Dance Card: Syracuse, ACC at-large

May a steady starting lineup help them earn a NCAA Tournament win.

Who? The Orange of Syracuse.

What? They went from a hoax to a giant orange named Otto, with some very odd stops in between.

Where? Syracuse, New York, which was named for an Italian city.

When? March 22nd, in Lexington, Kentucky.

Why? Solid numbers. Not remarkable, but solid.

How? They were an at-large selection.

Surprise? Predicted to finish seventh in the conference, they finished fifth, six games back of Notre Dame.

RPI: 25

SOS: 32

Record: 22-9 (10-6 Atlantic Coast)

Good wins: Texas A&M in the Paradise Jam.

Bad losses: Getting whomped at home by Florida State.

Who's running this show? Quentin Hillsman, since 2006. He started out at Syracuse as the recruiting coordinator.

Extra, Extra! The Post-Standard.

Syracuse's stats are a tiny bit broken right now, as they appear to have borrowed some Clemson Tigers. That doesn't keep the deadly sophomore duo of Brittney Sykes and Brianna Butler from standing out. Sykes leads the Orange with 17 points per game, while Butler adds 14.8. Bruising senior center Shakeya Leary pulls down 7.5 boards and anchors the middle. They play a zone similar to the legendary defense of their male counterparts.

Random thing that intrigues me: the startling consistency of Syracuse's starting lineup. There's only been one change all season.

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