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NCAA Bracket Preview: Complete Syracuse Tournament Primer

It has been a roller coaster-like ride for Syracuse basketball in 2010-'11. At one point, the Orange were 18-0, ranked No. 4 in the country and were penciled-in to earn a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. However, a mid-season tailspin (SU lost six of its next eight games, including a three-game home skid) plummeted the Orange down the national rankings (No. 20 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll). But SU, led by 35th-year head coach Jim Boeheim, who earned his 850th career victory earlier in the year, righted a wondering ship -- SU had won five straight games entering Thursday's Big East Tournament quarterfinal matchup with St. John's.


Key wins: 70-58 victory at then No. 15-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Jan. 1 -- The win moved the Orange to 15-0 overall and into the top-5 of both national rankings. On Feb. 2, Syracuse won at No. 7 UConn, 66-58, snapping a four-game losing streak.


Key losses: On Jan. 25, Syracuse lost to the Seton Hall Pirates at the Carrier Dome, 90-68. After starting the season 18-0 the Orange dropped their fourth straight contest.


Player(s) to watch: Senior forward Rick Jackson is the key to the Orange's success in the Big East Tournament. Jackson, who earned All-Big East Second Team honors, has been SU's most consistent player all year. Jackson (13.1 points per game and 10.7 rebounds per game as of Thursday) is a very agile 6-foot-9 big-man. Sophomore guard Brandon Triche. As of Thursday, Triche was the Orange's fourth-best scorer (11.2 ppg), but he's the player that the Orange turn to to get the them going.

See our printable 2011 NCAA Tournament bracket.

For more NCAA Tournament coverage of the Syracuse Orange, please visit Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and SB Nation New York.