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Syracuse Basketball Blind Taste Test: How Does 2011-12 Stack Up?

What this trophy represents is not yet written.
What this trophy represents is not yet written.

Two teams that started off with high expectations... and ended in the NIT...

Two preseason unranked teams that raised expectations... only to lose in the Sweet 16...

Two teams that made it all the way to the championship game... only to lose it in the end...

One team that won it all...

Three theme songs of various quality...

...and this squad. Ranked in the Top 5 all year long. Winners of the Big East Regular Season Championship by three games. Undefeated at home. Best start to a regular season. Best season record in school history. First SU team to reach 30 regular season wins. Tied for the most wins in school history and a 31-2 record BEFORE the NCAA tournament.

How does 2011-12 stack up against some of the best (and worst) seasons in recent SU memory?

This is going to be A LOT of numbers. As such, I'm not going to make you guess which seasons are represented. Here they are, in chronological order, with final record (conference record) and where they ended up.

  • 1986-1987: 31-7 (12-4) NCAA Championship Game
  • 1995-1996: 29-9 (12-6) NCAA Championship Game
  • 1996-1997: 19-13 (9-9) NIT First Round
  • 1999-2000: 26-6 (13-3) Sweet 16
  • 2002-2003: 30-5 (13-3) NCAA Champions
  • 2006-2007: 24-11 (10-6) NIT Quarterfinals
  • 2009-2010: 30-5 (15-3) Sweet 16
Can you match this morass of numbers with the seasons above? Does our season resemble one of the high performing seasons or one of the underachieving? Ask Derrick Coleman if this team could take his teams from the 80s and he will laugh at you (if you're lucky). But... could it?

These are, mostly, tempo-free stats. If you're not familiar with tempo-free stats, you can check out a handy glossary here. Or I can answer your questions in the comments.



Click the images to embiggen. Individual team cards can be found in this photobucket.

As with all of these Blind Taste Tests, I learned a lot about our team from putting this together (also, a lot about using Excel). I'll share those thoughts (about the team, not spreadsheets) when I reveal the results before our first NCAA tournament game.