1986–87 Syracuse Orangemen basketball team

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1986-87 Syracuse Orangemen men's basketball
Conference Big East Conference (1979–2013)
Coaches No. 10
AP No. 10
1986-87 record 31–7 [1] (12–4 Big East)
Head coach Jim Boeheim
Assistant coach Bernie Fine
Home arena Carrier Dome
← 1985-86
1987-88 →
1986–87 Big East men's basketball standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   PCT     W   L   PCT
#4 Georgetown 12 4   .750     29 5   .853
#12 Pittsburgh 12 4   .750     25 8   .758
#10 Syracuse 12 4   .750     31 7   .816
Providence 10 6   .625     25 9   .735
St. John's 10 6   .625     21 9   .700
Villanova 6 10   .375     15 16   .484
Seton Hall 4 12   .250     15 14   .517
Boston College 3 13   .188     11 18   .379
Connecticut 3 13   .188     9 19   .321
† 1987 Big East Tournament winner
As of March 30, 1987[2]; Rankings from AP Poll

The 1986–87 Syracuse Orangemen basketball team represented Syracuse University in the 1986–87 NCAA Division I men's basketball season. The Head coach was Jim Boeheim, serving for his 11th year.[3] The team played home games at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, New York. The team finished with a 31-7 (12-4) record while making it to the Championship game of the NCAA tournament.

The team was led by junior Rony Seikaly and sophomore Sherman Douglas. Seniors Greg Monroe and Howard Triche, and freshman Derrick Coleman also played key roles.

Season recap[edit]

After the graduation of Rafael Addison and Wendell Alexis and the early departure of Dwayne Washington, expectations for the season were low.[4]

But behind the surprising Sherman Douglas and Derrick Coleman, and despite an early injury to Rony Seikaly, Syracuse won its first 15 games en route to winning the Big East regular season title.[5] The season included thrilling victories over St. Johns (64-63)[6] and Seton Hall (84-80).[7]

Syracuse would defeat Villanova and Pittsburgh to advance to the Big East Championship game before falling to Georgetown, 69-59.[8]

NCAA tournament[edit]

After finishing the regular season at 28-6, the Orangemen earned a 2 seed in the East region of the NCAA Tournament.[9]

Syracuse played its first two tournament games at home in the Carrier Dome. The Orangemen defeated 15 seed Georgia Southern 79-73 and 10 seed Western Kentucky 104-86 to advance to the Sweet 16.

After winning its first two tournament games at the Carrier Dome, the Orangemen moved on to the Sweet 16 held at The Meadowlands in East Rutherford, New Jersey.[9] The Orangemen defeated 6 seed Florida 87-81.[1]

Syracuse faced 1 seed North Carolina in the regional finals. The Orangemen had to fight off the Tar Heels down the stretch as they fought to overcome a 15 point Syracuse lead.[10] However, Syracuse was able to hold off the Tar Heels, winning 79-75 to advance to the Final Four.[1]

In the semi-final game, the Orangemen defeated fellow Big East team and 6 seed Providence 77-63.[1] The Orangemen had an easy time with the Friars, out rebounding them 53-35 with Coleman, Douglas, and Triche each having at least 10 rebounds.[4] The Orangemen held the Friars to 36.4% shooting leading Coach Boeheim to credit the team's defense for the win.[11] The Orangemen also held Providence's leading scorer and future Florida Gators head coach Billy Donovan to 8 points, 18 under his season average.[11]

In the championship game at the Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana, the Orangemen matched up against the Indiana Hoosiers coached by Bobby Knight.[1][4] The game was a back and forth battle down until the final whistle. The Orangemen had a one point lead with 28 seconds left in the second half when Coleman missed the front end of a one and one. Indiana grabbed the rebound and tournament MOP Keith Smart made a jumper from the corner with just seconds left on the clock to give the Hoosiers a one point lead and the National Championship.[12]


  • Sherman Douglas (17.3 pts, 7.6 asts)
  • Rony Seikaly (15.1 pts, 8.2 rebs)
  • Greg Monroe (12.9 pts, 4.1 asts)
  • Derrick Coleman (11.9 pts, 8.8 rebs)
  • Howard Triche (11.8 pts, 4.8 rebs)
  • Steve Thompson (5.1 pts, 1.8 rebs)

NCAA Tournament school records[edit]

The team's 104 point outburst against Western Kentucky in the second round is tied for the most points in a tournament game.[13]

Rony Seikaly's 138 points is a school record and was tied with Indiana's Steve Alford for most in that year's tournament.[13] He also set records for field goals and free throws made with 53 and 51, respectively.[13]

Derrick Coleman's 19 rebounds against Indiana is a school record that still stands as of 2008. He also set tournament records for rebounds and blocked shots with 73 and 16, respectively.[13]

Sherman Douglas set a record for assists with 49.[13]


  1. ^ a b c d e "SU Athletics - 1986-87 Final (31-7, 12-4)". Syracuse University. Retrieved 2008-07-08. 
  2. ^ sports-reference.com 1986-87 Big East Conference Season Summary
  3. ^ "Jim Boeheim Year by Year" (PDF). Syracuse University. Retrieved 2008-07-08. 
  4. ^ a b c "Syracuse Basketball 1986-1987". RLYoung. 2006. Retrieved 2008-07-08. 
  5. ^ Rhoden, William C. (1987-01-18). "COLLEGE BASKETBALL '87: SYRACUSE; New Talent Bolsters 15-0 Syracuse". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-07-08. 
  6. ^ "COLLEGE BASKETBALL; SYRACUSE HOLDS OFF ST. JOHN'S". New York Times. 1987-01-25. Retrieved 2008-07-08. 
  7. ^ Rhoden, William C. (1987-02-04). "SYRACUSE SURVIVES DOGGED SETON HALL". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-07-08. 
  8. ^ Rhoden, William C. (1987-03-09). "Williams Connects As Georgetown Wins Big East". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-07-08. 
  9. ^ a b "1987 NCAA Basketball Tournament bracket". Shrp Sports. Archived from the original on 2009-02-26. Retrieved 2008-07-08. 
  10. ^ Malcolm Moran (22 March 1987). "COLLEGE BASKETBALL: EAST REGIONAL SYRACUSE, PROVIDENCE GAIN FINAL 4; TAR HEELS HURT BY REBOUNDING". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-07-08. 
  11. ^ a b Roy S. Johnson (29 March 1987). "COLLEGE BASKETBALL: SYRACUSE AND INDIANA REACH FINAL; ORANGEMEN COOL FRIAR'S SHOOTING". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-07-08. 
  12. ^ Malcolm Moran (31 March 1987). "PLAYERS; KNIGHT'S METHODS WIN ONCE MORE". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-07-08. 
  13. ^ a b c d e "SU NCAA Tournament Records" (PDF). Syracuse University. Retrieved 2008-07-08.