The Syracuse Orange were yet another Big East team that saw their dreams for the NCAA tournament championship end before the first weekend was over.
The Orange lost to the Marquette Golden Eagles, 62-66, on Sunday night. With the win, Marquette became one of only two Big East teams to advance to the Sweet 16—with the other being Connecticut. Both the Huskies and Golden Eagles defeated fellow Big East teams to advance to the second week of play.
I'm not trying to take anything away from Marquette's win, but this game was Syracuse's to lose. The Orange are the more talented unit and were favored to win.
For the second year in a row, the Orange fell short of expectations. Syracuse finished the season without losing a game to a non-conference opponent.
Syracuse will return almost all of its players, but will lose Rick Jackson. Jackson anchored the Orange in the paint and was the Defensive Player of the Year in the Big East this season. The Orange recruited Rakeem Christmas—another big man from Philadelphia—to take Jackson's spot.
Here are the top five reasons the Orange will be watching the rest of the tournament from home.