Right now Syracuse is an 8 seed on most bracketology sites. That seems fair when you look at the updated resume after a huge win over Louisville (first ranked win at home this year) and a respectable showing against number one Duke.
(18-9) (9-5 ACC) T-5 in ACC. Florida State holds tiebreaker though.
Quality Wins: @Duke, Louisville, @Ohio State
Other Decent Wins: Clemson, @Pittsburgh, @Boston College, Georgetown
Bad Losses: Georgia Tech, Old Dominion, UCONN (MSG), Oregon (MSG)
NET: 44 (*Insert corny Syracuse joke here about how fitting it is they are ranked 44*)
RPI: 39 (RPI is basically irrelevant but here it is anyways)
- Really solid road record (5-2).
- One of the best wins in the country, if not the best, @Duke
- Gotten better as season has developed, solid ACC record
- Non-Conference schedule looks less and less tough (UCONN, G’town, ODU, OSU, Oregon are all trending down)
- Blown out by tough competition (VT, FSU, NC State)
All things considered this resume is pretty different from one’s in the previous years. Yes, you have the marquee Duke win coupled with some bad losses. However, every team has bad losses and, outside of Georgia Tech, all those above came before ACC play. Honestly, the biggest difference is the road record. Syracuse has gone on the road and taken care of business against teams not as good as them so far this year. That’s held them back in the past couple years–losses to Georgia Tech and Wake come to mind. Usually they’re relying on some big Dome wins to propel them in. This year, they’re firmly in right now because they’re beating the teams they should beat–for the most part.
One thing they could prove coming down the stretch is that when they play against top ranked teams, they can matchup with them and keep it close. Like they did against Duke. When you look at the quadrant one situation, 3-5 is actually pretty solid, but you’d like to see some of those losses be closer.
Quadrant 1 Games: (3-5)
@Duke 95-91 W
Duke 75-65 L
@Virginia Tech 78-56 L
Buffalo 71-59 L
Louisville 69-49 W
Florida State 80-62 L
NC State 73-58 L
@Ohio State 72-62 W
You’ve got at least two chances with UVA and UNC to finish the year and then, of course, the ACC tournament.
Tue. Feb. 26: @UNC
Sat: Mar. 2: @Wake Forest
Mon: Mar. 4: UVA
Sat: Mar. 9: @Clemson
North Carolina is obviously going to be really tough. They’re red hot right now. Not to mention, they’ve beat SU the last 7 times and just seem to always figure out the zone. That being said, even a loss, if it’s a single-digit one, could help Syracuse get into that 7 seed range.
Barring a collapse, like of 0-4 proportions, SU is in the tournament. After Georgia Tech, it felt like riding the bubble would almost be best-case so that’s a victory. Although a small one, of course, because once again the standard should not be: Is Syracuse basketball in or not?