By: Christopher Williamson
How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop? You know that well-known question, right? Well how about how many attempts does it take to lose a game you have no business losing?
That's what some of SU's faithful were asking themselves after a stunning 66-63 loss to N.C. State in the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament. The answer to the question in Lebron James' voice: Not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, but six in short.
Down three with under 25 seconds remaining, SU had six opportunities to either cut the lead to one or tie. Four of them were rushed three pointers. All of them failed to go through the net, epitomizing the Cuse's night and season.
The Orange never seemed to find an offensive rhythm, shooting just 33% from the field and had scored only 25 points at the end of the first half. Despite the valiant efforts by Tyler Ennis(21 pts) and Jerami Grant(19 pts) that put SU ahead late, nobody else could get anything to fall.
Mr. Reliable, aka C.J. Fair was more along the lines of Mr. Irrelevant last night. He made just three field goals out of 16, several of which were clean looks. Wolfpack head coach Mark Gotfried though credited his star and ACC Player of the Year T.J. Warren on locking in on Fair defensively. SU's Trevor Cooney also didn't help, finishing one of six from downtown with a sprained right ankle.
SU head coach Jim Boeheim said at his presser, "We got off to a slow offensive start and we just really never could get anything going offensively." If SU plans to win a title this year, slow starts could mean an early exit for a team that was 25-0 just a few weeks ago.
For the Orange's inaugural ACC tournament, it's a one and done as N.C State gets revenge for its one point loss in upstate New York a few weeks ago. Warren exploded for 28 points, 10 coming from the charity stripe and his teammate Ralston Turner drilled some crucial three pointers.
In a ugly contest, the Wolfpack controlled most of the game and made late free throws/three pointers in the end after losing a double-digit lead. The result left many SU faithful stunned and in shock.
Here's what some of SU student's and alums were feeling right after the wild ending:
Syracuse can kiss goodbye a one, two, and maybe even a three seed in the NCAA tournament after such a horrid performance. Depending on how the rest of tournament play ends up, the Orange most likely will receive a three seed or at worst a four seed.
The question now is which bracket SU will end up. It could be in the East Region, Midwest, or an outside possibility in the West Region. If it's the Midwest, the Orange's road to the Final Four will start in Buffalo but go through Indianapolis for the Sweet 16. If the selection committee puts Syracuse in the East, the road begins the same but ends in New York City, practically right in SU's backyard.
And if you missed the last 25 wild seconds, this does it great justice.