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The One Question That Could Determine SU’s Tournament Fate

I’m sure you’ve heard by now but this year marks a new “quadrant” era in college basketball bracketology, where every opponent a team plays is given a certain quadrant based on the following RPI ratings.

Quadrant 1: Home 1-30; Neutral 1-50; Away 1-75

Quadrant 2: Home 31-75; Neutral 1-50; Away 76-135

Quadrant 3: Home 76-160; Neutral 101-200; Away 136-240

Quadrant 4: Home 161-plus; Neutral 201-plus; Away 241-plus

Long-story short it’s basically a more simplified way to quantify a certain teams level of quality wins and bad losses. Now, with an entirely new system it’s obviously up to the committee to set some precedents this year. Like, what do they value you more: the amount of quality wins or the lack of bad losses?

For SU’s sake its pretty obvious it would favor them more if there was more emphasis on doing your job and limiting glaring losses. After all, if you asked most Orange fans what the worst loss of the season was some might say the home loss to St. Bonaventure, who surprisingly enough is currently a quadrant 1 team with an RPI of 22. In reality, according to the quadrant system, SU’s two worst losses are at Wake Forest and at Georgia Tech who both currently fall in the third quadrant with RPI’s of 147 and 145 respectively.

Now all things considered, only having two quadrant three losses, which are both conference games on the road, is pretty solid compared to most bubble teams.

However, it’s the quadrant one victories where SU’s resumes lags behind the others a little.

LSU-6

Texas- 5

Alabama-5

Oklahoma St- 5

USC-4

Marquette-4

Baylor-4

UCLA-3

Louisville-3

Syracuse-3

Penn State-3

Notre Dame-2

Boise State-2

Nebraska-1

The win over then-number 18 Clemson Saturday is SU’s third quadrant one win of the year (@Miami and @Louisville are the others), which means some bracketologist have the Orange in and some have them just outside. Buffalo is also right on the cusp of a quadrant one win as the Bulls currently have an RPI rating of 32.

Last year SU’s resume was essentially the opposite. The Orange had plenty of “quadrant one” caliber wins and too many glaring losses, which is comparable to a team like Texas this year.

Assuming SU doesn’t do anything too surprising in the ACC tournament this year it’s fate is going to come down to one pretty simple question. What does the committee value more in the new quadrant era: obtaining marquee wins or avoiding big losses?

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