Syracuse didn’t help itself out by losing in its first ACC tourney game. A win over Miami, I think, would’ve safely but the Orange in. Now it’s some restless nights for SU fans waiting to see how the musical chairs fill up over the next four days. But I think the Orange will eventually have one of those chairs, even if it means playing in the First Four in Dayton.
SU, as badly as it’s looked for too many games this season, still has that glowing line on the resume: three wins over Top 10 opponents. Yes, the Orange was bad away from the Dome. No doubt, SU coughed up some easy wins against its old Big East foes. Sure, getting stomped by Boston College is inexcusable. But you can’t ignore beating three top 10 teams along the way.
Also, if the ACC this year is perhaps the greatest season any conference has ever had (personally, I think that’s hyperbole but it helps the ‘Cuse in this instance), then getting 10 wins inside that league and grabbing the 8-seed in the ACC tournament should be enough to get you into the Field of 68. If the ACC is a 9 or 10-bid league which some have surmised, then the 8th best team in that league should get one of those.
And finally, as much as some people hate it, brand matters. The NCAA selection committee has proven time and again it looks for juicy television matchups. It wants its corporate TV partners (CBS and Turner) satisfied with how much money is forks over every year for these games. You know what gooses the usually bland and boring First Four? Jim Boeheim and the Orange.
It’s not comfortable, but SU will be in the Field of 68 come Sunday.