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Is Syracuse a more ‘deserving’ NCAA Tournament team than Louisville?

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NCAA Basketball: Syracuse at Louisville Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

It does become a bit of a squeeze to fit in daily links during game days and other busy news times (like tomorrow’s National Signing Day), so please excuse the infrequency of this post.

Still, we’re back at it today, and one major question on the mind of NBC Sports’ experts is whether the Syracuse Orange now has a better NCAA Tournament resume than Louisville, considering last night’s victory for the ‘Cuse. There’s obviously more to it than just the head-to-head matchup (see SU vs. Wake Forest last year). But if both teams continue on similar trajectories for the rest of the season, the Syracuse vs. Louisville question could be one to watch.

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Monday’s three things to know: Syracuse a more deserving tourney team than Louisville (NBC Sports)

Louisville, on the other end, is trending in the wrong direction. They have just one Quadrant 1 win and two Quadrant 2 wins. They’ve also lost three in a row and four of their last five, including back-to-back games at home against Quadrant 2 opponents. Most brackets currently have Louisville in and Syracuse out, and I’d love to hear the logic for why Louisville is currently a tournament team over Syracuse.

Syracuse basketball players trying to master the art of not fouling while being aggressive (Syracuse.com)

Brissett fouled out for the first time all season on Monday. Since ACC play started and the number of available bodies has dwindled (Howard Washington is out for the year; Bourama Sidibe is game-by-game, depending on his knee tendinitis), SU players have fouled out a total of six times in 11 games. Nobody has been disqualified more than once.

March Madness: Does a top RPI ranking predict NCAA Tournament success? (NCAA.com)

One bar in this chart jumps out immediately. The No. 14 team in RPI rankings has more wins per tournament than all ranks but Nos. 3, 4, and 6. If we look at those teams, we can see that six of the eight made the Sweet 16, three made the Final Four, and one — Louisville in 2012 — won the championship. Is there any reason the No. 14 RPI team has this much success?

‘Mysterious’ Syracuse lacrosse team needs Nate Solomon to be the man with answers (Syracuse.com)

“I think, if anything, he’s come back wanting to be the top dodger on attack,’’ Desko said. “If anything, we probably just have to, when the games come around, settle Nate down because I think he wants to be that guy and he wants to go hard all the time. We just need him to pick and choose when he goes to the goal.’’

Syracuse’s Gabrielle Cooper and Nikki Oppenheimer’s friendship started with an upset win (Daily Orange)

“It was a huge advantage for Nikki to walk on to campus and at least have a familiar face,” Josh Oppenheimer said. Since getting to Syracuse, Cooper has helped Oppenheimer more with adjusting to college life than on the court. The two are next-door neighbors and hang out frequently, going to practice and class together.

Bracketology 2018: Xavier would be No. 1 seed over Duke, Kansas if March Madness started today (SB Nation)

Syracuse expects to improve defense through a ‘variety’ of sets (Daily Orange)

Where will former Syracuse football commit Tyrone Sampson sign? (Syracuse.com)

Patriots DC Matt Patricia named head coach of Lions (NFL.com)

NFL Scouting Combine includes Syracuse zero invitees (NFL.com)