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Syracuse Basketball: Why Would the NCAA Give Syracuse Special Consideration for a Tournament Bid?

Well this is a real head scratcher.

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

If it's been said once, it's been said a million times. The NCAA suspended Jim Boeheim for nine games, vacated wins, scholarships, etc. You know the drill by now. But there seems to be a rising concern among fans, or rather a query as to why the NCAA would give Syracuse consideration after they've penalized the Orange.

Back in December Mike Waters reported that the NCAA will give Syracuse consideration for an at-large bid by looking at Jim Boeheim's absence the same way they would look at a key player being unavailable to compete. But why would the NCAA suspend Jim Boeheim only to give Syracuse consideration when trying to seed the field of 68? That makes no logical sense (not that the NCAA ever does).

**Please NCAA, give us your rationale!**

Well, put simply, the NCAA and NCAA Selection Committee are two separate entities.

Jim Boeheim's suspension, vacated wins and Syracuse's loss of scholarships were bestowed upon the beleaguered Orange by the NCAA. The penalties placed on the program came from Mark Emmert et al. The NCAA and the NCAA Selection committee operate on two different agendas.

The NCAA Selection Committee is made up of Athletic Directors -- spare Judy MacLeod -- from Division-I programs all around the country. Their job is to field the best 68 teams and to seed them accordingly. If they feel, based on their criteria, that Syracuse is among the best 36 at-large teams, they will pick the Orange. That is unless Syracuse makes a run toward winning the ACC Tournament. At that point Syracuse would earn an automatic bid and none of the above matters.

The NCAA might not like Syracuse making the tournament -- or maybe the will as having Syracuse in the tournament would generate higher ratings and fill seats -- but they have no say in the matter. The big takeaway is that the NCAA and NCAA Selection Committee are separate entities.