Here’s Why Syracuse Basketball Missed the 2017 NCAA Tournament

Short and to the point. That’s how the selection show for the 2017 NCAA Tournament Bracket went, that’s how Coach Jim Boeheim was in the post-selection press conference and that’s how news like this has to be.

Syracuse is not in the 2017 NCAA Tournament. That’s it. Now we know.

And it turns out, that’s how Syracuse made its first impression that would last through the end of its season this year. Unfortunately for Syracuse fans, it was a negative one in the eyes of the selection committee.

Boeheim said in his post-selection press conference that he thought the Orange played as well as they could have toward the end of the season, beating three teams in the top 15 and six teams in the top 50, but SU’s early losses turned out to be too much to overcome.

“We had a terrible start to our season. We put ourselves in a tremendous hole,” Boeheim said.

Syracuse won just two road games throughout its 2016-2017 campaign. That along with three losses to teams outside top 100 wound up being detrimental to the Orange’s postseason hopes, no matter how many court storms there were afterward.

Still, Syracuse fans might have the right to be unhappy with the selection committee’s decision. SU finished 18-14 overall and 10-8 in the ACC, one of the toughest conferences in the country due to the strength of the teams in it. The Orange beat three top-ten (at the time) teams and came close to winning a fourth.

Syracuse also defeated Duke — the now ACC champions — as the regular season came to a close. Even that proved to have no lasting effect on the Orange’s credibility.

Both sides have a case to make, but, ultimately, the selection committee’s feelings win. This year, Syracuse didn’t.

“It is what it is, you know,” Boeheim said.  “We’re just going to have to get ready to play the best that we can in the [National Invitation Tournament].”

The NIT selection show starts at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPNU. You will be able to view the complete NIT bracket here.
Published: David Edelstein

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