And here we were hoping it was something juicy keeping Melo out of the NCAA Tournament, like Jim Boeheim finally cracking down on the scourge of recreational marijuana usage, or Melo shooting a man in Reno just to watch him die. Syracuse's brief statement didn't shed much light:
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.
But now we have something of an answer. A source tells ESPN that it's purely an academic issue, related to the one that sidelined him for three games in late January.
"He was initially cleared after the first suspension," the source says, "but the NCAA has since revisited the case and deemed him ineligible again." Considering that first suspension (during which Syracuse lost its only regular season game of the year) is still shrouded in mystery, we still don't know as much as we'd wish. But considering everyone was already psyched up about a 16-seed upset before Syracuse lost its best player, well...well, we can't wait to see Cuse cruise to at least the Elite Eight anyway.