If there's one thing that the 2012 NCAA Tournament has been chock-full of, it's last-minute drama. Thursday night's Sweet 16 play saw another instant classic in the game between No. 1 seed Syracuse Orange and the No. 4 Wisconsin Badgers. Syracuse once again squeaked by and advanced to the Elite Eight, but they needed some heroics combined with some key misses by the Badgers in order to secure the 64-63 win.
The fans of both teams certainly have plenty to talk about following the game. Sean Keeley over at Syracuse blog Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician comments on the win:
All week we heard the same things about the Orange. They can't rebound. They can't play slow ball. They can't force Wisconsin to turn the ball over.
Guess what? They out-rebounded Wisconsin. They played fast, slow and every speed in between. The forced Wisconsin to turn the ball over in bunches.
And that is how they ended up winning a game in which the Badgers made fourteen three-pointers and shot 50% from beyond the arc. It was impossible the way Wisky was making threes. At one point in the second-half, I'm pretty sure they made six in a row. Maybe more. Unbelievable.
Offensively, the Badgers displayed perfect patience passing the ball around the perimeter and looked comfortable using the whole shot clock to probe the Syracuse zone. After all, it's the style they practiced all year. By committing only six turnovers, Wisconsin was also able to limit Syracuse's fast break opportunities.
However, the trade off to finding (and hitting) all the open 3-pointers was that none of the Badgers appeared comfortable taking a chance in the lane with the long arms of and shot-blocking ability of the Orange lurking. Wisconsin made only 7-of-22 shots inside the 3-point line.
For more on the 2012 NCAA Tournament bracket, stick around SB Nation's NCAA Tournament hub. There you'll find a complete printable NCAA Tournament bracket and tons of analysis on who was snubbed, who got the best bracket and who will make it all the way to New Orleans and the Final Four.