The Orange were reeling for weeks and now they are absolutely rolling. Syracuse has ripped off five straight wins after being pronounced dead by most of the national media, and many fans. During this five game win streak, the Orange knocked off a pair of top-ten teams at the Carrier Dome and pulled off two second half double-digit comebacks on the road in the ACC and are starting to make noise in the NCAA tournament bubble picture.
Syracuse has climbed all the way up to fourth, yes fourth, in the best and deepest conference in the land. In the last two weeks, Syracuse has gone from having no signature or road wins to two of each. So, the question on everyone’s mind is has Syracuse done enough to put themselves in a position to make the Big Dance?
Well, let’s break it down.
The ACC is likely set to send anywhere from 9-11 teams to March Madness. If the conference does in fact send more than eight teams, one would have to like Syracuse’s chances as they will, likely, sit in the top eight of the conference come season’s end.
The Orange, in some people’s minds, might need another marquee win to overwrite their four bad losses (UConn, Georgetown, St. John’s and Boston College). Well, playing in the ACC will give Syracuse ample chance to do that. The Orange play Louisville, the number four team in the country, twice. Once at the Dome and once at the KFC Yum! Center. The Orange will also host Duke and it doesn’t need to be explained that wins over Duke can go a long way in the NCAA Selection Committee’s mind (see last season).
Entering Tuesday’s game, the Orange had clawed their way back into the tournament picture. ESPN’s “Bracketology” has Syracuse on the outside looking in, but trending in the right direction. CBS actually had the Orange in the “First Four” in Dayton before Syracuse went on the road and knocked off Clemson. Another ACC road win will only help to move the Orange in the right direction.
The NCAA Selection Committee is often more interested in how a team finished or played recently as opposed to how they started. In short, the Orange are getting hot at the right time and have arguably put themselves in position to make the NCAA tournament.