The Syracuse Orange have been through more basketball in the past few weeks than any college team can even imagine, and yet this group of 13 men continue to battle towards their goal of a national championship.
On March 12, 2009, Syracuse junior guard Eric Devendorf was 0.01 second away from sending the Orange into the next round of the Big East Tournament, but the clock had expired slightly before the ball was released from Devendorf's fingers. If Devendorf clipped his nails before the game, the shot would've been good, but it was too close to call.
Instead, Devendorf and the rest of his teammates dragged through six overtimes with the UConn Huskies in the rivalry game of a lifetime. Foul trouble was a major role in the game, especially when Big Man Hasheem Thabeet fouled out, giving the Orange a driving lane, ultimately helping Syracuse to a 127-117 victory.
To keep things going, the Orange had to play West Virginia in the semi-finals of the Big East Tournament and went into overtime again, barely scratching out a 74-69 victory. Finally, after falling to Louisville, Syracuse got some days off to prepare for the NCAA Tournament.
The Syracuse Orange are persevering through a ton of basketball in a short amount of time after already experiencing a full season of hard-fought games in arguably the best conference in the entire NCAA. With the mighty Orange, led by Jonny Flynn and his 17.3 PPG, in the Sweet Sixteen, the next test comes in the form of Naismith Award Candidate Blake Griffith and the Oklahoma Sooners.
Griffith, the 6-fiit-10-inch sophomore, has clearly led his team this entire season, and he adds another obstacle for Syracuse to overcome. With Syracuse Coach Jim Boeheim chasing win number 800, this Orange team will be in full focus come Friday night.
The road to Detroit has been exhausting for this basketball team, but what a ride it has been, and where better to take a ride but to the Motor City at Ford Field? Then the fun really begins.