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The Battle For The 12 Seed

Next year the Big East Tournament will be expanded so that all 16 teams get the chance to play. Syracuse fans may want to check and see if we can get that expedited because, and I know how much we all love this phrase, "if the season ended today"...Syracuse would not qualify for the Big East Tournament.

Granted, Rutgers, St. John's and South Florida are all probably out of the running already and there's still a ton of basketball to be played. But it's worth noting that while we are okay if the Orange struggle this season, we have limits. If missing the NCAA Tournament is a transgression absolved by a couple Our Fathers, missing the Big East Tournament would be considered a deadly sin akin to wrath, which is exactly what some Syracuse fans might exact on those involved.

The Orange (13-7, 3-4) will
attempt to climb up out of the basement by stepping over the poor sap right in front of them, Providence (12-6, 3-3) on Sunday. The Friars are coming off an 88-75 loss to Seton Hall last night while the Orange are trying to snap a two-game losing streak.

Before last night, the Friars
lit up UConn with 14 three pointers which is scratching on the chalkboard to Syracuse fans. Then again, they shot 6 for 23 against the Pirates so go figure. Providence has an "any given night" starting five, all of whom average between 10.7 and 12.7 points per game and seemingly take turns leading the team in scoring. Last night it was Weyinmi Efejuku who had 23 points. However when in doubt, Geoff McDermott has been the most consistent Friar, having scored 24 as recently as three games ago and a consistent rebounder.

Let's face it, the Orange need every win they can get at this point. This is a perfect opportunity to right the ship and prove that SU isn't going to spend too much time on the outside looking in this season.

Syracuse 79, Providence 73

BTW, if you want to get caught up on all things Friars before the game I suggest Black Padres, which is not in fact a militant African-American San Diego sports blog.

(Update: Thanks to AEM over at Cuse Chronicles for catching this but perhaps we should get a little antsy after all. If the Orange don't make the Big East Tournament, we might not play enough games in order to meet the criteria for Eric Devendorf's medical red-shirt status. We need at least one post-season game of some kind in order to make the qualification stick.)