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Dance Card: Syracuse, Big East at-large

Nothing rhymes with orange, but can anything get in its way? (Yes.)


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, location of the New York State Fair.

When? March 23rd, in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Why? Third in the Big East and a good RPI. The scary part is that the SOS is an improvement over previous years.

How? They were an at-large selection.

Surprise? Predicted to finish seventh in the conference, they took third on tiebreakers with Louisville and St. John's.

RPI: 35

SOS: 95

Record: 24-7 (11-5 Big East)

Good wins: At Iowa State.

Bad losses: Duquesne.

Who's running this show? Quentin Hillsman, since 2006. He's a former point guard.

Extra, Extra! The Post-Standard.

Syracuse is powered by senior post Kayla Alexander, who averages 17.7 points and 8.7 rebounds per game, shooting 52.3% from the field. Senior guard Elashier Hall has also emerged as a player to watch this season, and not just for her many and varied hair colors- 10.1 points and very solid defense. Senior guard Carmen Tyson-Thomas averages 10.6 points and fears no one. Freshman guard Brittany Sykes has made a name for herself as well, with 9.0 points and a spot on the Big East's all-freshman team.

Syracuse, like their male counterparts, plays a zone- in fact, Quentin Hillsman has made a point of getting advice from Jim Boeheim. But can their defense hold up if three-point shooters get hot?