As we inch closer to the start of conference tournament play the seeding picture begins to become clear. That’s exciting as we enter the most thrilling point of the season, but it also represents challenge.
Syracuse finds itself in quite the interesting position as it relates to ACC Tournament seeding. If the ACC Tournament began tomorrow, Syracuse would be the No. 9 seed and would square off against No. 8 seeded Virginia (gulp) in its first matchup.
Although Syracuse beat Virginia earlier in the season, it took a big second half comeback and the game took place at the Carrier Dome. Couple that with Virginia’s improved play of late and that spells trouble for SU. A victory is certainly possible, but unlikely on a neutral floor.
Duke picked up a victory last night against Florida State which guaranteed the Blue Devils to be seeded higher than SU. At this point, the best case scenario for Syracuse is to earn a No. 7 seed, but three things need to happen.
First, Syracuse will need to beat Georgia Tech at home this Saturday. That’s more likely than not to happen, but it isn’t a shoo-in either.
Secondly, Florida State will need to take care of business against Miami at home. That would put the Hurricanes at 10-8 in the conference and SU owns the tie-breaker in that scenario. This again is more likely than not to happen but stranger things have happened.
Third, Pittsburgh will need to go on the road at Virginia and take down the Cavaliers. This would also put Virginia at 10-8 in conference play and again Syracuse would own the tie-breaker. This is unlikely and all three scenarios need to happen for SU to earn a No. 7 seed.
Needless to say, Saturday has huge implications for ACCT seeding. It’s unlikely that Syracuse will fall below a No. 9 seed and it’s most likely that SU will either a No. 9 or No. 8 seed. If I were a betting man, I’d say Syracuse earns a No. 8 seed and squares off against Miami. The winner of that game is guaranteed to play No. 1 seeded North Carolina in the next round.
Soup to nuts, if Syracuse wins against Georgia Tech and Miami it would almost certainly be invited to the Big Dance. Don’t expect Syracuse to take down UNC if it does win its first round game in the ACCT. On the flip side, a loss to UNC doesn’t look all that bad but neutral court wins are the best way to bolster Syracuse’s NCAA Tournament résumé devoid of wins away from the dome.
What do you think, Orange Nation? Rooting like hell for Pitt and FSU Saturday? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.