Syracuse University sophomore men's basketball center Fab Melo did not travel with the team to Pittsburgh and will not take part in the NCAA Tournament due to an eligibility issue. Given University policy and federal student privacy laws, no further details can be provided at this time.
This is the second time Melo has been ruled ineligible this season. He previously missed three games, during which time the Orange suffered their only regular-season loss of the season at the hands of Notre Dame.
Reports are that the suspension is related to Melo's academics, and is related to his earlier-season suspension, but I'd rather not speculate any further about Melo's grades.
The 7-foot Melo averaged 7.8 points, 5.8 rebonds and 2.9 blocks per game this season and was named the Big East's Defensive Player of the Year.
Syracuse is the No. 1 seed in the East Regional and is scheduled to take on No. 16 seed UNC-Asheville on Thursday at 3:10 p.m. ET in Pittsburgh.
Without Melo, who was Syracuse's leading rebounder, more pressure falls on the shoulders of Kris Joseph, who leads the team in scoring and was second in rebounding at 4.9 per game.
Do you think Syracuse can withstand the loss of Melo?