There were a lot of people who had Indiana inked in for a Final Four appearance. After all, the various sports news outlets and ratings systems had been telling everyone that the Big Ten was the best conference in the country, and Syracuse was far too erratic to foil Indiana's march to the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.
Head coach Jim Boeheim never doubted his team's ability, even after they were trampled by Louisville in the Big East tournament final, and the Orange proved him prescient as Michael Carter-Williams led the Orange to a rather lopsided, 61-50, victory over the Hoosiers.
As a point guard, Carter-Williams is an oddity. A gangly, 6'6", he looks - on the surface - to be vulnerable to smaller, quicker guards, but despite dishing just one assist in the Syracuse win, he only turned the ball over once, while scoring a game-high, personal best 24 points on 9-for-19 shooting, including three from three point range.
Beyond leading all scorers, Carter-Williams spearheaded the SU defense which came up with 11 steals and 11 blocked shots with four swipes, five boards and a block.
The East regional will feature as pair of Big East squads, as Marquette dumped Miami, 71-61, in the other regional semi-final. The Orange and Golden Eagles square off at 4:30 pm EDT, Saturday afternoon.
Tournament Conference Scoreboard
Through games of 3/28
Through games of 3/28
|Conference (# of teams)||W-L||Winners (wins)|
|ACC (4)||5-3||Duke (2) Miami (2) North Carolina (1)|
|Atlantic 10 (5)||7-5||LaSalle (3) Butler (1) St. Louis (1) VCU (1) Temple (1)|
|Big 12 (6)||3-4||Iowa St. (1) Kansas (2)|
|Big East (8)||8-5||Marquette (3) Louisville (2) Syracuse (3)|
|Big Ten (7)||11-4||Mich. St. (2) Michigan (2) Indiana (2) Illinois (1) Ohio St. (3) Minnesota (1)|
|PAC-12 (5)||5-4||Oregon (2) Arizona (2) Cal (1)|
|SEC (4)||3-2||Mississippi (1) Florida (2)|
|Missouri Valley (2)||4-1||Wichita St. (3) Creighton (1)|
|Mountain West (5)||2-5||Colorado St. (1) San Diego St. (1)|
|WCC (2)||2-2||St. Mary's (1) Gonzaga (1)|
|Sun Belt (2)||0-2||--|
|All Others (19)||6-20||NC A&T (1) James Madison (1) Memphis (1) Harvard (1) Florida Gulf Coast (2)|