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Is Syracuse Basketball Really On The Bubble?

The word surrounding Syracuse basketball this year has been “bubble” more so than anything else. For a while, we got away from the bubble talk as the Orange entered the top 25 following the Battle 4 Atlantis, but after struggles and Jim Boeheim’s suspension, the Orange went right back on the bubble. And have stayed there ever since, or so we thought. Every Syracuse fan hung on with every win and every loss as the Orange navigated through the ACC slate. It had been mostly wins, as SU had picked up 8 of 9 at one point. But there was still this insistence on the bubble.

But at this point, it is a misconception. Syracuse was not on the bubble as it made its run. Now, after losses to Louisville and Pittsburgh, it is possible the Orange is working its way back towards the bubble, but it is not there yet. As of now, Syracuse is still firmly in the NCAA Tournament field. Barring losses to inferior teams, NC State and Florida State, the Orange is in, and on its way back to March Madness. ESPN’s bracketologist Joe Lunardi and CBS bracket projector Jerry Palm both have the Orange at 10 seeds, right on the fringe of the Tournament field, but Syracuse is safe.

Let’s take a look at all the indicators:

  • Syracuse is 51st in the RPI
  • Key Wins:
    • @ Duke
    • Notre Dame
    • UCONN
    • Texas A&M
  • Bad Losses
    • @ St. John’s
  • 3 wins vs RPI top 25
  • 5 wins vs RPI top 50
  • Strength of Schedule: 44

There you go, some of the facts laid out. This is a team that looks safe on paper. Yeah, that loss to St. John’s sure looks terrible, especially when the Red Storm has only won one game since the mid-December matchup with the Orange, but balance it out with a win at Cameron Indoor Stadium, one of the hardest places to win in all of college basketball. Texas A&M has slipped, but at one point was a top 5 team in the country and remains in the AP Top 25.

The resume looks good on paper, even if the Orange doesn’t always pass the eye test on the court. Syracuse fans have worried about the bubble for weeks, when really, they didn’t have too much to worry about. Barring a loss to a team worse than the Orange– NC State– or a team it has already beaten– Florida State– Syracuse is on its way back to the tourney following a one year absence due to a post season ban.

 

Posted By: Seth Goldberg

The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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