'Cuse cruises in NCAA opener

Syracuse limped down the stretch of the regular season and lost its opener in the ACC Tournament, but Thursday's rout of Western Michigan made it seemed as if neither fact was true. The Orange never trailed in the 77-53 victory.

Syracuse accomplished plenty in its NCAA Tournament win over Western Michigan on Thursday afternoon, never trailing in a blowout 77-53 win.

The No. 3 seeded Orange came out firing on both ends of the floor, jumping out to a 15-4 lead with steals on defense and efficient shooting on offense, and it would maintain a double-digit advantage the whole way through.

Jerami Grant dunked his way to 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the floor, followed by Tyler Ennis' 15 points and six assists and C.J. Fair's double-double. The senior did it all for Syracuse, putting in 14 points and 11 rebounds in a bounce-back performance from his ACC Tournament showing one week earlier.

Perhaps the most important offensive storyline with the Orange was Trevor Cooney, who shot 50 percent (4-for-8) from beyond the arc on this day, notching four conversions from deep en route to a game-high 18 points.

The No. 14 seeded Broncos shot under 40 percent in the loss and gave up 19 points after turning the ball over.

Syracuse will remain in Buffalo (N.Y.) in preparation for Dayton on Saturday. The No. 11 seed upset No. 6 Ohio State, 60-59, on the same court Thursday.

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