Saturday's matchup with the Cowgirls represents the first time in program history that Syracuse has played Oklahoma State.
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On average, ASU was outrebounded by nearly four boards per game during conference play. Previous year the Orange were left out of a chance at a national championship, leading them to lose in the second round of the NIT tournament.
The Arizona State Sun Devils come into the game with a 20-11 record on the season. The Sun Devils started off red-hot, winning their opening 12 consecutive games, including victories over No. 15 Xavier and No. 2 Kansas. They are really a good team.
Syracuse-Arizona State will air live on truTV. "How did you do against the teams considered to be in the tournament?". Shannon Evans adds nearly 17 per game himself and they will look to knock down perimeter shots against Syracuse and that patented zone defense.
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The Sun Devils struggled to defend anybody in February, allowing at least 75 points in eight of their last nine contests.
How Syracuse can beat Arizona State: Steve Infanti's Keys to Victory
Behind freshman Malachi Richardson and senior Michael Gbinije, the Orange made the Final Four as a 10th seed in 2016 in its most recent tournament appearance before losing to North Carolina.
The Orange started 12-2 this season, with wins over Big Dance invitees Iona, Texas Southern, Buffalo and Virginia Tech, and the losses coming against Kansas and St. Bonaventure (in overtime). "This is what the kids play for in the summer and the offseason, and I'm just thrilled to be back in the NCAA Tournament". Lower even, like they played against Clemson in a win recently (55-52).
Syracuse was led in scoring by Tyus Battle, with 19.8 points per game.
Earlier I said that the committee favors mediocre teams in major conferences over good teams in more inferior ones, and Syracuse is the best at being mediocre.
The Eagles got to the First Four last season, their second ever tournament appearance, and fell to UC-Davis 67-63 in a game in which they shot poorly. Texas Southern was here in 2014. Missinburg leads in rebounds with 7.4 while Clark tops in assists with 5.3 per game. "So being 0-13, it only bothered other people".
A year ago, the committee ended up with 15 of the mid-season top 16 on the top four lines when the bracket was revealed. Their at-large bid seemed like a certainty all through championship week, which surprised me because they don't fit the typical description of an at-large bid. "We've created the standard at North Carolina Central and I'm proud because our guys upheld that standard".
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