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Jim Boeheim makes very good points regarding Syracuse’s postseason resume

The Orange will be sweating out these next few days awaiting its future.

NCAA Basketball: ACC Conference Tournament-Syracuse vs Miami
Syracuse Orange head coach Jim Boeheim reacts as he coaches against the Miami Hurricanes during the second half of an ACC Conference Tournament game at Barclays Center.
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

It all started without having an opinion.

It then escalated to everyone coach on the bubble believes their team should be in.

And then we finally found out what Jim Boeheim thinks of his team and its resume.

“The facts in the case, I’m not going to say whether we should get in or not,” Boeheim said. “Last year we had three good wins against a top team in the country, Texas A&M, Connecticut who was not ranked (Jim was wrong, UConn was ranked 25th), and Duke was at about 18 (they were 20th). This year we have three good wins, three teams in the Top 10 when we beat them. I see all the time on the bracketology thing, it says Syracuse has Top 50 wins, and so does this team. That team doesn’t have any wins against the Top 20.”

All fair points, even if his facts were a little shaky.

I kept hearing that Syracuse needed to watch out for Wake Forest during the ACC Tournament. Obviously, the Demon Deacons lost last night to Virginia Tech — but compare resumes. Wake Forest has one Top 25 victory, while SU has three Top 10 wins. The Orange also won the head-to-head matchup and finished higher in the ACC.

“The committee has always looked at good wins,” Boeheim said.

If that’s true, Syracuse is ahead of virtually every team on the bubble. Not many teams in the country can say it has three Top 10 wins — and no one else on the bubble can.

“Everyone says they’re at home,” the Hall of Famer said of SU’s Top 10 wins. “The tournament is not played at home and not played on the road. It’s played at neutral sites. We have better wins than we had last year. We have more wins. We have Miami, we have Clemson on the road, we have Wake Forest. We didn’t have those wins last year. We have a couple more non-conference losses this year, and that’s something that will, I’m sure, be taken into consideration.”

As it should. There’s no excuse for a 33-point home loss to St. John’s, or losses to Georgetown, UConn and Boston College.

Just imagine if SU went 2-2 in those games — we’re not having this bubble conversation. The Orange would be in.

“People keep talking about road losses. In the ACC, there’s four teams going to the tournament that have three wins in conference on the road, and we have two. The only team with a winning conference record on the road is North Carolina, and they’re Top 10 in the country. They’re 5-4, I think. And there’s two or three other really good teams in our conference that have four road wins.”

NCAA Basketball: Duke at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

That, to me, was the most important factor. Many people are looking at what SU has done away from home -- but it’s not much worse than teams that are securely in the tournament.

“Those are the facts,” he continued. “The committee is going to have to figure out where it all falls. I feel — well, I know our profile is better this year than it was last year in terms of top wins. I think the committee, from what I’ve gathered through my years, is looking for teams that can win games in the tournament. I think we can. I think to look at today and say, oh, they lost to Miami — Miami was a Top 25 team in the country last (week). It came down to a one-point game, and that was it. I mean, one game? That shouldn’t mean anything.”


I see it both ways for Syracuse’s fate. One part of me believes SU is in based on the three Top 10 wins and its impressive ACC play. But a part of me can’t get the Boston College, Georgetown, St. John’s and UConn loss out of my head.

Like I said above, if SU goes 2-2 in those games — we’re not having this conversation.

But these last few years haven’t been easy. Two years ago, SU had its self-imposed ban after an 18-13 season. And last year, the Orange squeaked in and made an improbable Final Four run.

Here’s to another Selection Sunday that we’ll all be sweating out.

But to those wondering, I think Syracuse will be dancing come next week. Whether that’s a play-in game in Dayton or avoiding that — my thought is good news will be coming to Central New York on Sunday evening.