The panic button. Everyone wants to know if we should indeed press it after three-straight losses culminating in the Seton Hall Massacre.
Obviously, the answer is no. But let's ask the question anyway. Syracuse.com breaks down their arguments on both sides. Some of which make sense, some of which are a little reach-y. That last one is the one that grabbed me however.
By the way: 18-0 doesn’t just happen.
For those (especially the ones within the fanbase) saying this team just isn't very good, it's always a smart idea to take a step back and remember this team is 18-3. And yes, everyone likes to joke about how it wasn't exactly a murderer's row or that a lot of those games were closer than they should have been. No argument there. But, as Herm always loves to remind us, you play to win the game. And no bad team could have won all 18 of those games.
Not that those 18 wins should act at some kind of reason to keep the Orange in the top ten. Far from it. But this team is not as bad as some have made them out to be. They've bottomed out due to a couple very specific issues culminating at the same moment (laziness, ego, lack of depth, lack of focus on offense, great shooting nights by opponents).
We're not out of the woods by a longshot. As anyone conference fan can tell you, the Big East schedule is a buzzsaw. This season it's a particularly nasty one. It shows no mercy for the weak and allows little room for error. Syracuse will probably win some more games and they will probably lose some more games. If you start to panic now, you're screwed. That's when someone like, say, Marquette comes along and drives the stake through your icy, Vampire heart.
With National Marquette Day rapidly approaching, the Orange desperately need a win to prove to themselves that they still have that heart so many folks have blamed them of losing. A good way to prove them wrong? Score some f**king points:
After the [Seton Hall] game, senior forward Rick Jackson said the loss came down to the offensive shot selection. He only got nine shots down low, making seven of them. On the other hand, SU's three-guard rotation — Jardine, Brandon Triche and Dion Waiters — went just 8-of-32 from the field. Jardine and Waiters went 3-of-20.
"I'm frustrated with our shot selection," Jackson said. "All day, we could have had way better shots than what we had. I think we kind of settled for jumpers, and that is what they wanted us to do. They were more aggressive than us today and it showed."
The Orange have no right to take it easy against the Eagles. At 13-8, they've got wins over West Virginia and Notre Dame while their losses to Duke, Gonzaga, Vanderbilt, Pitt and Wisconsin were all close. That said, this ain't your You Last Year's Marquette team:
It's time to stop pretending that the games against Notre Dame (at home) and against DePaul were anything other than flukes, defense-wise. Instead, after a game in which Marquette AGAIN gave up more than 1.1 points per possession, it's time to admit that this team is broken defensively. Fifteen-point runs in the second half might happen by accident once, folks, but not three times in two weeks, and they certainly don't happen to serviceable defensive teams.
Hey alright, someone else going through as much crap as us!
I don't know exactly how you define this game. Must-win? Kinda. Critical juncture? I suppose. Season-defining? Well not on its own, but...
All I know is, it's important.