Syracuse selected as No. 3 seed in South region

The Orange play 14-seeded Western Michigan Thursday in Buffalo, N.Y.

The late-season slide pushed Syracuse (27-5, 14-4 ACC) down to a No. 3 seed in the southern region of the NCAA Tournament bracket. Syracuse will play the Western Michigan Broncos (23-9, 14-4 MAC) out of the Mid-Atlantic Conference. The Broncos, who won 12 of its last 13 games, won the MAC title over Toledo Saturday, 98-77.

“We are excited to be able to play in Buffalo. I think that’s great for our players to be pretty close (to Syracuse),” head coach Jim Boeheim said during a press conference following the selection. “Western Michigan…They are a very good basketball team. They won a very difficult conference and the conference tournament.”

Senior guard David Brown, who averaged 19.4 points-per-game this season on 41.8 percent shooting, leads Western Michigan. 

Syracuse is coming off a poor end of its season, losing five of the its last seven games, including home losses to unranked Boston College and Georgia Tech, as well as a loss to N.C. State in the third round of the ACC Tournament.

Senior forward C.J. Fair said he thinks SU’s No. 3 seeding is right where the Orange should be considering the team’s recent struggles.

“We had a great year this year,” Fair said. “We had a little losing streak toward the end of the season but overall this season was a success. Going into the tournament you’ve got to just keep fighting and make that one last push."

If the Orange makes it past the Broncos in the second round, SU has a chance to play in Memphis, Tenn., against sixth-seeded Ohio State in the third round. No. 1 Florida, No. 2 Kansas, No. 4 UCLA and No. 5 VCU round out the top teams in the South region.

“You look at any team you are going to play in this tournament now and you have a tough game,” Boeheim said.” “The field is tremendously challenging. There is no such thing as an easy starting game in the NCAA Tournament anymore.”

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