If you picked Syracuse to go deep into the NCAA Basketball Tourney, you may want to go back and adjust your bracket.
Orange starting Center, Fab Melo has been ruled ineligible for the tournament for academic reasons. This is the second time this season that Brazilian-born 7-footer has been suspended due to poor grades. Earlier this year, Melo sat out 3 games, including their only regular season loss, which was a blowout against Notre Dame.
Melo's absence drastically changes how Syracuse plays its game. Boeheim's squad is undersized, and Fab was his one defensive anchor who could block shots and grab boards. Now, their 2-3 defense, which has been the foundation of success, will be less effective, forcing the Orange to use Man and Press schemes, thus deepening their bench.
Syracuse, now lacking their "it factor" will have to take on the toughest of the regional brackets. Look for either Vanderbilt, Ohio State, or the red-hot FSU Seminoles to take care of The Orange.
The one external factor that could help keep 'Cuse afloat is their fan base... they travel well. Since Syracuse's road to New Orleans runs through Pittsburgh and Boston, they will have plenty of support, and have somewhat of a home-court advantage.
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