Syracuse's Fab Melo out; eligibility issue

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SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) -- Syracuse center Fab Melo did not travel with the team to Pittsburgh and the university says he won't take part in the NCAA tournament due to an eligibility issue.

The school would not elaborate. Melo missed three games during the season because of an academic issue.

It's a big blow to the Orange (31-2), the top seed in the East Regional. They play 16th-seeded UNC Asheville (24-9), the Big South champion, on Thursday afternoon.

Melo, a 7-footer, was the Big East defensive player of the year and made coach Jim Boeheim's 2-3 zone defense a formidable one. He averaged 7.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and registered 88 blocks.