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The Journal Gazette

  • Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim talks to his players during a timeout in the first half of the East Regional final in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament against Marquette, Saturday, March 30, 2013, in Washington. (AP Photo/Mark Tenally)

Thursday, April 04, 2013 12:56 pm

Boeheim has seen happy Orange crowds aplenty

The Associated Press

Syracuse's Jim Boeheim has led Syracuse to four Final Fours, once in each of the past four decades since taking over as head coach at his alma mater in 1976.

Three days after the Orange finally broke through and won a national championship in 2003, Boeheim and the players were saluted by 25,114 people who transformed the Carrier Dome into a sea of orange.

Boeheim actually has been to one other Final Four, though he doesn't include the trip in 1975 when he was an assistant to Roy Danforth. The Orange finished 23-9 that year after losing to Kentucky and Louisville in San Diego.

As impressive as the turnout was a decade ago, Boeheim still is blown away by the reception the team received when it landed at Hancock Field upon its return from the 1975 Final Four.

"I'll never forget coming back to Hancock. There were 8,000 to 10,000 people," he said. "It was the wildest thing I've ever seen. They were on the outside, on the fences, inside. It probably was one of the craziest things I've ever seen.

"We had 100 people the other night (after beating Marquette in the East Region final). It must not be that important anymore."