NEW YORK (WKTV) - The Syracuse Orange are finished in conference tournament play, after losing to UConn in the Big Apple. So now the focus turns to the big dance and unlike last year, when Arinze Onuaku went down, the Orange are so far, injury free.
"We're pretty confident in our abilities," said sophomore guard Brandon Triche after the UConn loss. "Losing AO was pretty tough on us, wasn't sure how we'd respond. First two games we were fine. But now we're healthy and we'll pretty ready to play. After winning six games straight before this loss, I think we'll be ready to play."
"We're definitely excited because the season doesn't end here," added freshman guard Dion Waiters. "We have a chance to go back to the gym, get better, just work on every aspect of our games and really buckle down and get ready for the tournament."
The Orange are likely looking at being a three or four seed in the NCAA tournament, with UConn moving up after their win over SU. The Huskies will face Louisville Saturday at 9 p.m. in the Big East Tournament Championship. The Orange are now 26-7 heading in, having won six of their last seven games.
"We've shown a lot of fight, we've been doing it all season," said junior guard Scoop Jardine, who hit the tying three pointer Friday night that sent the semifinal matchup with UConn to overtime. "A lot of people have been counting us out and we stayed together, when we do that, we've got a young team and we're going to continue to fight and I really think we can do it, we really have a chance."
"We have another opportunity, a great opportunity to do something big," added junior forward Kris Joesph. "Winning the Big East championship would've been huge for a lot of us, but the NCAA is what you really want to win ultimately, so we'll be fine."
Out of the possible sites for the first weekend, Washington D.C. and Cleveland, Ohio are the most convenient for Orange fans, while in the regional round, the Cuse could very well find themselves in Newark.