Uh oh. It is officially time to hit the panic button in Syracuse. The school announced Tuesday that sophomore center Fab Melo will miss the tournament due to eligibility issues.
If you didn’t keep up with Syracuse during the regular season, the Orange struggle mightily when Melo was absent. Fab missed three games during the regular season for academic issues. The Orange dropped one of those to Notre Dame, and narrowly escaped Cincinnati and West Virginia.
Syracuse stated that Melo did not make the trip with the team to Pittsburgh, where it will play UNC-Asheville in the second round of the tournament.
The saying “history repeats itself” couldn’t be more true right now for Coach Boeheim and the Orange. Syracuse last received a No. 1 seed in the 2010 NCAA Tournament, where they lost star center Arinze Onuaku prior to the first round of the tournament. That year was an earlier than expected exit at the hands of Butler in the Sweet Sixteen.
In a year that had so much promise, it’s now going to be difficult for Syracuse to make a Final Four run. The East Bracket is now wide open, with teams like Ohio State, Vanderbilt, FSU, Wisconsin, and Kansas State licking their chops.