The No. 10-seeded Syracuse Orange shocked the No. 1-seeded Virginia Cavaliers on Sunday in their Elite Eight showdown, 68-62. Syracuse overcame a double-digit deficit with a late run and outscored its foes, 47-27, in the second half alone.
Former Syracuse star Carmelo Anthony was pleased.
Anthony took to Snapchat, via Kenny Ducey of Campus Rush, to share his thoughts on Syracuse's triumph:
Ducey noted Anthony shouted, “Cuse Nation!” and added, “They don’t want us to win!”
Cuse Nation would love to see this season’s team do what Anthony’s did in 2003. Anthony was only a freshman that year, but he led Syracuse to its only national championship as a consensus All-American in his lone collegiate season, per Sports-Reference.com.
He averaged 22.2 points and 10 rebounds per game and led the Orange to the title as a No. 3 seed in the East Region. Anthony and the rest of the Orange beat two No. 1 seeds, Oklahoma and Texas, in the Elite Eight and Final Four, respectively, and then topped No. 2-seeded Kansas in the title game.
Anthony was impressive in the championship game against the Jayhawks, scoring 20 points, grabbing 10 rebounds and adding seven assists. The Denver Nuggets took notice of his brief collegiate success and used the No. 3 overall pick in the 2003 NBA draft on him.
Anthony's “They don’t want us to win!” comment may have been in reference to the fact that the Orange raised eyebrows by even getting into the NCAA tournament in the first place as a bubble team.
In fact, Chris Chase of Fox Sports wrote a piece after Sunday’s win titled “Syracuse Made the Final Four but *Still* Never Belonged in the NCAA Tournament,” so those thoughts and opinions haven’t subsided in some corners.
The Orange entered the tournament with a mediocre 19-13 record, having suffered ugly losses to a 15-18 Georgetown squad and an 8-24 St. John’s team that went 1-17 in the Big East.
Syracuse may not have finished with a tournament-worthy resume, but it has taken full advantage of the opportunity the selection committee granted it. The Orange are two victories away from their first national title since Anthony was on campus and are in full celebration mode—if his Snapchat account is any indication.
You can bet he'll let people know how he feels again if they accomplish the unthinkable and cut down the nets as champions.