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Syracuse women’s basketball draws 8-seed, will face South Dakota State in first round of NCAA tournament

The Syracuse women’s basketball team is heading to the NCAA Tournament once again. The Orange earned an at-large bid as the No. 8 seed in the RIverwalk Region and will face No. 9 seed South Dakota State on Sunday, March 21 at 5:30 pm. It is a rematch of Syracuse’s last NCAA Tournament game in 2019. The Orange lost that second round game, 75-64, in the Carrier Dome.

Syracuse is one of 26 schools to have both their women’s and men’s basketball teams in the 2020-21 NCAA Tournaments.

The Orange have made eight-straight NCAA Tournaments under head coach Quentin Hillsman and nine during his 15 seasons on The Hill. Syracuse has earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament 12 times, first in 1985 as the BIG EAST Tournament Champions and most recently in 2019 when the Orange earned a top-16 national seed and hosted the first and second rounds at the Carrier Dome. The 2020 NCAA Tournament was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Syracuse has played in 11 NCAA Tournaments and has a 9-11 all-time record. The Orange reached their first, and only, NCAA Women’s Final Four in 2016 where they lost to Connecticut, 82-51, in the national championship game. Syracuse has advanced to the second round in five of its last six appearances, most recently losing to South Dakota State, 75-64, in 2019. The 1984-85 Orange earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament by winning The BIG EAST Tournament championship. In 1987-88 Syracuse earned the program’s first at-large invitation and then the 2001-02 Orange took the same path to the NCAA Tournament.

‘Cuse enters the NCAA Tournament with a 14-8 record. The Orange finished the regular season 12-7 and went 2-1 at the ACC Tournament, beating Boston College and Florida State before losing to No. 1 seed Louisville in the semifinals.

South Dakota State finished the 2020-21 season with a 21-3 record, including 14-0 in the Summit League. The Jackrabbits are making their 10th NCAA Tournament appearance, including each of the past three.

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