Today is the day. The Syracuse Orange will know whether it has received an invtitation to the NCAA Tournament or whether it has been relegated to the NIT for the second year in a row. But before the committee decides the fate of the Orange we decided to take one last look at Syracuse’s resume. It should be noted that games are still being played and might affect these numbers ever so marginally, but for all intents and purposes, these numbers should be locked in for the most part.
Syracuse, of course, finished the season 20-13 and 8-10 in league play. The Orange got a little help from Buffalo who won its conference tournament and moved all the way up to 25 in RPI, solidifying its spot for a fourth Q1 win for the Orange. This is outstanding news. Aside from Buffalo in Q1, Syracuse has a signature win over Clemson that it picked up last Saturday and Syracuse has solid road wins over Miami and Louisville.
Syracuse has two Q2 wins over Virginia Tech and Maryland. Toledo finished 76 in RPI, just one position shy of an additional Q2 win. How heavily the committee values the quadrant system remains to be seen as this is the inaugural year of that system. We’ll have more color on that before the night is over.
Aside from victories, the Orange Syracuse has an RPI of 39, which ranks adequately with other bubble teams. The Orange have an overall strength of schedule of 15 and a non-conference strength of schedule of 13. FWIW, Syracuse played at least four NCAA Tournament teams in the non-conference, five if St. Bonaventure gets a bid. The Orange also played UConn on a neutral, Maryland at home and Georgetown on the road.
Syracuse finished 4-6 in road games this season and 2-2 on neutrals. The Orange have 2 RPI top-25 wins, 4 top-50 wins and 8 top-100 wins.
“Every coach in the country thinks his team is a tournament team, anybody thats anywhere near. As I said yesterday we’ve got the best strength of schedule we’ve had in years, 15, 20, both non-conference and conference. Our RPI was 42 going into today. With that RPI and SOS, that’s pretty good. Last year we didn’t win road games. (This year) we won at Miami, we won at Louisville. We won 4 or 5 road games. It’ll be close,” Jim Boeheim said following Syracuse’s loss to UNC at the ACC Tournament.
None of this is to suggest Syracuse deserves a bid, nor is it to say Syracuse is not deserving of the bid. We will all have to wait and see how the committee evaluates things and live with the result.
TBS will be airing the show at 6pm ET in which all 68 teams will be released within the first 10 minutes of the show. No bracket leaks, no long waiting times. The Syracuse Orange will know its tournament fate before 6:10pm.
How are you bringing in the show and what are your thoughts before the field is released? Leave your anxieties at length in the comment section.