SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WKTV) - This Friday night, Syracuse will face Indiana State in the second round of the big dance. The Sycamores have a balanced offensive attack, though only one player scores in double figures. ISU has a lot of respect for the Cuse, but would love to write a new chapter in the history of great tourney upsets.
"They're very tough, athletic, ultra talented on the offensive end," said ISU head coach Greg Lansing. "Very well coached by a Hall of Famer, so I'm very impressed."
"I've seen almost every team play this year, they're one of the two or three teams I haven't seen play this year I think," said SU head coach Jim Boeheim.
"I think we've got great chemistry, we share the ball really well and we got guys that can knock down shots, so it's going to be important for us to play our game and attack the zone," said junior guard Indiana State Jordan Pritty.
The Sycamores haven't made the big dance in a decade and are most known for their 1979, led by a basketball legend.
"Larry Bird went there," Orange junior guard Scoop Jardine pointed out, remembering the Indiana State team that went undefeated into the Championship game against Magic Johnson's Michigan State Spartans. "I really haven't seen them this year, but you have to look at the teams they played and how much they beat them by, how much they lost by. "They made the tournament, they're going to be a tough team."
Indiana State played two Big East teams this year, falling to Notre Dame, but defeating DePaul. The biggest concern for SU in Friday's game will defending from long range.
"As of lately, we stop guys from shooting and making a lot of threes," said sophomore guard Brandon Triche. "We're just able to get out on their shooters, we'll make it tough for them."
"You have to respect what they've done, that's a very tough first round game," added Boeheim.
If the Orange are successful Friday, they'll advance to face either Xavier or Big East rival Marquette Sunday, with a shot at the regionals in Newark on the line. The Syracuse-Indiana State game is scheduled to tip-off at 9:57 p.m. on TruTV.