Commencement 2017

Top 10 moments of the last 4 years in Syracuse athletics

Daily Orange File Photo

Syracuse's run in the 2016 NCAA Tournament is one of the top 10 moments of the last four years. With graduation quickly approaching, check out all 10 moments.

With graduation quickly approaching, check out the 10 most memorable events in Syracuse sports over the last four years.

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Josh Chang | Staff Photographer

Nov. 2013-Feb. 2014 — Men’s basketball’s 25-0 start to season

The Orange got off to its best start in school history by winning the first 25 games of the year. Led by freshman point guard Tyler Ennis, SU shot through the national rankings. Included in the run were memorable wins against Duke and Pittsburgh. The win against Duke set the all-time record for an on-campus crowd (35,446) and the Orange won 91-89 in overtime in the two schools’ first meeting as ACC foes. On the road at Pittsburgh, Syracuse trailed Pitt by one with 4.4 seconds left but Ennis pulled up from nearly half court and drained a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to extend the Orange’s win streak.

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Daily Orange File Photo

May 25, 2014 — Women’s lacrosse national championship loss

In Syracuse’s second championship game appearance in three years, the Orange let Maryland score five goals in the game’s opening five minutes and eventually lost the matchup, 15-12. While the game was just another loss to Maryland — since head coach Gary Gait started coaching SU, his program is 1-11 against UMD — it was the last game SU legends Alyssa Murray and Kayla Treanor played together.

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 28: Head coach Jim Boeheim of the Syracuse Orange looks on during the game against the Indiana Hoosiers during the East Regional Round of the 2013 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Verizon Center on March 28, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Nate Shron/The Daily Orange)
Daily Orange File Photo

March 6, 2015 — NCAA sanctions 

The NCAA released a 94-page report detailing improper academic benefits, violations of the school’s drug policy and a lack of institutional control that had taken place over the course of more than a decade involving the men’s basketball and football teams. As a result, Director of Athletics Daryl Gross stepped down, head men’s basketball coach Jim Boeheim said he would retire in three years and the teams were put on five years probation — among other things. Through appeals, the university won back scholarships, Boeheim was able to start his nine-game suspension earlier than originally stated, but the school failed in its appeal of vacated wins (parts of five years worth of basketball wins and three years worth of football wins).

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Daily Orange File Photo

Nov. 22, 2015 — Field Hockey national championship win

After an undefeated regular season, Syracuse lost to North Carolina in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game. But the Orange got revenge by winning SU’s first-ever national title for a women’s program. Senior goalie Jess Jecko made several key late saves and Syracuse’s offense did enough to secure the 4-2 win. In 2014, the Orange lost to Connecticut in the national championship and before that, SU had made several deep postseason runs. But finally Syracuse broke through with the ultimate prize: a national title.

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Bryan Cereijo | Staff Photographer

Nov./Dec. 2015 — Men’s soccer Final Four run

Syracuse began the 2015 season needing to replace nearly 70 percent of its scoring from the year prior. All the Orange did was win 16 games and advance to the program’s first ever Final Four. Crucial wins down the stretch against No. 5 North Carolina, No. 2 Clemson and No. 9 Notre Dame led to SU’s first conference title since 1985. In the NCAA tournament, a Ben Polk header in the 79th minute of the Elite Eight sent the Orange to the Final Four. But SU lost to Clemson in penalty kicks in the semifinal game.

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Evan Jenkins | Staff Photographer

March/April 2016 — Women’s basketball Final Four run

Two blowout losses to Notre Dame and Louisville had Syracuse at rock bottom in the middle of the season, but what happened next was an improbable run to the ACC and national championship games. The Orange went on an 11-game winning streak to end the season and received a No. 4 seed in the tournament to host games for the first time in program history. SU headed to Sioux Falls, South Dakota and took down a powerhouse in No. 1 seed South Carolina that had lost just once all season. The team’s first Sweet 16, Elite Eight and Final Four berths culminated in a national championship game appearance against No. 1-ranked and undefeated Connecticut. Syracuse native Breanna Stewart and the Huskies ended the Orange’s magical run.

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Daily Orange File Photo

March/April 2016 — Men’s basketball Final Four run

Syracuse sat on the bubble on Selection Sunday, but after getting in as a No. 10 seed, the Orange made the most of its trip to the Big Dance. First with two dominant wins and then with two ferocious comebacks to reach the Final Four. The Orange trailed No. 11 seed Gonzaga in the Sweet 16 by as many as nine with under seven minutes to play and trailed No. 1 seed Virginia in the Elite Eight by as many as 15 with under 10 minutes to play. SU pulled off both remarkable upsets and despite losing in the Final Four to No. 1 seed North Carolina, Jim Boeheim’s fifth Final Four run as a head coach was memorable.

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Jessica Sheldon | Staff Photographer

Dec. 5, 2015 — Dino Babers hired as SU football coach

Syracuse hires Dino Babers as its fifth head football coach since 2000, replacing former coach Scott Shafer. The now 55-year-old Babers played collegiately at Hawaii, before beginning his coaching career there in 1984. Babers, who led Bowling Green to a Mid-American Conference championship in 2015, inherited an SU program that had been through two straight seasons without a bowl game appearance and won only 36.6 percent of games since Greg Robinson was hired in 2005.

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Tony D. Curtis | Staff Photographer

Sept. 2016-Nov. 2016 — Amba Etta-Tawo has best single season for a Syracuse receiver

After transferring from Maryland as a graduate transfer, Amba Etta-Tawo broke out, stringing together the best single season as a Syracuse receiver. The wideout broke 10 different records and earned third-team All-American honors. Etta-Tawo finished his senior year with 1,482 receiving yards on 94 receptions and 14 touchdowns, all SU single-season bests. (He tied Tommy Kane’s 1987 touchdown record). He dominated all season long, no performance more prevalent than his five-touchdown game against Pittsburgh.

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Jessica Sheldon | Staff Photographer

Feb. 4, 2017 — Jim Boeheim wins 1,000th* game against Virginia

Jim Boeheim had 101 wins vacated by the NCAA before the season began. But SU fans and media members had a different win count for the men’s basketball head coach. Syracuse had an Elite Eight rematch with then-No. 9 Virginia with Boeheim sitting unofficially on 999 wins. Fans stormed the court after the 66-62 victory and Boeheim waved as he walked off. After the win, Boeheim said, “I know how many wins I’ve had. I’m very proud of that. Very proud.”

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