Buddy Boeheim gets dad back to Sweet 16 as Syracuse tops WVU

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Syracuse's Buddy Boeheim (35) ad Marek Dolezaj (21) celebrate following a second-round game against West Virginia in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Sunday, March 21, 2021, in Indianapolis. Syracuse defeated Syracuse 75-72. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

INDIANAPOLIS – Buddy Boeheim kept shooting, carrying his Hall of Fame father and 11th-seeded Syracuse back into the Sweet 16.

The Orange, a top program for four decades under Jim Boeheim, once again showed they're just as dangerous as an NCAA Tournament afterthought.

“To win two games and be doubted in both, the underdog, this means everything,” Buddy Boeheim said. “If you were to ask me a month or two months ago where I think we would be, I don’t think I would say Sweet 16, that’s for sure.”

“Buckets” Boeheim scored 22 of his 25 points after halftime to lead the Orange past third-seeded West Virginia 75-72 on Sunday. Syracuse (18-9) advanced to face second-seeded Houston in a Midwest Regional semifinal.

The Orange were a bubble team this year, a familiar spot of late. They won their last two regular-season games and once in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament to sneak into the field.

Now they're heading to Jim Boeheim's 20th Sweet 16, thanks to his 6-foot-6, sweet-shooting son.

“I mean, he’s just been playing great,” Jim said. “He’s been putting the ball on the floor and getting his own shot. Teammates have been looking for him.

“He had some really good looks today. He was 6 for 13 (on 3-pointers). I’m surprised he wasn’t 10 for 13, really, the way he’s been shooting it. And I know he was disappointed in himself at halftime, but he showed kind of what he’s made of.”