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Syracuse Basketball: Orange Moving Up in NCAA Tourney Bracket Projections

Our last 'Cuse bubble watch had the Orange in, but by a very slim margin. After last night's big win over Florida State, people are ready to put the Orange in more secure standing.

Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

We've been talking all season about Syracuse Orange Basketball being on the bubble, so much so that we've got #BubbleWatch posts. Today, a big piece of the puzzle came around as the NCAA Mock Selection Bracket was completed. (For those unaware, each year, the NCAA invites media members to participate in a mock bracket selection that almost always generates #pageviews and free publicity for the NCAA Tournament.)

For the Orange, the Mock Tournament Bracket has them lined up as a 9-seed in the Midwest (33rd-ranked team overall) which would see the Orange play the first round in Oklahoma City matched up with 8th-seeded Colorado out of the Pac-12. If they won that potential game, they'd have to face top-seeded Oklahoma. Crap.

CBS Sports' latest projections have the Orange in the same bracket, but moved up a seed to eighth. That leads to a match-up against the Butler Bulldogs. (Everyone ready your emotions.)

Finally, the mothership (SB Nation) has us as the 34th team overall, lined up as a ninth-seed to play in the West bracket (Des Moines, Iowa) against the Missouri Valley Conference's Wichita State Shockers. SU and Wichita State haven't played since an ill-fated missed dunk by Demetris Nichols led to a close loss at the Dome in 2006.


Essentially, the biggest positive to take from all of this is that the Orange are clearly headed in the right direction. The fact that the mock bracket has the team out of the Dayton, Ohio "First Four" games is huge, as they were given the instructions to "consider Jim Boeheim's suspension." (Which is probably why it became a thing tweeted out, yet again, this past week)

Another thing to keep an eye on: If the Orange continue to win, they could move up the ladder of seeding, there's a chance the Orange could get a first round game in Brooklyn, aka DEFINITE home game.