|1965-1966 Syracuse Orangemen|
|Overall||22-6||NCAA Elite Eight||Schedule Results|
Coach: Fred Lewis
The Syracuse Orangemen could run, and they would continue to run themselves into the record books. Led by All-American Dave Bing, the Orangemen scored 99 points a game setting an NCAA record, nearly becoming the first college team to average 100 points a game. Fred Lewis knew he would have a special team, with Bing and six other seniors, including starters Jim Boeheim, Sam Penceal and Norm Goldsmith. Rick Dean would continue to anchor the center position. The bonus was the sophomore class which added the rebound wizardry of Vaughn Harper (who would eventually move into the starting lineup), and the sharp shooting skills of George Hicker and Richie Cornwall. The team would have not one, but three excellent free throw shooters in its regular rotation (Bing, Dean and Cornwall), all shooting better than 80%.
The team won its first seven games handedly. The first loss of the season would occur against Vanderbilt, 113-98. Bing would score a school record 45 points in the game, but it was not enough. The Orangemen finished the regular season 21-5, earning their first NCAA berth since 1957.
The team was playing at a phenomenal level, and there was talent on the court. But no mistake about it, Bing was the one driving the efforts. He averaged 28.4 points a game and 10.8 rebounds; he appeared to glide across the court and leap effortlessly to the hoop. And his passing ability was the best the school had ever seen, making all his teammates that much better.
Going into the last game of the regular season, the Orangemen needed 124 points against Colgate to become the first school ever to average 100 points a game. Despite their obvious efforts to get to that level (including not playing defense at the end of the game), they fell a basket shot. The would finish the season with 14 games with 100+ points.
Entering the post season, the team was 21-2 in games where Bing led them in scoring; 1-3 otherwise. Perhaps a sign for the opposition? Syracuse opened the tournament against Davidson. Davidson used a variety of defenses to stop Bing, and worked hard to keep the score low. While they did lessen the impact of Bing, his passing still elevated the rest of the team, and the Orangemen won 94-78 to move on to the next round.
Syracuse met Duke in the Sweet Sixteen. Once again, Duke focused its defensive efforts to stop Dave Bing. Unfortunately for the Orangemen, this time the strategy paid off. The Orangemen were close most of the game, last leading 74-72. However, Bing would have the worst game of his college career, and the Orangemen would end up losing 91-81.
It was a record setting season that brought Syracuse basketball national recognition, and brought excitement to the fans on the hill.