCAA tournament record. Michael Carter-Williams was stellar, finishing with a game-high 24 points, six rebounds and four steals. But Boeheim’s zone ruled the day, forcing 17 turnovers that turned into quick buckets on the other end.

The win capped off an underdog day in D.C., where the two lower-seeded teams in a chalk region advanced to Saturday’s Elite Eight. It’s an unexpected dessert for Big East fans, who lamented the conference’s breakup at Madison Square Garden during the Big East tournament. Syracuse and Marquette met once this season, a 74-71 Golden Eagles win in Milwaukee on Feb. 25.

It was over so early, everyone had time to work on their jokes.

 

 

 

 

MUCH MORE NCAA TOURNAMENT COVERAGE

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Interactive bracket and NCAA tournament history database

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Alex Prewitt covers the Washington Capitals. Follow him on Twitter @alex_prewitt or email him at alex.prewitt@washpost.com.
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Alex Prewitt · March 28, 2013

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