Syracuse has left itself no wiggle room after the loss to UNC in the ACC tournament. For every plus, there’s a minus. For every negative, there’s a positive. Losing to Boston College by 15 was horrid, but beating Clemson at home was huge. Thumping Wake Forest in Brooklyn was mandatory, but losing to the Heels makes SU sweat it out.
Right now, ESPN has SU as one of the First Four out, and it wouldn’t surprise anyone if the committee looked at the holes in the Orange resume and sent them to the NIT. Middle Tennessee’s loss hurts SU big time, because now a different team will gobble up an automatic qualifier from C-USA and the committee could easily slide MTSU ahead of the Orange.
But Jerry Palm of CBS Sports has the Orange inside the field of 68, as one of the first four games played in Dayton. He pits SU against Oklahoma, and a matchup of Trae Young against the vaunted 2-3 zone of Jim Boeheim would be a tasty television dish to tip things off. In Palm’s bracket, the winner of that game would feed into the South region and take on Houston, in a 6-11 matchup in Nashville.
Sascha Paruk, college basketball editor and writer at Sportsbettingdime.com predicts Syracuse will not be in the tournament. “CBS Sports has Syracuse squeaking into the First Four; ESPN has the Orange on the outside looking in. Our own prediction is that enough bubble teams impress in the coming days to bump Syracuse out of the 68-team field come Selection Sunday. The ACC will be well represented no matter what happens to Boeheim’s squad, likely getting eight or nine bids. Duke and Virginia are two of outright favorites for the national championship, sitting at about 6/1 and 8/1, respectively. Their exact odds depend on which sportsbook you look at, as each one sets its own numbers for the big dance. If you want to learn to bet on sports and are new to the mayhem of the NCAA Tournament, we at SportsBettingDime.com have a number of resources to get you started.”
Syracuse sits in the ultimate irony, much like the last handful of years. The only known commodity is the complete unknown until Selection Sunday. No one knows how this will play out for the Orange.