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South Carolina at Syracuse
Posted: Tuesday March 26, 2002 11:43 AM
South Carolina
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Syracuse
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NEW YORK (Ticker) -- Syracuse makes its first appearance in the NIT semifinals in over 20 years Tuesday night when it faces South Carolina, which is making its first appearance.

The Orangemen (20-11) have rarely played in the NIT since Jim Boeheim took over in 1976. Under Boeheim Syracuse has made the NCAAs 21 times, including Final Four appearances in 1987 and 1996.

Syracuse's last and only appearance in the semifinals was 1981. It beat Purdue and lost to Tulsa in the championship game.

The Orangemen advanced to New York with a 62-49 win at Richmond last Wednesday. Preston Shumpert recorded his fifth double-double of the season with 13 points and 11 rebounds and Syracuse held the Spiders to 25 percent (16-of-64) from the field.

In their last game at Madison Square Garden, the Orangemen lost to Villanova in the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament. That loss cost Syracuse an NCAA tournament bid and it made them the first Big East team to miss the NCAAs with 20 victories since the field was expanded to 64 in 1985.

Syracuse also posted home victories over St. Bonaventure and Butler in the first two rounds of the tournament.

South Carolina (21-14) has won five of its last six games and blew out Ball State 82-47 on its homecourt on Thursday. Jamal Bradley scored 11 of 17 points in the first half and the Gamecocks had a 36-point lead at halftime.

The Gamecocks won at Virginia and defeated UNLV in the first two rounds.

Syracuse has won the first three meetings with South Carolina and the last game was the most competitive in the series. The Orangemen posted a 77-74 overtime victory in South Carolina on January 13, 2000.

 


 
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