No. 1 seed Syracuse (16-3) will be looking to win its third national championship in the last six years on Monday, May 27 when the Orange face No. 7 seed Duke (15-5) in the NCAA title game at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.
The Orange advanced to the title game for the 17th time in school history with a 9-8 come-from-behind victory against fourth-seeded Denver in the semifinals. Duke reached its first championship game since 2010 by defeating Cornell in the semis 16-14.
Syracuse has won six of the nine all-time meetings with the Blue Devils, including five of the last seven. In NCAA playoff pairings, Syracuse is 3-1 against the Blue Devils. In the most recent meeting between the two programs, Duke defeated Syracuse 12-9 at Koskinen Stadium in the first round of the 2012 NCAA Championship.
With one more victory, the 2013 Orange will set a new single-season record for wins (17). The Orange have won 16 games three times previously, including the 2008 and 2009 national championship seasons. SU also recorded 16 wins in 1922.
Orange head coach John Desko has five NCAA national championships to his credit (2000, 2002, 2004, 2008, 2009). With a victory against the Blue Devils, Desko can match the NCAA Division I record of six NCAA titles shared by his coach and mentor Roy Simmons Jr. and Denver head coach Bill Tierney.
Desko took over the program in 1999 and has guided the Orange to 14 NCAA Tournament in 15 seasons and five NCAA titles. Desko's clubs are 31-8 in the NCAA playoffs, good for a .795 winning percentage. That mark is the best among all head coaches that have coached at least 10 postseason games. Legendary Johns Hopkins mentor Henry Ciccarone is second with a .750 (18-6) winning percentage.