Do SU Fans Really Have To Care About The NIT?

A little while ago, our very own Logan Grossman told you why you should still care about Syracuse basketball even though the Orange missed the NCAA Tournament and is headed to the NIT. Nothing Logan said is wrong, but I imagine much of Orange Nation is still having a hard time getting in the mood for some consolation basketball. Do we really have an obligation to care about how far SU gets in the tournament nobody asked for? We don’t, and you aren’t a bad fan for thinking so.

Before I get into this, a disclaimer: nobody is happy with this situation. The Syracuse fans who are telling you to care about the NIT are still disappointed. This isn’t what any of us asked for, and nobody is suggesting the top seed in the NIT makes up for missing the big dance. This is Syracuse basketball, and you should be disappointed.

This is Syracuse basketball, remember? It’s been easy to forget at points over the past three seasons. A 2015 postseason ban followed by two years on the bubble is not what SU fans are used to. There was a Final Four run in the middle there, but outside of that one month Orange fans have been subjected to an unprecedented amount of mediocrity. In the five seasons prior to this struggle, SU had been in the top 3 in the AP poll at some point in five consecutive seasons. That’s the best stretch for the program since the mid-80’s. Two Sweet Sixteens, an Elite Eight and two Final Fours in the last eight years. Oh, and a 25-0 start in 2013-14. Now, Syracuse has lost 14 games in two consecutive years, tied for the most ever under Jim Boeheim. Orange basketball is in a slump.

This is Syracuse basketball, which means you’ve become accustomed to a certain standard of college basketball. Jim Boeheim doesn’t want to be here. Tyler Lydon doesn’t want to be here. The guy with that weird smell who sat next to you at the St. John’s game doesn’t want to be here. Still, here we are. You don’t have to be happy about it, you just have to deal with it.

This is Syracuse basketball, so don’t feel bad for being disgruntled. Should you root against SU in the NIT or boycott watching the games? Of course not. Just don’t think you’re being a disloyal fan if you aren’t all that upset if and when the Orange loses in the tournament it didn’t want to be in.

Posted: Nathan Dickinson

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