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Jim Boeheim: Happiest I've ever been on Selection Sunday

Jim Boeheim said yesterday was the happiest he's ever been on a Selection Sunday.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Jim Boeheim has been doing this whole coaching thing a long time.

This morning on The Dan Patrick Show, Boeheim said 54 years ago he didn't know how long he would be in Syracuse. Fast forward through his four-year playing career as a then-Orangeman and his 40+ years of coaching, the Hall-of-Famer has stayed loyal to his alma mater. 

Now rewind to last night around 6:45 p.m. ET as the Carmelo K. Anthony Center erupted when CBS Sports' announced that the Orange was going dancing. It earned a 10-seed in the Midwest Region, and will play the 7-seed Dayton Flyers on Friday at 12:15 p.m. ET. The game will be televised on CBS. 

Moments after Syracuse earned the at-large bid, Jim Boeheim spoke to the media, in which he said this was the "happiest I've ever been on Selection Sunday in all my years of coaching."

"I couldn't be happier for this group. Obviously, it's been a very difficult, tough year. A lot of ups and downs. A lot of tough, tough games." 

Boeheim was suspended nine games this season, and wasn't able to be in contact with his players, coaches or University for roughly a month. Mike Hopkins went 4-5 in those nine games, 0-3 in ACC play. 

When Boeheim returned, the Orange won eight of its next nine games, including a key road win at then-ranked No. 20 Duke.

"There's been a couple years that I thought we were going to get in that we didn't get in," Boeheim said "Those are crushing, crushing years when that happens. This year, I wasn't quite as optimistic probably, so I'm happy. I wouldn't have been quite as much as a couple of years."

The 71-year-old was especially happy for senior's Trevor Cooney and Michael Gbinije, who will return to the NCAA Tournament one final time. After sitting out last year due to a self-imposed postseason ban, this year means that much more.

"There's been a couple years that I thought we were going to get in that we didn't get in," Boeheim said "Those are crushing, crushing years when that happens. This year, I wasn't quite as optimistic probably, so I'm happy. I wouldn't have been quite as much as a couple of years."

Does it mean more than the Orange has a chance at revenge against a Dayton team that knocked it out two years ago? "Yes," according to Trevor Cooney, as he grinned. 

Boeheim said earlier today on Mike and Mike that he was '90 percent sure' the Orange wouldn't make the NCAA Tournament. 

He also told Andy Katz on 'Katz Korner,' "This was the most important selection Sunday I have had in 40 years."


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