NCAA Tournament 2012: Why Syracuse Can Reach Final Four Without Fab Melo

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NCAA Tournament 2012: Why Syracuse Can Reach Final Four Without Fab Melo
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

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.

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