Jim Boeheim leads his No. 1 seeded Syracuse Orange into uncharted waters (at least, uncharted in nearly a decade) as they face the No. 2 seeded Ohio St. Buckeyes in the Elite Eight round in the East Region of the 2012 NCAA Tournament at 7:05 p.m. EDT on Saturday night at TD Garden in Boston, MA (TV: CBS).
Syracuse last played in the Elite Eight in 2003. The end result? A national championship under the guidance of Boeheim and star forward Carmelo Anthony. The Orange have reached the Elite Eight four times under Boeheim, who is 3-1 in the round. Boeheim guided Cuse to the Elite Eight in 1987, 1989 (his only loss), 1996 and 2003.
The Orange and Buckeyes have met six times, and Ohio State leads the all-time series, 4-2. The last time these two teams met was in the semifinals of the 2007 NIT Tipoff, with the Buckeyes winning 79-65. Syracuse last defeated Ohio State over a decade ago in the semifinal round of the 2000 Great Alaska Shootout, winning 77-66.
C.J. Fair scored 15 points and was one of four Syracuse players to reach double-digits in scoring as the Orange held on for a 64-63 win over the Wisconsin Badgers in the Sweet 16 on Thursday. Scoop Jardine scored 14 and Dion Waiters added 13 points as Syracuse was able to emerge with a win despite giving up 14 threes (including seven in a row down the stretch in the second half) to Wisconsin. The Orange shot 55.1 percent.
Ohio State fell behind by three points midway though the second half of its game against the Cincinnati Bearcats in Thursday's Sweet 16 game at the Garden, but a 17-1 run helped the Buckeyes recover and slam the door shut on a Cats comeback, ultimately winning 81-66. Jared Sullinger had 23 points and 11 rebounds and Deshaun Thomas scored 26 to lead all scorers for Ohio State, which shot 48.2 percent (27-for-56) in the victory.