One Shining Long Shot: Syracuse punches its ticket to the Final Four

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Syracuse beats Virginia (Image: CBS News)

CHICAGO (AP) – Syracuse, unheralded as a No. 10 seed in the Midwest Regional, is going to the Final Four. The Orange are the fourth double-digit seeded team in NCAA history to go to the Final Four.

And the ‘Cuse rose to the occasion in shocking fashion.

Syracuse trailed Virginia 54-39 midway through the second half before going on a stunning 29-8 run in the final nine and a-half minutes. During one stretch, Syracuse scored 15 straight points. The final was 68-62 Syracuse. After the game, Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said he has “never been prouder” of any team in his 40-year coaching career.

Malachi Richardson scored 21 of his 23 points in the second half. Michael Gbinije and freshman Tyler Lydon each scored 11 points for Syracuse, which will play North Carolina on Saturday in one national semifinal.

The championship game is Monday, April 4.

North Carolina also punched its ticket to the Final Four Sunday with a win over Notre Dame on Sunday.

Oklahoma and Villanova round out this year’s Final Four.