JACKSONVILLE, Florida (Ticker) - Thanks to Gerry McNamara's
heroics in the Big East Conference tournament, Syracuse gets
another opportunity to play for an NCAA championship.The fifth-seeded Orange look to redeem themselves from last
year's opening-round loss to Vermont when they meet No. 12 Texas
AM on Thursday in the Atlanta Region.After ending the regular season doubtful of getting an at-large
bid, Syracuse (23-11) won four in a row to earn the Big East's
automatic bid and reach the "Big Dance" for the 31st time. The
Orange have competed in the Final Four on four occasions.McNamara, who helped Syracuse win the 2003 NCAA title, was named
the Most Valuable Player in the Big East tournament. He hit
late 3-pointers to lead the Orange to victories over Cincinnati,
Connecticut and Georgetown before Syracuse held on for a 65-61
win over Pittsburgh on Saturday.Texas AM (21-8) is making its first appearance in the NCAA
Tournament since 1987, when it lost to Duke in the first round.
The Aggies have made seven appearances, reaching the "Sweet 16"
in 1969 and 1980.With a 10-6 conference record and a fourth-place finish, Texas
AM had its best showing in the Big 12 since the league was
formed in 1996-1997.Josh Carter scored 25 points and Acie Law added 16 for the
Aggies, who suffered a 74-70 loss to Texas in the Big 12
tournament semifinals, snapping an eight-game winning streak.This will be the first meeting between the two schools. The
winner faces either Louisiana State or Iona on Saturday.