Who Said History Repeats Itself?

A highly-respected, while highly-contested 2-3 zone run by the mind of Jim Boeheim, bonded with a tenacious offense to lift the New York squad above the program that prevented them once before. Full story inside.

The Syracuse Orange and Indiana Hoosiers had not met in the postseason since the match that has lived in infamy to the Syracuse proud in 1987 in the national championship.

But Keith Smart was not on the floor in this match, and Orange head coach Jim Boeheim was not going up against former Hoosiers' sideline leader, Bobby Knight.

Boeheim had his team playing zone as well as man-to-man during the initial postseason contest between Syracuse and Indiana.

Now, the longtime Orange leader is all 2-3 zone, having had over 15 years to improve it since that dismal moment in Syracuse history.

Boeheim had never met Tom Crean, Indiana's current head coach, on the floor for an Orange-Hoosier bout going into their Sweet 16 meeting.

This was new territory for both programs, and Syracuse used it to etch a happier moment in their present instead of reliving their past.

Going down early, the Orange would regain the lead at 16:18 off of a dunk that resulted from a steal, placing Syracuse ahead 4-3.

The dunk, fittingly, came from senior guard Brandon Triche, the nephew of Howard Triche, who was on the floor for Smart's silencer more than a decade ago. Brandon scored the team's first points of the game on a layup coming a minute and a half into action.

The assist on Triche's dunk came from backcourt teammate, sophomore guard Michael Carter-Williams, his only helper of the entire game.

"We couldn't get assists because they weren't coming off," Boeheim stated. "They did the same thing Temple did. They let Michael [Carter-Williams] or Brandon [Triche] go to the basket and they both finished better than we did in that game [versus Temple]."

Triche and Carter-Williams, 6'4" and 6'6", respectively, came in with a height advantage over Indiana's backcourt of freshman guard Yogi Ferrell and senior guard Jordan Hulls, both 6'0". "We felt like we had an advantage sizewise, finishing at the rim, and that's what we did," said Triche.

The height advantage was evident as well as the more dangerous Syracuse's guards become when playing man-to-man in general. Triche had two dunks and three layups in the game, with Carter-Williams adding three layups of his own.

As a team, the Orange scored on 11 trips to the rim. Triche and Carter-Williams accounted for all but three of those connections from close.

"We just wanted to get to the basket," Triche stated. "We didn't want to take too many jump shots."

Attacking the basket also put the Orange on the free throw line. They took 20 attempts from the charity stripe in the second half and made 15, after connecting on three of four in the opening half.

Syracuse never went away without points when attacking the basket and drawing fouls from Indiana in this game.

The Hoosiers failed to attain any points on two of their trips to the charity stripe in the opening half, missing nine free throws in total for the game, ending 15-for-24.

With Syracuse able to move the ball and penetrate Indiana's man-to-man defense as well as take advantage at the line, their other task was to prevent the Hoosiers on the defensive end.

More than Indiana simply missing shots, Syracuse was forcing Indiana to take attempts from the field while applying pressure, which was successful in preventing clean looks for Indiana.

The Orange not only prevented good looks at the basket, they brought possessions by the Hoosiers to an end before even allowing an attempt.

At the end of the first half, Indiana had taken a mere 19 tries from the field to Syracuse's 30.

The 2-3 zone of the Orange blocked five attempts by the Hoosiers, stole the ball seven times, and forced 12 turnovers in the opening 20 minutes alone.

Though Indiana came out scoring the first five points of the second half and dwindled down Syracuse's lead to a two-possession separation with 14:12 remaining, Syracuse never seemed to give up momentum.

The Orange responded immediately after junior guard Victor Oladipo's three at 14:12. When the Hoosiers brought their deficit below double-digits on two following occasions, the Orange added points on their ensuing possessions both times.

Syracuse's offense would only take 18 shots in the latter half, making seven of them, looking more like the first-half version of Indiana.

Continuing the irony, the Hoosiers appeared to be more like the Orange of the opening half, taking 29 attempts.

However, two things did not change from one half to the next. Indiana continued their offensive woes, going 9-for-29 from the field, and Syracuse's 2-3 zone continued its prowess, adding another five blocks to go with five steals and seven more turnovers.

"We just do a good job of talking out there and recovering if they get penetration," Syracuse senior forward James Southerland offered. "On thing they don't see is how long we are until they approach our zone." Southerland had three blocks and three steals to go with five rebounds on the defensive end.

In total, the Orange zone recorded 10 blocks and 12 steals, taking the ball away from the Hoosiers 19 times.

On the offensive end, Syracuse was blocked once and stolen from once, with six turnovers in the first half. They were blocked only twice and on the wrong side of a steal five times. Second-half woes led to 14 total turnovers by the Orange, as they fumbled with their possessions in the first five minutes of the latter half before getting back into attack mode to close out the game.

Triche and Carter-Williams would combine to go 15-for-31, one shy of Indiana's total team makes from the field (16) on 17 less attempts; the Hoosiers had 48 tries for the game.

Carter-Williams led the Orange as well as all players in action with 24 points. He made three of Syracuse's four connections from long range.

"My only coaching move of the night was when we went out of the huddle I said, 'Just stop and take a three,' [to Carter-Williams]," Boeheim remarked. "I didn't think he would make it. I just wanted them to think he might shoot it and they might come over. Because if they don't come over, he can't get in the lane...He made a couple of them and he's a different player when he can make that shot."

Triche followed with 14 points, making half of his attempts (6-for-12) in the contest.

Junior forward C.J. Fair would round out the double-digit scorers for the Orange, with 11. He sat atop his teammates as well as each member of the Hoosiers, grabbing eight defensive rebounds. Fair had one on offense to end the match with nine total.

Indiana seven-footer, sophomore forward Cody Zeller, led all rebounders on either side with 10 boards, split evenly on the offensive and defensive glass.

Zeller was held behind his average of 16.7 points per game, attaining 10 against the Orange.

Fellow Hoosiers' forward, senior Christian Watford, along with Oladipo also rose to double-figures in scoring, each beating their averages, with Watford finishing with 13 and Oladipo leading Indiana with 16.

Of the 17 weeks that Indiana was in action, including the postseason poll, the team was ranked in the nation's top five in 16 of 18 weeks. They never dipped below the nation's top 10.

The Hoosiers were given the honor of being named the top-ranked team in the nation more than any other NCAA Division I men's basketball program in the 2012-13 campaign, residing atop the other 348 programs nine separate times.

Syracuse was never placed on top of the rankings for 2012-13 heading into this match-up.

But rankings are mere numbers, not scores, and in this match-up, Syracuse, a 4-seed, defeated the top-seeded Hoosiers, 61-50.

The Orange will move on to meet the Golden Eagles of Marquette, of whom they lost to in the regular season, 74-71.

Tip-off for the Elite Eight contest is set for 4:30pm ET from the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.

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