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 will also be the first time Syracuse has ever defeated a team seeded three slots higher than it in the NCAA tournament.
— Patrick Stevens (@D1scourse) March 29, 2013
It was over so early, everyone had time to work on their jokes.
Will Tom Crean scream “you destroyed our program” at Cody Zeller after this one?
— mgoblog (@mgoblog) March 29, 2013
The Indiana-Syracuse game is the best proof I’ve seen that players shouldn’t get paid
— Bobby Big Wheel (@BobbyBigWheel) March 29, 2013
It’s not over, but IU looks like it’s playing in the mud while shooting at a carnival-sized rim.
— Matt Norlander (@MattNorlander) March 29, 2013
These college students aren’t very good at basketball, the aliens said after a two-minute briefing.
— Bruce Arthur (@bruce_arthur) March 29, 2013
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Photos: Scenes from the tournament