There is no doubt that Syracuse’s regular season finale in Tallahassee is absolutely huge for their post-season prospects. One would have to figure that a win, which would give the Orange 20 wins on the season and 10 in the conference, would put them into the tournament. A loss, however, and Syracuse may have to sweat it out on Selection Sunday, but the season would still be alive.
This is the time of year where fans of teams on the bubble, as Syracuse is this year, constantly check the experts’ latest predictions and wait anxiously for the latest edition of Bracketology. Well, right now, Joe Lunardi of ESPN has Syracuse in the tournament. A win against FSU would surely solidify that, as Orange Fizz has already shown, but with a loss, things get dicey.
There is an obvious, however unlikely path to the tournament, for every ACC team; win the ACC tournament. However, even with a loss against the Seminoles on Saturday, the Orange do not need to be ACC Champions to go dancing. In all likelihood, if the Orange lose on Saturday, they will face Virginia Tech in their first ACC tournament game.
This may not be a popular opinion, but if the Orange lose to Florida State on the road and beat Virginia Tech in that fist game, they will make the tournament. To perhaps convince some skeptics out there, Joe Lunardi certainly did not rule the Orange out of the tournament with a loss to FSU. Speaking on ESPN Radio in Syracuse, Lunardi said it wouldn’t be “an awful loss” if the Orange fell to FSU, but a win would take “a lot of pressure off”.
What this says, is that it wouldn’t be terminal to the season. There is no doubt the Orange are facing a massive game against the Seminoles. To make matters more interesting, it is a game that Syracuse certainly could, and quite possibly should, win. It days like Saturday that make college basketball, and sports in general, so captivating. However, it is important for Syracuse fans to recognize that there if the Orange stumble on the road against Florida State, there is still another path to the Big Dance.