4:30 PM ET, March 30, 2013
Verizon Center, Washington, District of Columbia
WASHINGTON -- When played to perfection, there's nothing quite like Syracuse's aggressive, half-court 2-3 zone defense.It's 40 minutes of trapping and shot challenging, of closing off angles, of trusting teammates.
Orange Squeeze On D
Syracuse's 2-3 zone has found its form in the NCAA tournament, with Marquette the latest victim Saturday. Here's a look at the Orange defense in its last four games compared to its first 35:
|1st 35||Last 4|
|Opp. FG pct.||37.7||28.9|
|Opp. 3-pt FG pct.||29.8||15.2|
|-- ESPN Stats & Information|
Marquette's 39 points Saturday were the fewest in the shot clock era for an NCAA tournament regional final. Here's a look:
|39||Marquette (Syracuse, 55-39)||2013|
|45||Memphis (UCLA, 50-45)||2006|
|47||Oklahoma (Syracuse, 63-47)||2003|
|50||Navy (Duke, 71-50)||1986|
|51||Arizona (Utah, 76-51)||1998|
|-- Associated Press|
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 30: C.J. Fair #5 of the Syracuse Orange and Rakeem Christmas #25 of the Syracuse Orange...
Around Champ Week
MVP: Orange forward James Southerland led his team -- which shot only 38 percent -- with 16 points on 6-for-13 shooting.
X-factor: Syracuse's 2-3 zone. Coach Jim Boeheim has played it for years and foes have been consistently frustrated for years. This time around, Marquette shot only 22.6 percent, turned the ball over 13 times and recorded its fewest points in a game this season.
That was defensive: Marquette managed to score only seven points in the game's first 14 minutes, and although it trailed by only six at halftime, a Michael Carter-Williams-led 9-3 run gave Syracuse a double-digit cushion. In this offensively-challenged game, that was enough.
Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||19-50 (.380)||12-53 (.226)|
|3P Made-Attempted||5-17 (.294)||3-24 (.125)|
|FT Made-Attempted||12-19 (.632)||12-16 (.750)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||11 (0/0)||16 (0/0)|
|» Mar 30, 2013||SYR 55, @MARQ 39||Recap|
Michael Carter-Williams becomes just the fourth player to have 10 points, 5 assists, and 5 steals in an Elite 8 game.[+]
10 Pts, 5 Ast, 5 Steals - In Elite 8
Marquette made 4-of-36 shots outside the paint against Syracuse. It was the fourth-worst shooting performance outside the paint in the 2013 Men's Basketball Championship. The Golden Eagles were the fourth straight team that has shot less than 28 percent on such attempts against the Orange.[+]
Lowest Opp FG pct Outside Paint
Marquette had more turnovers than points on possessions in which it didn't have a paint touch on Saturday. The Golden Eagles made two field goals on the 27 possessions in which they didn't have a paint touch. Marquette was more efficient when they had a paint touch on the other half of its 54 possessions, scoring 0.85 more points per possession.[+]
Marquette Offense With/Without Paint Touch
Jim Boeheim becomes the fourth coach to guide his team to the Final Four in four different decades.[+]
Made Final Four in 4 Decades - As Head Coach
Syracuse outscored Marquette 19-0 on points off turnovers. It was the first time in the last two seasons that the Golden Eagles did not score at least one point off turnovers. They are 3-8 this season when scoring 10 or fewer points off turnovers and 23-1 when they score at least 11 (loss was to Butler).[+]
Scoring Easy Baskets
Syracuse has ridden its defense to the Final Four, allowing nearly 15 fewer points per game in the NCAA Tournament.[+]
Syracuse Defense this Season
Marquette had 14 turnovers and 12 field goals in its loss to Syracuse. The Golden Eagles are the third team that had more turnovers than field goals against Syracuse in the 2013 Men's Basketball Championship (California did not). For the tournament, the Orange have forced 67 turnovers and allowed 61 field goals.[+]
In a bit of symmetry, 3 weeks ago today Syracuse scored just 39 points in a 61-39 loss to Georgetown in the Verizon Center. It was Syracuse's 4th loss in 5 games. On Saturday, they held Marquette to 39 points in the Verizon Center to make their 1st final Four appearance in 10 years.
ESPN Stats & Information