When talking about historic college basketball programs, Syracuse is a school that must be included. The Orange have many claims to fame that include the Carrier Dome, the highest capacity basketball arena in the nation, and head coach Jim Boeheim, who has held the position since 1976 and has over 900 wins during his tenure. However, the school’s proudest claim to fame is their reputation as a mainstay in the NCAA Tournament. Since the 1970’s, the school has almost always been included in the NCAA Tournament with their exclusions being few and far between.
Syracuse began playing basketball in the 1900 and had relative success in the pre-tournament era with two national championships coming in 1918 and 1926. However, the team struggled in the first few decades of the tournament with only two appearances before 1973. Ray Danforth was able to turn the program around in the early 1970’s and lead Syracuse to the Final Four in 1975. After Danforth’s departure in 1976, the team hired Jim Boeheim as the new head coach and he has retained that position ever since.
After making the NCAA tournament almost every season during Jim Boeheim’s tenure, Syracuse finally won the tournament for the first time in 2003 when the Orange defeated the Kansas Jayhawks 81-78. The team was lead by strong performances from Gerry McNamara, Hakim Warrick, and future NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony.
Syracuse Orange Recent NCAA Tourament History
Syracuse has been as strong as ever in recent seasons. In 2012, Syracuse was a #1 seed and made it to the Elite Eight. In 2013, Syracuse surged all the way to the Final Four despite only being a #4 seed. In 2014, Syracuse started the season strong by going undefeated well into February. However, the Orange lost steam after their first loss and entered the tournament as a #4 seed. Syracuse would get upset in the third round by the #11 seed Dayton Flyers.