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By The Numbers: The case for, and against, Syracuse making the tournament

An argument can be made for both outcomes. Vote for which you think will be the most likely below!

NCAA Basketball: ACC Conference Tournament-Syracuse vs Miami Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

In case you have been living under a rock – or a dome (HA! Get it?) – lately, the Syracuse Orange (18-14) are one of several bubble teams that will be sweating it out when the NCAA selection committee announces the field of 68 teams tonight.

Over the past few days, we have discussed in detail how several of the other bubble teams have fared, but now let’s review Syracuse’s resume, and if it is worthy of receiving an at-large NCAA Tournament bid (Jim Boeheim certainly thinks so).

We won’t discuss any court storming. We won’t play the blame game. And there will be no mention of Trevor Cooney.

No opinions, just facts (and not the alternative kind).

All we will do today is take a look at the numbers regarding Syracuse’s performance this season. Full disclosure, numbers are tricky. As ESPN fantasy football expert Matthew Berry notes in his yearly "100 Facts" column, numbers can easily be manipulated by the author to tell his own personal narrative. I will do my best to not do that. I will simply lay the numbers out there, and let you, the reader, interpret it however you choose to do so.

Let’s get to it.

14: number of games Syracuse has lost this season

0: number of teams that received at-large bids with 14 or more lasses last year

18: number of games Syracuse has won this season

10-8: Syracuse’s ACC record

8-6: Syracuse’s non-conference record

2: number of games Syracuse has won on the road

3: number of wins Syracuse has over top 10 ranked teams

.5442: Syracuse’s RPI rating

83: the number of teams that have a higher RPI rating than Syracuse

11.0: Syracuse’s BPI rating

30: the number of teams that have a higher BPI rating than Syracuse

62: Syracuse’s strength of schedule ranking

33: the deficit Syracuse lost to St. John’s by on Dec. 21

10: Syracuse’s margin of victory over then-No. 6 Florida State on Jan. 28

5: Number of wins Syracuse has over RPI top 50 teams

5: Number of losses Syracuse has to RPI 100+ teams


As the numbers above clearly indicate, there is a good argument to be made for Syracuse to both make and miss the NCAA Tournament. It is all up to what the selection committee puts greater emphasis on: marquee wins or bad losses, BPI or RPI, conference record or non-conference record.

What do you think will happen? Will Syracuse make the NCAA Tournament, or will the Orange be spurned by the NCAA selection committee. Vote below!