It was slow, it was ugly, it was downright painful to watch at times. Syracuse doesn’t mind though, as the Orange advanced to the Final Four with another dominating defensive performance.
The two teams combined to shoot an atrocious 31-of-103 from the field, but it was Syarcuse’s defence that stood out, holding Marquette to 22 per cent shooting from the field and 3-of-25 shooting from behind the arc while forcing the Golden Eagles into more first half turnovers (eight) than made field goals (seven).
Marquette was able to keep things close by crashing the offensive glass and extending their offensive possessions, but the result was rarely in doubt as Syracuse’s 2-3 zone proved too much for yet another formidable opponent.
Michael Carter-Williams continued to make his case for player of the tournament in the 55-39 win, posting 12 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, two steals and even two blocks for the Orange, but Syracuse also got notable performances from James Southerland and C.J. Fair.
As the last team standing in the East Region, Syracuse will now take on the winner of Sunday’s South Region Final between Florida and Michigan. Neither of those teams will go down as limply as Marquette did today, but a defence as on point as Syracuse’s right now gives the Orange more than just a puncher’s chance at the championship game.