Syracuse moved up the charts in Joe Lunardi’s latest bracketology. The Orange are now firmly within the last four in column and knocking on the door of the last four byes. SU was one shot away from all but locking a spot in the NCAA Tournament, but of course Orange Nation has to sweat it out until Sunday… yet again.
Don’t sweat it though. Syracuse did everything they needed to, to earn a bid in the Big Dance. The Orange beat NC State once again, a team that was blazing hot on a five game winning streak. In fact SU didn’t just beat the Pack, they ran them off the floor. That was the best NC State team right there entering the tournament and Syracuse did them dirtier than during the regular season sweep.
Then the Orange played a highly competitive game with Virginia. Syracuse was leading at halftime and had a double digit lead at one point. It looked like SU was well on its way to another statement win. As we know now that didn’t happen but here’s the point. That was a UVA team that’s a projected four-seed in the NCAA Tournament, and the Orange hung with them to literally the final second.
You cannot argue Louisville, Colorado State, or Utah State would’ve done the same. The Cardinals were absolutely curb stomped by Duke. It doesn’t makes sense that UL is a projected lock in the tournament. The Cards are 57th in the Net Rankings and are 1-5 in Quad 1 games. Additionally, a blowout loss to a team you’re supposed to be better than is not a good look for the so called “eye test.”
Regardless, Syracuse WILL be in the field of 68 and they won’t even need to play in the first round. Obviously there’s some moving parts and destiny is out of SU’s proverbial hands, but the Orange did enough to make the tournament and they’ll be a dangerous draw for any team.