Syracuse Center Melo Ineligible for NCAA Tournament

March 13, 2012 Updated: October 1, 2015
Big East Basketball Tournament - Syracuse v UCONN
Jim Boeheim's (R) Orange went 29-1 with Fab Melo (L) in the lineup this season and 2-1 without him. (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Syracuse center Fab Melo did not travel with the team to Pittsburgh and will not take part in the NCAA tournament because of an eligibility issue, according to a Syracuse release. The school offered no details on the reasons, citing university and federal privacy laws.

Melo, a 7-foot-tall sophomore, was named the Big East Conference’s Defensive Player of the Year after leading the league in blocked shots in regular season conference games at 3.7 per game. His presence in the lineup is a major key to its defense.

Melo was held out of three games for the same vague reasons in late January. During that stretch the Orange (31-2) lost its first game of the season, a 67–58 defeat to Notre Dame.

Top-seeded Syracuse faces UNC-Asheville (24-9) Thursday afternoon.