Brittney Sykes on Syracuse hosting NCAA tournament games: ‘I’m at a loss for words right now’

first_imgSykes, a junior who redshirted last season, was a part of the No. 6 recruiting class in the country four years back. Now, that class will go down as SU’s first to make four consecutive NCAA tournaments.Upon finding out Syracuse would host, there was a pause. ESPN revealed the Florida-Albany matchup would be played in the Carrier Dome. Some in the crowd cheered while others sat still and took the time to prepare for one of the biggest announcements the program has had.“It was amazing,” Sykes said. “I was kind of excited because I was able to get my Snapchat ready so I could get the live footage.”In past years, Syracuse ended up in the last region revealed, Sykes said. On Monday, SU was in the second-to-last. It wasn’t a question of whether the Orange would make it in, but still provided a little extra comfort.“You almost don’t want to get caught up in it too much and make sure you handle your business at home, win those first two games,” Sykes said, “and then after you win those first two, go on to the next two.”If SU does advance to the Sweet 16, which would be another program first, and the rest of the bracket plays out as it’s supposed to, SU would play No. 1 seed South Carolina. The Gamecocks knocked Syracuse out last season and the game would be in Sioux Falls, South Dakota — a city Sykes couldn’t match with a state.When head coach Quentin Hillsman was asked about Sioux Falls, Hillsman said “nothing.”“But I tell you what, I’m looking forward to going there,” Hillsman said. “I’m looking forward to finding out a lot about it. … We’re going to go all the way to the big one.”The road to “the big one,” the final four in Indianapolis, starts on Friday at 2:30 p.m. and Syracuse won’t have to go anywhere to get there. Comments Brittney Sykes walked through a doorway and shuffled in front of a backdrop for a press conference with a handful of cameras and media members.“Whoah,” Sykes let out as she saw the swarm waiting for her. “Wow, that light is really bright.”Instead of watching the show in a crammed room nestled in the back of the Carmelo K. Anthony Center, Syracuse watched the show in the more spacious football auditorium. Instead of just having members of the team and coaches, season ticket holders were also in attendance. And instead of going on the road for the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament, SU play in the Carrier Dome.The selection show on Monday night was different than ones in the past.For the first time in program history, Syracuse will host the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament. The Orange (27-5, 13-3 Atlantic Coast) earned a No. 4 seed, also the highest in program history, and will face No. 13 seed Army (29-2, 17-1 Patriot) on Friday at 2:30 p.m. in the Carrier Dome in the Round of 64. The winner of that matchup will take on the winner of No. 5 seed Florida and No. 12 seed Albany on Sunday.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“Uh, uh, uh, I don’t know,” were the first words Sykes said after being asked the first question. “I’m at a loss for words right now. I’m so excited. It’s a long time coming.” Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Published on March 14, 2016 at 10:11 pm Contact Paul: pmschwed@syr.edu | @pschwedslast_img