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The Dagger: College Basketball Blog

Getting to know the 2013 Final Four: Syracuse

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(USA Today Sports Images)

This week, The Dagger takes a deeper look at each of the four schools participating in the 2013 Final Four. We start with the East Region champion. Syracuse
Location: Syracuse, N.Y.
Enrollment: 21,029
Team Mascot: Orange
Must Follow on Twitter: C.J. Fair @cjfair
Find them here: Official team site or Facebook

[Getting to know the Final Four: Michigan | Louisville | Wichita State]

How they got to Atlanta: d. No. 13 Montana (81-34), d. No. 12 California (66-60), d. No. 1 Indiana (61-50), d. No. 3 Marquette (55-39).
Greatest basketball moment: Defeating Kansas for the national title in 2003 with Carmelo Anthony leading the way. The Orange knocked off three teams from the Big 12 Conference including No. 1 seeds Oklahoma and Texas en route to the championship in New Orleans.

Reason to root for them: If you like defense, it's tough to beat what Syracuse has done in the tournament with its vaunted 2-3 zone. Opponents are averaging just 29 percent shooting against the Orange.

Reason to root against them: We learned just before the tournament started the NCAA is investigating “major and wide-ranging” rules violations in the program. The reality is no one knows what that investigation might reveal, but you can't be blamed for feeling a little queasy pulling for this team under these circumstances.

Famous alumni: Vice President Joseph Biden. He can needle President Barack Obama for not picking Syracuse to make it to the Final Four.

Noteworthy: Michigan coach John Beilein is 0-9 in his career against Syracuse. He faces the Orange in the national semifinals Saturday.

Best player: Sophomore guard Michael Carter-Williams. At 6-foot-6, he's a nightmare matchup. He does a little bit of everything scoring 12 points a game, dishing more than seven assists per game to teammates and he can be counted on for five rebounds a game.

Must see video: CJ Fair provided this memorable dunk in overtime of Syracuse's win over Georgetown in the Big East Conference tournament semifinals. It was the final meeting in the historic rivalry for the foreseeable future.

More NCAA tournament content from Yahoo! Sports:

Final Four has something for everyone
Kevin Ware's injury not the worst adversity Rick Pitino had to handle
Kevin Ware hoists regional final trophy from hospital bed
Oregon transfer's gamble pays off with trip to Final Four

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