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Jim Boeheim talks NCAA Tournament, his golf game and more

Jim Boeheim goes In the Cell with Mike Lindsley.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- On Monday, Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim went In The Cell with Mike Lindsley on The Score 1260.

The Hall-of-Famer provided some insight on where his team stands, whether he's happy, having fun and much more.

"Well, we're obviously happy," he said. "We had a good game against Middle Tennessee and really played well on both ends of the court."

"Coaching isn't fun to me, It's just work. It's trying to get the team to play well. When they play well you feel good about it. I play golf to have fun, although that's not always fun either," he joked.

Syracuse handled both Dayton and Middle Tennessee State so far this tournament, winning by a combined 44 points. He gave his opinion on both squads.

"Well, we had so much trouble with Dayton two years ago and they're not much different now. I thought they weren't quite as good, although we aren't quite as good when we had CJ Fair and those guys. I think that, you know, that game, they won the A-10 and its a good conference, but to be able to dominate that team was certainly not expected. We certainly did not expect that. Then you watch Middle Tennessee beat Michigan State, the betting favorite in Las Vegas in the Tournament, to see them do what they did against Michigan State, and they played very well. [Michigan State] shot 55 percent from the field, 46 percent from three. To see that and have the kind of game we did was great. It was a great accomplishment for these players.''

"A lot of people were saying we might not make the NIT at one time this year. So to make the NCAA Tournament was great, but to get to the Sweet Sixteen is a great accomplishment for this team because we did struggle at times this year."

Credit the 2-3 zone for a lot of SU's success this postseason. 

"Well we don't know for sure how [the zone] is going to go. I laugh a little bit when I see that people say, 'he just plays zone and they don't make adjustments.' It couldn't be any further from the truth. You make adjustments: pressure more, back off more, double team, play screens differently. Well the same thing for a zone: play screens differently, move out, play back in, you adjust all the time. Just because its one defense doesn't mean you don't adjust. Ours happens to be a zone. People constantly say, 'he's too stubborn.' I'm not stubborn," he said, "its our defense. Its the defense we want to play. If man-to-man was our best, we'd play that. We think zone is the best, so we play it.

Something to keep in mind, and Boeheim reminded Lindsley's listeners, that Michigan State was the top defensive team in the Big Ten this season. MTSU put up 90 points on the Spartans, while only scoring 50 against Boeheim's 2-3 zone. 

10th-seeded Syracuse will take on 11th-seeded Gonzaga on Friday in Chicago. Tip is scheduled for 9:40 p.m. ET on CBS. 

"I don't like late games anymore because we play so early. We'll practice tonight at 9:30 and tomorrow at 9:30. Wednesday we probably won't practice late, but we'll have two for sure. We'll get up, have some sort of meeting at 9:30 just to have them up. We may even run them around the hotel just to have them doing something."


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