Ever since the 2013 Syracuse Orange basketball team went to the Final Four, I've realized definitively that sports are dumb.
Here was this SU squad that had done pretty well in the regular season but nothing special, at least not by our own standards. In the years prior, the Orange had finished with records of 30-5, 27-8 and 34-3. They had been ranked No. 1 in the nation multiple times across that stretch. They'd made it to a couple Sweet Sixteens and an Elite Eight.
But this team. The 26-9 Syracuse team that had lost five-of-eight to close the season and seemed destined to take a step back. This was the team that made it to the Final Four and not it's predecessors.
There's no logic to that. There's no rhyme or reason. It's just the fluctuations of college basketball allowing the tumblers to fall into place whenever it so desires. Syracuse could have faced dozens of different opponents in all of those seasons. They could have played in different regions or at different times of the day and it all would have changed the outcomes. But what happened happened and there's just no explaining it.
Forget it, Jake. It's college basketball.
The 2015-2016 Syracuse team hasn't reached that same height. Not yet, at least. But I think we can all honestly say that logic dictates that this team should be home by now. Hell, most people around the country didn't even think they should be here in the first place. Their regular season was a far cry from those aforementioned teams and even makes that 2013 squad look like a season-long dominating force. There was simply no reason you could give for why you'd think this team was capable of making it to the Sweet Sixteen.
And yet, here we are. You can't make excuses for it. You can't say, "Well, they got it easy with Middle Tennessee instead of Michigan State" because you spent the two days prior talking about how good MTSU was and how much they deserved to be there. But everything has clicked at exactly the right time. Players are not just having decent games to back up Michael Gbinije, they're having great games. The defense has come alive in the second half of both contests. Tyler Lydon, Malachi Richardson and Tyler Roberson are all making plays. Even Dajuan Coleman showed up on offense for a bit.
How? Why? Why now? When will then be now?
And now we're in the strangest of positions where we have this Syracuse team, this team we've yelled and screamed at all season long, just two games from the Final Four. Winnable games at that as the Orange will start with the Gonzaga Bulldogs, a familiar NCAA Tournament foe. We'll take it one game at a time but if you can get this far, you can win the next one. And if you win the next one, you can win the one after that. And then...
You want logic? Enjoy the regular season. It's full of logic and results that make sense. In the regular season, an inconsistent Syracuse basketball team will play as such and make you wish next year could get here ASAP. In the post-season, however, there is no logic. Certainly not in the NCAA Tournament. Logic is one of the First Four Out every time. In the post-season, an inconsistent Syracuse basketball team suddenly turns on their boosters and crushes solid opponents by 20 points with ease.
That's so dumb. So awesome, but so dumb.
I'll take the dumb. G'Orange!