I’ve seen a lot of people comparing SU’s current resume to previous Syracuse resumes from the past couple years (myself included). However, that’s pretty trivial at the end of the day because every year is different. So let’s try something else. Let’s breakdown SU’s resume compared to other bubble teams because that’s really what matters come Selection Sunday.
Washington (18-9, 8-6)
Key Wins: *(74-65 W @ Kansas)* (78-75 W vs Arizona) (68-64 W vs Arizona St.)
Bad Losses: *(79-103 L vs Virginia Tech)* (64-73 L vs Stanford) *(70-77 L vs Providence)*
First off, a tip of the cap to Mike Hopkins for the job he has done in his first year at Washington. Under the tutelage of the longtime SU assistant, the Huskies have racked up some big time wins, including one over Kansas, which technically happened at a neutral site in Kansas City. While, Syracuse doesn’t have any eye-catching wins like Arizona and Kansas, Hopkins bunch can’t afford any more bad losses because they play in the Pac-12, which is a much-weaker conference. Most have the Huskies currently in the same range as Syracuse. Washington has a chance to avenge its bad loss to Stanford on Thursday. How Hopkins and company play in that one could end up being the difference maker.
Providence (17-10, 8-6)
Key Wins: (76-71 W vs Villanova) (81-72 W vs Xavier) (77-75 W @ Marquette)
Bad Losses: (63-80 L vs Depaul) (63-72 L @UMass)
Providence went from firmly on the bubble to pretty unanimously inside the field of 68 with its HUGE win over Villanova this past Wednesday. With home games vs Seton Hall and St. Johns left, plus two road games at Xavier and Georgetown, it’s hard to imagine the Friars being left out of the big dance barring a major collapse. The blowout loss to Depaul at home is tough to swallow, but they are still currently tied for third in the Big East. We no longer live in the days when the Big East used to send 10 or 11 teams into the tournament, but if Providence stays inside the top-five of the conference it should be a lock.
Virginia Tech (19-8, 8-6)
Key Wins: (61-60 W @ Virginia) (80-69 W vs North Carolina) (80-75 W @ Notre Dame)
Bad Losses: (56-68 L @ Syracuse) (82-91 L vs Florida State) *(71-77 L vs Saint Louis)*
Virginia Tech is a tough team to gage. On one hand they have a road win over Virginia, which is probably the best possible win you can have on your resume right now. But, on the flip side, SU easily topped VT inside the Dome and the Hokies got crushed by the Cavaliers when they played them at home. Virginia Tech also did something Syracuse couldn’t though and went into Atlanta and grabbed a resume-boosting win over Georgia Tech last time out. It seems like the Hokies always find themselves on the bubble. During the Seth Greenberg era, they constantly just missed the cut; this year it’s likely going to come down to the wire yet again.
NC State (18-9, 8-6)
Key Wins: (96-85 W vs Duke) (95-91 W @ North Carolina) *(90-84 W vs Arizona)*
Bad Losses: (76-81 L vs UNC-Greensboro) *(60-64 L vs Northern Iowa)*
Of all the bubble resumes out there, NC State might have the most puzzling. The Wolfpack have some really impressive “quadrant one” wins (three listed above and Clemson at home). But, they also lost to UNC Greensboro at home?? After balancing both ends of that wide spectrum, I still think NC State is safe, especially after this week. Let’s be honest, It’s nearly impossible to leave the Wolfpack out and put SU in after what happened on Wednesday night. Syracuse had a golden chance and unfortunately didn’t capitalize.
St Bonaventure (20-6, 10-4)
Key Wins: (60-57 W @ Syracuse) *(63-61 W vs Maryland)* (77-74 W vs Rhode Island)
Bad Losses: (78-85 L @ St. Joes) (72-82 L @ Dayton) (75-77 L vs Niagara)
After a questionable start to conference play, the Bonnies have now reeled off eight straight A-10 wins to probably play themselves inside the bubble. The operative word there is “A-10” though because frankly St. Bonaventure needs to be dominating that conference to prove they are worthy of an at-large bid. Also, the Bonnies glaring loss to Niagara in their season opener might not look as bad because their best player, Jalen Adams, didn’t play. However, Adams was available against Syracuse and he carried them to the pivotal win in the dome with a 23 point performance. On one hand, if the Bonnies continue to win, SU’s worst loss doesn’t look so bad anymore. However, at the same time, considering St. Bonaventure has the tiebreaker over Syracuse, they could also ultimately be the team that keeps the Orange out.
Key Wins: (67-58 W vs Texas Tech) (66-60 W @Alabama) (77-66 W @Oklahoma)
Bad Losses: (64-67 L vs Kansas St.) (73-74 L vs Baylor)
Texas might be the only team who’s bubble stock has see-sawed as much as Syracuse the past couple weeks. The Longhorns have two bad home losses to Baylor and Kansas State, as well as a pivotal road victory over Trae Young and Oklahoma in the past four games. As of right now, Joey Brackets has them in after that Oklahoma win. But, with two ranked teams (West Virginia and Kansas) and two weaker Big-12 teams (Kansas St. and Baylor) left on the schedule, things could certainly change.
Syracuse (18-9, 7-7)
Key Wins: (62-55 W @ Miami) (78-73 W @ Louisville) (68-56 W vs Virginia Tech)
Bad Losses: (57-60 L vs St. Bonaventure) (67-73 L @ Wake Forest) (51-55 L @ Georgia Tech)
So, how does SU’s resume stack up to all of these? Well, surprisingly the Orange have some pretty solid road wins this year after that kept them out last year. But, the main difference between these bubble teams and Syracuse is the caliber of quality wins. SU is 0-4 against top-25 teams this season. Every other team above has at least one and most at least two wins over top-25 teams this year. On the bright side, Syracuse still has plenty of opportunities to add a marquee win with three of its final four games against top-15 teams. In Joe Lundari’s latest bracketology on Monday morning he moved Syracuse inside the tournament field, which might actually be a bad thing for Syracuse fans.