Buddy Boeheim wouldn’t let the Syracuse March Madness fairy tale end


Buddy Boeheim didn’t want this heartwarming fairy tale to end, he wanted to shoot his father back at the Sweet 16.

Jim Boeheim might not be the squishy type, but he didn’t want it to end either, he had never trained his son on a Sweet 16.

And now it was Buddy Boeheim’s turn to get them there.

And this is what Buddy Boeheim did:

He transformed into Buddy Buckets.

He erupted for 22 points in the second half and hit a pair of free throws with 21 seconds left as Orange held off a furious charge from West Virginia for a 75-72 victory. Houston is next.

It was a halftime pep talk from Orange’s assistant Gerry McNamara that set him off. Son of Jim had been 1 of 6 shots in the first half. He finished 8 of 17 and 6 of 13 from the center.

“In the first half I got a lot of clean looks that I was frustrated about, but G-Mac came up to me at halftime and said, ‘I don’t care if you miss 200, just keep shooting.’ I said, ‘Okay, if I look clean, I’ll have to take them and start making them,’ ”Buddy said.

And then Buddy Boeheim showed that he could play defense too.

With a defense from his father, who has led another double-digit seed (11) to a Sweet 16.

“It means everything,” Buddy said. “I saw a lot of things on Twitter talking about him, just crazy things, how he hasn’t done well in the last 10 years. Do you know how many people would dream of going to two Sweet 16s, two Final Fours and an Elite 8 in 10 years? I think that’s pretty good, he’s never had a losing season and back to the Sweet 16, he continues to do so.

Syracuse
Buddy Boeheim shakes hands with his father, Jim, after Syracuse defeated West Virginia to reach the Sweet 16 on Sunday.
AP

“He is one of the best coaches in all sports, there is no one better. I think it continues to show that.

“It’s not a better feeling to help lead him to another Sweet 16. It just shows how great he is and how great he continues to be.”

Joe Girard III had missed the front end one-on-one and the desperate Mountaineers trailed 74-72 with 4.5 ticks left.

Buddy Boeheim reached high for the pass into the field and was fouled with 2.2 seconds left.

Jim’s son made the first, he missed the second and Miles McBride traveled against a trap and Buddy’s father and Jim’s son can continue their family adventure.

“He’s become a really good player,” Buddy’s father said. “He works harder than anyone who has ever trained, and he’s not close. He deserves this. “

Buddy Boeheim, who had hit a pair of 3s early in the second half, drilled another pair of 3s to give Orange a breather after the Mountaineers closed in on 2.

Until Sean McNeil responded with his sixth 3 to finally give West Virginia the lead at 53-52.

Syracuse led 46-37 when 6’10-foot forward Marek Dolejaz committed his fourth foul on a charge with 14:56 left.

Then 6-11 center Jesse Edwards scored his fourth foul with 12:48, and McNeil scored his third 3 to lead the Mountaineers to 46-42.

With Orange dominated on the boards, Boeheim The Coach decided to return Dolejaz with his four fouls.

Orange dominated for much of the first half before the Mountaineers cut a 14-point deficit to 35-29 at halftime.

And Dolejaz had inexcusably picked up his third foul four seconds from the end of the first half.

Girard, the pride of Glens Falls, NY, who scored 60 or more points twice at Glens Falls High, took over from Buddy Boeheim with four 3-pointers. Buddy Buckets.

Boeheim (three points in the first half) had picked up where he left off when he drained a 3 in the first minute.

Then he froze.

The disoriented Mountaineers missed their first five shots against the acclaimed 2-3 zone and were scoreless for the first four minutes. Orange drilled five 3-pointers to build an initial nine-point lead. Dolejaz received a couple of charges in the first nine minutes.

Huggins in disgust called a timeout after Quincy Guerrier passed Culver for the pitch that turned him into Syracuse 26, West Virginia 12.

Jalen Bridges had the ball underneath in a sequence and was immediately surrounded and suffocated by three Syracuse defenders, forced to kick the ball, loss imminent. One of 11 for the Mountaineers in the first half.

A pair of long 3s by McNeil helped wake up the Mountaineers towards the end of the half.

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