Brendan Haywood knows something about the ACC. He was an All-American player for UNC, and reached the Final Four in 2000. Now he’s an analyst for CBS Sports Network. I asked him if Syracuse should make the tournament after last night’s thriller. He left no doubt.
“Syracuse is definitely a tournament team. They have enough wins, they’ve beaten enough teams. And then when you have a signature win like Duke? They’ve won a lot of close games recently, which I think should be a feather in their cap because they’ve proven they can win tight ballgames. So I think Syracuse should definitely make it. I think the ACC is probably as tough as it’s ever been. I think if you finish with an above .500 record (in conference), if you’re one of the top 9-10 teams in the ACC then you should make the tournament based on the strength of the league.”
Probably doesn’t hurt that Haywood is proud of his conference, and likely enjoys when someone knocks off the Dookies. But, we’re not arguing. At least one analyst thinks SU is a slam dunk. Syracuse is now 9-7 in the league with two more games to go, plus the ACC Tourney. I think Haywood is onto something. If this is the best ACC ever, and SU is now 7th in the league standings, the Orange should be pretty close to a lock, since the league should get at least 8 bids.