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.