In the biggest pre-March Madness bombshell in recent memory, Syracuse has announced that starting center Fab Melo is ineligible and will miss the NCAA tournament. Considering that Syracuse’s only regular-season loss came in a game for which Melo was suspended, the 7' shot-blocker's absence will certainly have opponents licking their chops.
Before UNC-Asheville starts daydreaming about becoming the first No. 16 seed to upset a top seed, though, it’s time for a reality check: Syracuse is still a very, very dangerous team. The loss of their defensive linchpin is a setback, but not one that guarantees an early exit for the Orange.
Read on for a look at a half dozen reasons that Jim Boeheim’s club still has a very real chance to earn a trip to New Orleans for the Final Four.