At Syracuse, Anthony rapidly adapted to the college game. As the Orangemen's top player, he led the club to its first championship game, in the springtime of 2003, with an 81-78 upset win over the favored University of Kansas. In the game, Anthony led all scorers with 20 points, while likewise collecting 10 rebounds. Capping a magical season for the fresher player, Anthony was called the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.
Later on that spring, the star player stated he prepared to go pro and declared himself eligible for the approaching 2003 NBA draft