first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Kyan Hillsman wanted snacks. Quentin Hillsman wanted sleep.After Syracuse found out it would be playing Chattanooga in the first round of the NCAA tournament, Hillsman, SU’s head coach, guaranteed a win. He planned to watch 80 percent of the Mocs’ 32 games this season.And every day this week Hillsman has gone to bed just before 3 a.m., only to be woken up three hours later by his hungry 3-year-old son.“It’s tough when you’re up all night watching tape,” Hillsman said. “And your son’s alarm clock is between 5:10 and 6 a.m.”Hillsman has been in this situation before. He’s been to the NCAA tournament twice, but as has been the case for all five of the program’s past tournament games, the Orange didn’t advance.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textOn Saturday, No. 6-seed Syracuse (22-9, 10-6 Atlantic Coast) will have another opportunity to make history when it faces No. 11-seed Chattanooga (29-3, 18-0 Southern) on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. in Lexington, Ky., on ESPN2.“This is where you make your name,” SU guard Brittney Sykes said. “Yes, last year we made our name. We dipped our toe in the water, but now we’re trying to run through the water.”Sykes said that after the Orange lost to Creighton as a No. 7 seed in the first round last season, the feeling in the locker room was more of motivation than disappointment.It hurt to come up short, but SU already wanted another opportunity to get back for another shot.And now it has that.“We’ve been there. We’ve felt how it tasted,” Sykes said. “We’re more hungry to be there than a team who’s going for the first time.“We have to play 20-plus games just to get back to that same spot and change history.”On Wednesday’s practice at the Carmelo K. Anthony Basketball Center with the team’s flight to Kentucky a day away, Hillsman was barking out instructions about what his team could see against Chattanooga.Thirty-four does this. Eleven does that. Make sure you don’t leave 44 open. He’s been preparing nonstop for the past 48 hours, and he’s making sure his players know as much as he does.“I feel like there is a bigger picture, but all of us are always focused on the first game,” SU guard Rachel Coffey said. “You want to get the first game done, then after that you worry about the second game.”Coffey makes it sound easy. But in the 43-year history of the program, there never has been a “second game” to play.On Monday, Hillsman went up to the second level of the Melo Center to watch the men’s basketball team practice. He wanted to watch Jim Boeheim, a coach that has led his team to 52 NCAA Tournament wins and the 2003 national championship.He saw him go through his game prep. He looked at the banners up around the center, almost all of which reflect Boeheim’s legacy and the team he’s built.Saturday, he has another chance to capture a program-building win and possibly raise a banner in the Carrier Dome.It’s a program Hillsman has built almost single-handedly, but the hard work is not yet tangible.A win in the NCAA tournament isn’t the end goal, but a start — and he’s willing to lose sleep over it.“Obviously you’re going into a situation where you play this game, and you win you play again, and you lose and you’re done,” Hillsman said. “So that kind of revs up the intensity a little bit.“I know we are more prepared at this point than we’ve ever been going into an NCAA tournament game.” Comments Published on March 19, 2014 at 11:40 pm Contact Sam: [email protected] | @SamBlum3last_img