Remember when there was all that backlash against Syracuse for being selected into the tournament? "Thank you for the motivation," guard Michael Gbinije said after Syracuse's 25-point win over #15 seed Middle Tennessee State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

The Orange, led by Gbinije and freshman Tyler Lydon, trounced the Blue Raiders 75-50 to advance to their first sweet 16 since 2013. Gbinije had 23 points and shot 10-for-14 from the floor while Lydon added 14 points of his own with seven rebounds and six blocks.

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The key to the Orange's success was there defense. Syracuse held the Blue Raiders to 29.7% shooting; two days after they hit nearly everything on their way to upsetting #2 seed Michigan State.

"Their length really bothered us around the goal," Middle Tennessee State head coach Kermit Davis said after the loss. "We couldn't get anything in there. And their perimeter was absolutely terrific."

Syracuse now faces #11 seed Gonzaga in the sweet 16 in the Midwest region. Gonzaga has been a part of two upsets thus far as they beat #6 seed Seton Hall and blew out #3 seed Utah.

Will Syracuse go back to the elite eight?