NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The sports world is still buzzing about Syracuse’s incredible come-from-behind win over Virginia in Sunday’s NCAA Tournament Midwest Regional final.
But it won’t get any easier for the upstart Orange.
Syracuse (23-13) will take on storied North Carolina (32-6) in the second national semifinal on Saturday in Houston.
— The NCAA suspended Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim for nine games following an investigation that found a history of improper benefits and academic misconduct stretching back years. Boeheim started serving the ban on Dec. 5 and the Orange went 4-5 in his absence, including a brutal defeat to lowly St. John’s at Madison Square Garden. Syracuse then lost five of six toward the end of its schedule, including a 72-71 defeat to Pittsburgh in the ACC Tournament, but somehow got an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament, a decision that raised more than a few eyebrows.
— With its four-game run so far, Syracuse is the first 10 seed to make it to the Final Four and just the fourth double-digit seed to accomplish the feat. The Orange are the lowest seeded team to reach the national semifinals since No. 11 VCU in 2011, according to STATS.
— Syracuse trailed 54-39 to top-seeded Virginia on Sunday before ripping off 25 of the next 29 points, including 15 in a row. The Orange had lost to the Cavaliers in all three prior meetings this season.
— Syracuse is 4-7 all-time against North Carolina, including 0-2 this season. The Orange fell 84-73 at home to the Tar Heels on Jan. 9 and then 75-70 at Chapel Hill on Feb. 29.
— Syracuse won the only national championship in program history in 2003, with then-freshman Carmelo Anthony leading the way. The Orange will be making their sixth appearance in the Final Four. North Carolina has won five championships and will be appearing in its record 19th Final Four.