Top-seeded Syracuse's deep bench an NCAA savior

By John Kekis

Associated Press

Published: Monday, March 19 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

Kansas State's Jordan Henriquez, center, loses the ball as Syracuse's C.J. Fair, left, and James Southerland (43) defend in the second half of an NCAA men's tournament third-round college basketball game Saturday, March 17, 2012 in Pittsburgh. Syracuse won 75-59.

Keith Srakocic, Associated Press

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — When fourth-seeded Wisconsin meets top-seeded Syracuse in the semifinals of the East Regional in Boston on Thursday, the Badgers (26-9) will face a team that relies heavily on its bench.

Syracuse (33-2) has six players averaging at least 22.5 minutes and 10 averaging at least 10.3. In its two tournament games, the Orange's bulging bench, led by 6-foot-4 sophomore guard Dion Waiters and 6-8 junior forward James Southerland, has outscored opposing reserves, 61-16.

Southerland was 5 of 6 from the field in the second half in Saturday's win over Kansas State, while Waiters was 5 of 9. Each has scored 30 in two tournament games.

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