The Last Time...

Take a look back to the previous match-up between the Orange and the Golden Eagles in the NCAA Tournament, including the players that bridge the gap for both sides.

Two years ago, the Syracuse Orange and the Marquette Golden Eagles found themselves in a head-to-head match-up outside of Big East Conference play when they faced off in the NCAA Tournament's round of 32.

The game was held in Cleveland, Ohio, with the Orange and Golden Eagles meeting in the tournament's east bracket, ironically where they meet again in 2013.

Guard Brandon Triche got Syracuse on the board first and scored eight of their first 10 points.

The Orange would lead all the way to the 5:22 mark when guard Darius Johnson-Odom, now an alum, connected from long range to tie the contest at 21 apiece.

Forward James Southerland would answer with his own make from long range immediately after to give the Orange an advantage once again.

But, alum guard/forward Jimmy Butler would score four consecutive points to give Marquette their first lead of the game, 30-29, with 2:19 to play in the first half.

Syracuse alum forward Kris Joseph grabbed the advantage back for the Orange, 31-30, on a tip shot, but Johnson-Odom responded with a layup to retake the lead, 32-31 with 1:34 left in the opening half.

Despite holding onto the advantage for the majority of the first half, Syracuse found themselves trailing by three points to Marquette, 34-31, at the break.

In the final 20 minutes of the game, there were 10 lead changes and five ties.

Current alum forward Jae Crowder brought the match back even with 2:26 remaining on his connection from long range.

With 27 seconds remaining, Johnson-Odom achieved separation on his made three-point attempt, followed by guard Junior Cadougan and Crowder both going perfect from the line.

Defensively, Marquette held Syracuse scoreless for over two and a half minutes, giving up a layup to Syracuse alum guard Dion Waiters with 12 seconds to go, the first basket for the Orange since the 2:53 mark.

The Golden Eagles would hold on to advance past the Orange with a 66-62 victory.

All of Marquette's starters for that game have since moved on, sans center Chris Otule.

Guards Vander Blue and Junior Cadougan have gone from subs to members of the Golden Eagles' starting five.

Forward Davante Gardner, though still coming off of the bench like he had in that 2011 game, is playing starter's minutes.

Cadougan recorded the most points of the four current players who participated in that game, with nine off the bench in 25 minutes.

Otule would end with six points in 26 minutes, followed by Blue and Gardner who each played six minutes, attaining two points between them from Garder going 2-for-2 at the charity stripe.

Like Marquette, Syracuse also has four players currently on their roster who played in that match in 2011.

Of the four, two started in that game, Triche and center Baye Keita, who knows come off the bench as a sub.

Southerland and fellow forward C.J. Fair, both subs in the prior match, have been elevated to starters on Syracuse's current roster.

Triche recorded the most points versus the Golden Eagles of the four back in 2011, ending with eight in 21 minutes.

Playing in the same amount of minutes despite coming off the bench, Southerland closed with seven.

Fair had four in 14 minutes, Keita did not attempt a shot in his four minutes on the floor.

In total, Syracuse's foursome outscored that of Marquette, 19 to 17.

Fast forward to today and you will find that all eight aforementioned players have elevated their play heading into their Elite Eight match.

Southerland has become more of a threat from long range, while also becoming more and more of a positive piece of the Orange 2-3 zone.

Gardner has shown his ability to beat the zone, scoring a career single-game high of 26 when Marquette faced Syracuse in the regular season, helping the Golden Eagles to a 74-71 victory.

Triche and Blue have demonstrated leadership at crucial moments in the 2012-13 campaign.

With more on the line this time around, those that have matured their play the most and the pieces that surround them now hold the opportunity to advance.

In 2011, a win meant the right to move onto the Sweet 16.

Now two years later, the victor will head to the Final Four, standing just two steps away from becoming national champions.

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