As of this very moment, you could make a solid argument that the Syracuse Orange men's lacrosse team would be on the outside looking in of the 2012 NCAA Tournament.
The RPI, which the NCAA Tournament organizers love and Glaude hates with the passion of a thousand burning suns, has been released and the Orange are currently No. 16. With a lot of automatic bids to fill in, that would likely leave SU out in the cold for the first time since 2007.
Inside Lacrosse leaves the Orange out of the tourney. LaxPower has us all the way down at No. 20 overall. Brian Harrison asked me if I thought the Orange are in the tournament right now in our lacrosse discussion (podcast here) and I said no simply because the quality wins aren't there. John Desko would like to remind me and everyone else that while the quality wins might not be there, the quality schedule certainly is:
"You look at our schedule," Desko said, "and I’ve looked at some of the other teams that are ranked right now and they haven’t played near the schedule we’ve played. And some of them don’t even have wins over teams we’ve lost to. So we’ve played a very tough schedule, one of the toughest in the country. We started out with a young group, and I think we’re getting better."
It's the age-old question. Should you be rewarded for losing to a lot of quality opponents or should you reward those you "just win, baby?"
The truth is, none of it matters for this Orange squad. They have two remaining regular season games (Georgetown & Notre Dame) and then the Big East Tournament where they are likely to face Villanova in the first round. The same Villanova that beat them earlier in the season. The name of the game for SU is to just win-out.
I think that if they beat Georgetown and then win two-out-of-three of the Notre Dame game and 2 BET games, the Orange will squeeze into the NCAAs as an at-large (or BET champion). But they gotta take care of business first.
CitrusTV's David DeGuzman spoke with the team about how they feel going into the home stretch: