The Big East isn't going down without a fight.
Though Georgetown and Pittsburgh couldn't hold it down -- which, really, was an approrpiate nod to the annual disappointment a couple of big-time Big East teams provide -- 'Cuse and Marquette are staying strong.
Tonight's victory for the Orange was widely heralded as a big win for Syracuse. In and up-and-down season, 'Cuse appears to be fine-tuning their play at the right time. Their zone was suffocating, limiting Indiana's ability to rebound and creating turnovers that turned into points.
It was a classic Syracuse performance that embodied coach Jim Boeheim. In one case, literally.
But more than the plays and the zone, this team has inherited Boeheim's ability to stay focused in big moments. They are unfazed by accusations of major violations and their cool, focused heads oozed experience and confidence. Indiana didn't have any of that going on. Only recently back on the elite level of basketball lore, Indiana looked tentative and reactive, constantly trapped by the zone that prevented them from getting into a rhythm.
Oh, and those accustations may have only given Boeheim's boys a little fire to go with that focus. The Orange swarmed the ball defensively, eating Cody Zeller for dinner. Though the .gif below is a foul, you can see how quickly three Syracuse defenders crash towards the basket as soon as the ball enters the paint.
It was more than enough to get the Hoosiers shook, and Syracuse strolled into the Elite Eight with a 61-50 victory over the East region's top seed. Here's how it went down according to Twitter.
Syracuse came to play. Haven't seen this level of intensity from them all year! Who are these guys???— Cuffs The Legend (@CuffsTheLegend) March 29, 2013
look at that Syracuse ZONE!!— Cuffs The Legend (@CuffsTheLegend) March 29, 2013
Indiana shot 31.3 percent (5-16 FG) and had 10 turnovers against Syracuse's zone in the first half. Hoosiers shot 53% vs zone in reg season— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 29, 2013
his tie looked...incomplete. RT @zbloxham: Tom Crean's suit is as bad as Indiana's offense.— Bomani Jones (@bomani_jones) March 29, 2013
Boeheim calls time out after Indiana run cuts Cuse lead to 34-27. Boeheim gives death stare to Carter-Williams.— Pete Thamel(@SIPeteThamel) March 29, 2013
That play Oladipo just made that landed him almost in the band was as good a defensive play as you'll see.— David Steele (@David_C_Steele) March 29, 2013
More great analysis: Indiana has 35 points after 29 minutes. Think about that.— Pete Thamel(@SIPeteThamel) March 29, 2013
Zeller better stay another year...he's not a factor in this game.— 1 LIVE STEW® (@1livestew) March 29, 2013
if you thought Indiana was gonna win it all, you obviously didn't watch one minute of college basketball this season. Overrated team— Cuffs The Legend (@CuffsTheLegend) March 29, 2013
FINAL: Syracuse 61, Indiana 50. Hoosiers pick a bad time for their season-low scoring output.— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) March 29, 2013
Seeing the Cuse advance makes me angrier at GTown for not showing up in the first round.— Jamar(@jamarhudson) March 29, 2013
Especially not this year RT @asportsscribe: A 4 knocking off a 1 is NOT an upset.— FlyYoungIntellectual (@gwriter85) March 29, 2013