We are experienced with this spot. The joint that’s always sore in the cold. A familiar song. Syracuse basketball on the bubble. It’s not the life we chose, but it is the life we know best. Down the stretch SU has ricocheted back and forth between one of the last team’s in, to one of the last team’s out, to firmly out. And just when we think they’re done after an embarrassing loss to Duke, a win over UNC “pulls us back in.”
Clemson is next, one of the final chances for the Orange to prove something to the selection committee. Clemson appears to be in, so a victory over the Tigers would help the resume. SU is a slight favorite in this game, likely do to not much more than home court advantage. The last time these two team’s met it was an easy Tigers victory, one of the many bleak losses this season for SU.
If there’s anything to hang your hat on, is that SU has never seemed to be as bad as its worst losses. The energy has been a problem. The depth has been questioned. The subpar performances for usually reliable players has been an Achilles Heel. But knowing that SU *should be* more than this 14-8 record, and seeing their success at the Dome should create some optimism.
A win over Clemson certainly doesn’t punch a ticket to the Big Dance but undoubtedly it helps. There’s work to be done in the ACC Tourney. But another victory tonight is an important bullet on the resume.