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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Tuesday / June 19.
  • In Ironic Twist, Syracuse to Face UNC Greensboro in NIT After Missing Out on NCAA Tournament

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    Credit the NIT for having a sense of humor.

    Four days after Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said playing the ACC Tournament in Greensboro, N.C., had “no value,” the NIT pitted the Orange against UNC-Greensboro in the first round of its tournament. The game will be played on Tuesday at the Carrier Dome, not in Greensboro, which would have meant an even more ironic situation.

    “Everybody’s disappointed but we have a game, whenever that may be and you wanna get ready and you wanna go out and play and play well,” Boeheim said after his team was left out of the NCAA Tournament.

    “It’s what you would expect, nobody’s happy.”

    Syracuse is one of four No. 1 seeds in the 32-team NIT, along with Cal, Illinois State and Iowa. Syracuse could play No. 4 seed Monmouth in the second round. The Hawks won the MAAC regular-season championship but were upset by Siena in the MAAC Tournament semifinals. Iona won the MAAC Tournament and will face Oregon in the first round of the NCAAs on Friday in Sacramento, Calif.

    The Final Four of the NIT takes place at Madison Square Garden March 28 and 30, so Syracuse could play there if they advance.

    The Orange finished 18-14, losing to Miami in the second round of the ACC Tournament on Wednesday. They managed only two wins outside of the Carrier Dome and lost to teams like St. John’s, UConn and Georgetown outside of ACC play.

    “Their non-conference schedule wasn’t that difficult and they struggled in that non-conference,” Mark Hollis, chair of the NCAA Selection Committee, said on CBS.

    “I know our profile is better this year than it was last year in terms of top wins,” Boeheim said this week. “And I think the [NCAA Selection] Committee, from what I’ve gathered over my years, is looking for a team or teams that could win games in the Tournament. I think we can.”

    That same day, he said there was “no value” to having the ACC Tournament in Greensboro, arguing instead for major metropolitan areas like New York, Washington, D.C. and Atlanta. The ACC Tournament had been held in Greensboro in five of seven years before beginning a two-year stint in Brooklyn this year.

    “There’s no value in playing in Greensboro. None,” Boeheim said. “It’s there because the league’s been there and the office is there and they have a 150 people that the ACC needs. That’s why it’s there. It should not be there.”

    The comment drew a response from the City of Greensboro, which has since been retweeted more than 6,600 times as of early Monday morning.

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.