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Syracuse is not Cinderella

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The Orange aren't some feel good program making a run, they're a despicable pile of cheaters who didn't deserve to be here in the first place.

Loathsome
Loathsome
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

I missed the final two Elite Eight games last night. I know that's borderline unforgivable, but occasionally work demands more of my attention than college basketball. When I finally was able to tune in, I was overwhelmed by a deluge of stories talking about the great Cinderella Final Four team that this year had produced. Confused, I checked my ESPN app to see if somehow Yale had snuck back in there or SFA had been awarded another chance. No, it was Syracuse that everyone was talking. The Orange aren't Cinderella, and here's why.

1. Cinderella was likable

Cinderella didn't win the heart of the prince that she kissed when he was a frog (all brothers, I don't actually know these stories) by being remarkably annoying or whining about every ill thing that befell her. Syracuse has unquestionably the most annoying coach this side of Mick Cronin, an inveterate whiner who refuses to accept responsibility for the massive cheating scandal it has been proven he knew all about. Here's just a small sample from the NY Post of the extent of the cheating that Boeheim knew about:

The violations go back to 2001, a stunning string of improper conduct that included academic misconduct, extra benefits, failure to follow drug-testing policy and impermissible booster activity. The NCAA also found impermissible academic assistance and services, Boeheim's failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance and monitor his staff, and Syracuse's lack of control over its athletics program.

Confronted with all that, Boeheim whined some more, cried in an article to Sports Illustrated about how unfair it all was, and generally set an example of how to be a complete cad. No, Syracuse isn't even remotely likable.

2. Cinderella deserved to be there

Cinderella was at the ball because she had been plucked up out of her mid-major status by an unstinting work ethic and a willingness to do more than was asked of her. Does Syracuse fit that bill? Of course not. The first time the Orange went on the road this year was their eighth game, which they went to a mediocre at best Georgetown and lost.

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Texas Southern was Syracuse toughest opponent in their next five games, one of which was a loss to St. John's. The Orange finished the season by losing five of their last six and dumping their first ACC tournament game. Teams like Monmouth, Akron, SDSU, and St. Mary' all got left our for a team with an RPI of 72.

3. Cinderella wasn't a tired old hag

There is nothing new or exciting about Syracuse. They are one of the blue bloods of college basketball, albeit one that cheated heavily to get there. They aren't fun, they play a 2-3 zone, which is a pox on basketball. They aren't some unknown quantity like Gonzaga or George Mason when they went on their miracle runs. They aren't supported by a diehard contingent of fans, the only reason it seems like they are is because a great deal of the media attended Syracuse. They are a tired, old story of a team that can draw on a long and storied history of whining and cheating to make the NCAA tournament. Not new, not fun, not worth cheering for like some underdog. Syracuse is a team that was a low seed because they were being punished for being despicable while simultaneously being rewarded by an old boys club that let them in. They aren't a low seed of over-achieving scrappers you want your kids to look up for. A poorly coached group of four and five star recruits winning four games isn't worth cheering for. Syracuse isn't an example of a great NCAA tournament story, they're an example of the worst parts of college athletics.