Syracuse University announced today that star basketball player Fab Melo will not participate in the 2012 NCAA Basketball tournament. Melo, an imposing seven foot tall center was the 2011-2012 Big East Defensive Player of the Year for the Orangemen.
Fab Melo, Syracuse's physically intimidating center averaged 7.8 points, 5.8 rebounds while blocking an impressive 88 shots over the 2011- 2012 season has been ruled ineligible to participate in the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. Melo was ineligible for three games earlier this season due to academic issues. During his absence, the Orangemen went 2-1 but were a completely different team without his intimidating presence. Syracuse announced Melo's ineligibility late Tuesday afternoon but would not provide any further details due to student privacy laws.
Melo has has been a driving force behind Syracuse's 31-2 overall record, and his ineligibility for the 2012 NCAA tournament will certainly hurt Syracuse's chances at making a deep run in the tournament.
Melo, A long-limbed, athletic seven foot center, contributed far more to Syracuse's success than his statistics indicate, and along with Kentucky freshman Anthony Davis is considered one of the top inside presences in college basketball. Both are considered among the top prospects eligible for the 2012 NBA Draft.
Syracuse earned a number one seed in the tournament and had been a favorite to advance far into the tournament, however, Melo's absence will undoubtedly hurt the Orangemen's chances of winning another NCAA championship. Syracuse prepares to face Big South champion UNC Asheville (24-9) in Pittsburgh at 3:10 ET on Thursday March 15, 2012.