Syracuse basketball isn’t having its best season, to say the least. The Orange sit at just 14-12 with five games remaining. According to KenPom, they are expected to lose three of them, but it could very well be four or even five.
It’s officially not a bold take to say SU will need to run the gauntlet in the ACC Tournament in order to make the NCAA Tournament. With those chances being slim to none, it’s all but guaranteed that Syracuse will not be dancing this year.
Without their eyes set on March Madness, the next option for the Orange is the National Invitation Tournament, or more commonly known as the NIT. If you aren’t familiar, the NIT is the secondary tourney with the next best 32 teams. There are 68 teams in the NCAA Tournament and 32 schools in the NIT. So, all you have to be is one of the top 100 teams in the country to play in the postseason.
According to multiple bracketology websites, Syracuse is not projected to make the NCAA Tournament, or even the NIT.
Per Draftings.com, the Orange are not making the NIT, but ACC foe’s Virginia Tech and Virginia will make the secondary tournament. The Barking Crow also predicts SU to miss the NIT and has Virginia Tech and Notre Dame representing the ACC.
If these predictions come true, it will be the first time since 1993 that Syracuse did not make either the NCAA Tournament or the NIT. It would also be just the second time in the Jim Boeheim era that his team did not play in either post season tourney.
This is obviously a position that the Orange and their fans are not used to. If SU doesn’t play in the postseason, will the team be impacted moving forward? Will it hurt recruiting? Does it put a blemish on Boeheim’s resume towards the end of his career?
Yes, yes, and yes. This season will have a rippling effect on the SU program for seasons to come. Not being a top-100 team in the country is embarrassing for a program that is supposed to be a perennial threat. Say bye bye to the NIT and hello to the CBI … maybe.