The No. 4-seeded Orange won't have that element in their favor in the NCAA tournament's East Regional final.
That's because Syracuse will face a familiar foe Saturday with a Final Four berth at stake: Big East rival Marquette, the East's No. 3 seed.
"We're much better when we play teams that don't know us," Boeheim said. "Marquette knows us. They know how to play against us, so it will be very difficult."
Paced by Michael Carter-Williams' 24 points, Syracuse reached the round of eight with some dominant defense during a 61-50 victory over top-seeded Indiana in the regional semifinals Thursday night. The Orange forced 19 turnovers, blocked 10 shots, and limited the Hoosiers to 33 percent shooting while holding them to their lowest scoring output of the season.
"Our perimeter defense was tremendous," Boeheim said in an arena hallway afterward, his arms crossed across his purple tie, the way he stood for much of the lopsided game. "This is one of our best defensive teams ever. They play it well."
There's an understatement.
"In practice, it's hard to simulate how tall they really are," said Indiana's Jordan Hulls, a 6-foot senior who was at least 4 inches shorter than the players usually guarding him and went 0 for 6 on 3-point tries. "We had the right game plan. We prepared really well. But we had too many turnovers."
Three more, in fact, than shots made (16).
"Let's face facts. We haven't seen a zone like that," Indiana coach Tom Crean said. "They're very good. They're where they're at for a reason."
Next up is Marquette (26-8), which beat No. 2 seed Miami 71-61 in Thursday's first game in Washington.
Syracuse (29-9), heading to the Atlantic Coast Conference this summer, lost at Marquette 74-71 during the Big East regular season on Feb. 25.
That was part of a stretch in which Syracuse lost four of five games. Since then, though, the Orange are 6-1, with the only loss coming against Louisville in the conference tournament final. In that game, Syracuse fell apart in the second half, going from a 16-point lead to trailing by 18 in a 13-minute span.
The Orange built an 18-point lead in the first half against Indiana, and while that dwindled to six early in the second half, Boeheim's squad never let it get closer than that.
The last time these two schools faced off in the NCAA tournament, Indiana won the 1987 championship on a late shot - and it took winning the 2003 national title with Carmelo Anthony for Boeheim to get over it. That decade-old group was also Syracuse's last visit to the Final Four.
Less than a half-minute into Thursday's game, as Indiana star Victor Oladipo headed to the free-throw line, the arena's overhead scoreboard showed a replay of "The Shot," as it's come to be known - Keith Smart's baseline jumper in the final seconds that lifted Bob Knight's Hoosiers past Boeheim's Orange.
Boeheim entered Thursday with 50 wins in the tournament, fourth-most in history, and more than 900 victories overall, with so much of that success built on his unusual zone defense, 40 minutes of a puzzle for opponents to try and solve.
Indiana (29-7), like most teams outside the Big East, isn't used to seeing that sort of thing, and it showed right from the outset. Didn't matter that Indiana ranked third in the country this season in scoring, putting up 79.5 points per game - and never fewer than 56 - while making 48.6 percent of its shots.
"Not too many teams are used to our zone," said Brandon Triche, who scored 14 points Thursday and whose uncle, Howard, was on Boeheim's 1987 squad. "That's what we play. Other teams that play zone, they (also) play man, they switch up defenses. But our main (thing) is zone. ... We're very long, and we're very active, and when we're active like we were today, we're hard to score on."
Cody Zeller was held to 10 points on 3-of-11 shooting. Oladipo scored 16 for Indiana, none easily.
"Credit them," Oladipo said, his head bowed and voice hushed. "They did a great job with their zone. They're well-coached."
Boeheim looked on calmly, occasionally resting his chin on his right fist while seated. He seemed something like an interested observer rather than active participant in the proceedings.
Sure must have liked what he saw, though.
"They never really succeeded in getting the ball in the right places," Boeheim said about the Hoosiers. "And it's not that easy, but it can be done. But they didn't know how to do that."
JUPITER, FL (AP) - Adam Wainwright and the Cardinals have agreed to a new contract that guarantees the Cardinals' ace an additional $97.5 million over five years through 2018.
Wainwright had been eligible to become a free agent after the World Series.
The new agreement, first reported by FoxSports.com, was confirmed by a person familiar with the negotiations who spoke on condition of anonymity because it had not yet been announced. The Cardinals scheduled a news conference today at their spring training camp in Jupiter, Fla.
A 31-year-old right-hander, Wainwright was 14-13 with a 3.94 ERA last year after missing the Cardinals' World Series championship season in 2011 because of elbow surgery.
Wainwright was 20-11 with a 2.42 ERA in 2010 and was an NL All-Star.
Freese joined St. Louis closer Jason Motte on the DL. The Cardinals earlier this spring lost shortstop Rafael Furcal for the year with an elbow injury and pitcher Chris Carpenter with a potential career-ending nerve injury.
Utilityman Matt Carpenter is expected to start the season at third in place of Freese, the 2011 World Series and NL championship series MVP. Freese, who will be 30 next month, hit .293 with career best of 20 homers, 79 RBIs and 144 games last season.
Carpenter played at five positions last year and added second base this spring. He batted .294 with six homers and 46 RBIs in 296 at-bats last year. Carpenter, 27, has 26 career starts in two seasons at third.
Infielder Ryan Jackson was recalled from Triple-A Memphis. Left-hander Sam Freeman was optioned to Triple-A.
In 12 spring training games, Freese was batting .267 with two home runs and five RBIs. The move was retroactive to Saturday
Jackson was optioned to the minors on March 17 after appearing in 17 spring training games. Freeman made two exhibition appearances.
The officials spoke on of condition of anonymity because Lohse still has to pass a physical.
Lohse, 34, is coming off the greatest season of his career, dominating the National League Central for the second consecutive year. He went 16-3 with a 2.86 ERA and had the Cardinals within one game of the World Series. He finished seventh in the National League Cy Young balloting.
After Larkin's first field goal in about 9 1/2 minutes, D.J. Richardson missed a 3-pointer. In the fight for the rebound, the ball appeared to ricochet off the hands of Miami's Kenny Kadji out of bounds. But the Hurricanes kept the ball, and Durand Scott made two free throws after that.
Miami (29-6) is in the round of 16 for only the second time in school history. The Hurricanes play Marquette (25-8) in Washington D.C. on Thursday night.
Larkin, the only non-senior starter for Miami and the ACC player of the year, finished with 17 points. Rion Brown had 21 with five 3s.
Brandon Paul had 18 points for Illinois (23-13).
Meanwhile the Cardinals started strong, but blew a healthy lead against the Mets Sunday. Jake Westbrook pitched six innings, allowing just two earned runs, but then the bullpen came in and gave up seven runs in the final three innings...The Cards lost to the Mets 10-7.
Meanwhile, The Saint Louis University Billikens easily handled their first round matchup against New Mexico State Thursday afternoon, winning 64-to-44. They move on to play Oregon on March 23rd.
Team owners on Wednesday barred ball carriers from using the crown of their helmets to make forcible contact with a defender in the open field. The previous day, they eliminated the peel-back block everywhere on the field.
"This meeting is primarily about evaluating our rules both from a safety standpoint and what we think we can do to improve and make the game better," Commissioner Roger Goodell said. "We made some very significant progress on both of those fronts."
The second significant player safety rule passed this week came with much debate - and some criticism, naturally, from running backs. Several coaches and team executives expressed concern about officiating the new rule, but Goodell championed it and it passed 31-1. Cincinnati voted no.
But if it was good enough for football's greatest running back, NFL owners figure, it should work in the 21st century.
"Jim Brown never lowered his head," Pittsburgh Steelers president Art Rooney said with a smile. "It can be done."
The changes were the latest involving safety, and head injuries in particular, with the issue receiving heightened attention amid hundreds of lawsuits filed by former players claiming that the NFL did not do enough to prevent concussions in years past. League officials have defended the NFL's record and did so again Wednesday.
"I have always thought that player safety has been at the forefront of our discussion for a long, long time," said Atlanta Falcons President Rich McKay, co-chairman of the competition committee that recommends rule changes. "The game has gotten safer over time. Where we have really focused is on the big hits, the open field hits and hits where players truly can't defend themselves. In this step that we are taking, we are trying to protect the player from himself with respect to this rule."
The tuck rule, one of the most criticized in pro football, was eliminated. Now, if a quarterback loses control of the ball before he has fully protected it after opting not to throw, it is a fumble.
The Steelers were the only team to vote against getting rid of the tuck rule. New England and Washington abstained.
"We have so many continuing action plays, it's a different scope," said Ravens coach Marvin Lewis, also a member of the competition committee. "Because of the evolution of replay and putting turnovers into automatic reviews, it just seemed like an easier transition to make right now.
"It was put in before for player safety, but it is not being ruled as that. There's a mad scramble for the ball."
Peel-back blocks had been legal inside the tackle box, but now players can't turn back toward their goal line and block an opponent low from behind anywhere on the field.
Video review now will be allowed when a coach challenges a play that he is not allowed to. But the coach will be penalized or lose a timeout, depending on when he threw the challenge flag.
That change stems from Houston's Thanksgiving victory over Detroit in which Lions coach Jim Schwartz challenged a touchdown run by the Texans' Justin Forsett. Although officials clearly missed Forsett being down by contact before breaking free on the 81-yard run, when Schwartz threw the red flag on a scoring play that automatically is reviewed, the referee could not go to replay.
That loophole has been eliminated.
Goodell was eager to get approved the competition committee's proposal to outlaw the use of the crown of the helmet by ball carriers, and there was talk the vote would be tabled until May if the rule change didn't have enough support.
But after watching videos of the play that clearly showed the differences in legal and illegal moves by ball carriers, the owners voted yes - and then applauded the decision, something Rams coach Jeff Fisher said is "rare."
"We had discussions with the players association and the players themselves, the coaches' subcommittee," said Fisher, co-chairman of the competition committee. "A lot of people talked to us about this rule and how to roll it out in our game."
The penalty will be 15 yards from the spot of the foul, and if the offensive and defensive players both lower their heads and use the crown of the helmet to make contact, each will be penalized.
"It'll certainly make our runners aware of what we expect relative to use of the helmet," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. "One of the questions I ask a lot is who gains from this, offense or defense? And it's a toss-up as to which side of the ball has the advantage on this rule, if any. The main thing is it's pro-health and safety, and that's the big thing."
The owners discussed simply using fines on ball carriers to eliminate the tactic, but instead voted to make the rule change.
Goodell announced that the Pro Bowl will be held in Honolulu on Jan. 26, the Sunday before the Super Bowl. The commissioner has considered scrapping the all-star game, but was satisfied with the level of performance in this year's matchup, won 62-25 by the NFC.
He added that the system for choosing the players won't change, but some consideration has been given to having team captains select their rosters, rather than an AFC vs. NFC format.
The Rooney Rule that requires every team to interview at least one minority candidate when there is a coaching or general manager opening was discussed at length. This year, with eight coaching vacancies and seven for GMs, no minority candidates were hired.
Goodell said he was disappointed in those results and would like to see more flexibility when teams ask to interview candidates whose clubs still are playing.
"One of the major focuses we've had was that we are going to reinstate the symposium program that we've had in the past," Goodell said. "That was primarily focused on coaches, but we are likely to have some potential GM candidates also attend with the coaches."
The owners also approved tight ends and H-backs wearing numbers between 40 and 49. Previously, they were supposed to have numbers in the 80s. --
AP Sports Writer Bob Baum contributed to this story.
Jannik Hansen and Dale Weise also scored for Vancouver (14-9-6), which ended a two-game losing streak.
Jaden Schwartz and Patrik Berglund both scored in the third period for the Blues (16-11-2), who lost for only the second time in seven games. St. Louis had won three straight with rookie goalie Jake Allen. He stopped 16 Canucks shots.
The Blues outshot the Canucks 34-19. Vancouver managed only a total of five shots in the first and third periods.
After being badly outshot in the opening frame, the Canucks woke up in the second period and scored three unanswered goals.
Schneider started after watching the previous four games from the bench. He was kept busy in a scoreless first period as the Blues outshot the Canucks 15-3.
He made saves on David Perron from left wing and Alex Pietrangelo from the right point. After retrieving his own rebound, Perron sent the puck to Pietrangelo.
Later in the period, he robbed Pietrangelo from short range with his glove and foiled Andy McDonald, who returned to the Blues lineup after missing 10 games with a knee injury.
Hansen opened the scoring 2:30 into the second period when he took a cross-ice pass from Mason Raymond in the neutral zone, skated over the blue line and beat Allen with a slap shot.
The goal came on Vancouver's sixth shot of the game. Daniel Sedin gave the Canucks a 2-0 lead less than two minutes later when he fired in brother Henrik's angle pass from behind the goal line.
Daniel Sedin ended his scoring drought at eight games.
Weise, known for fisticuffs rather than scoring dexterity, extended Vancouver's lead to 3-0 midway through the second period on a nifty play. He took a spin-around forehand pass from Jordan Schroeder and then deked Allen while skating across the goal mouth.
It was Weise's second goal of the season and first in 11 games.
The Blues got on the scoreboard just over five minutes into the third period when Vladimir Tarasenko's shot bounced in off Schwartz, cutting their deficit to 3-1.
Berglund pulled St. Louis within a goal at 13:38 of the third as Kris Russell's shot bounced to him off the back of Canuck defenseman Chris Tanev's head.
The Canucks received a power play with 3:06 left in the third period as Vladimir Sobotka was called for holding. The whistle finally blew after the Canucks had a prolonged delayed penalty, struggled to get the puck up the ice with an extra attacker. Kevin Bieksa just missed the net as he tried to put in a pass from Raymond.
St. Louis was blanked on three power plays. The Canucks were unsuccessful on two.
NOTES: The Canucks lost forward Zack Kassian to an injury in the first period. He had returned to Vancouver's lineup after missing the previous two games with a sore back. He fought St. Louis forward Chris Stewart, the NHL's first star of the week, less than three minutes in. ... Vancouver forward Andrew Ebbett was scratched, and David Booth remains out indefinitely with a leg injury. ... Stewart played his 300th NHL game. ... Blues forward T.J. Oshie missed his third consecutive game with a rib injury. He is expected to return Saturday in Edmonton.