When all is said and done, Carmelo Anthony is likely to go down as one of the best pure scorers in NBA history. Also, he will likely be remembered as one of the best players to never win a championship. Of course, folks often forget that Anthony did win a championship; he just did it during his one season in college with the Syracuse Orange. Like so many other great players, Anthony got his chance to be a part of March Madness and was able to give his finest performance on the biggest stage: the Final Four.
While the six three-pointers made by Gerry McNamara and the game-sealing block by Hakim Warrick helped carry the Orange to victory in the 2003 National Championship Game, it was Anthony who stole the show in a Final Four matchup against Texas. In the biggest game of his career up to that point, Anthony was more than ready for the big moment. He scored 33 points on 12-of-19 shooting, showing incredible efficiency against a Texas team that had no answer for him all night. Anthony added 14 rebounds, at times collecting his own misses and putting them in the bucket. Behind Anthony, the Orange beat Texas 95-84 on their way to the National Championship Game.
It was more of the same in the title game against Kansas. Anthony continued to show remarkable consistency, chipping in 20 points and 10 rebounds for his third straight double-double of the tournament while coming three assists shy of a triple-double. Even with the Jayhawks throwing accomplished defender Keith Langford at him, Anthony was undeterred and unstoppable when he decided to attack the basketball. Ultimately, it was a team effort for the Orange. But Anthony saving his best games for the Final Four undoubtedly played a huge role in Syracuse winning the 2003 national championship.
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