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Syracuse basketball scheduling smart, but 2019 NCAA chances shouldn’t be in doubt

Scheduling conversations of a different kind, for once...

NCAA Basketball: St. Bonaventure at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

With the Syracuse Orange men’s basketball non-conference schedule complete, we now know every opponent SU will face during the 2018-19 season.

In recent years, Syracuse’s non-conference schedule and wins away from home have made the difference between the Orange getting into the NCAA Tournament and being left out. Syracuse.com asks if this year’s non-conference slate will help the team make the NCAA Tournament, and while it can’t hurt, I also think we should be firmly off the proverbial bubble come Selection Sunday in 2019.

Without getting too far ahead of ourselves: Last year’s team returns virtually everyone, has several NBA prospects who will be suiting up for us at the Dome (and beyond), and is coming off an impressive and unexpected run to the Sweet 16 this past March.

I’m not expecting the Final Four by any means (though if you’d like to make it, go ahead, SU...). But with or without a challenging schedule, there’s already more than enough talent on the roster to place us among the top 20-25 teams in the country — and thus, safely in the field by a wide margin.

Smart scheduling can be credited for recent trips, and we should give a ton of props to SU and Kip Wellman for making it happen in three of the last four seasons. This year’s a quality schedule again. It just may only mean the difference between a 4 and 5 seed.

The rest of your Syracuse-related links below:

Will Syracuse basketball’s 2018-19 non-conference schedule help NCAA tournament chances? (Syracuse.com)

The quadrant system still used the old Ratings Percentage Index (RPI), but it gave teams more credit for playing either on neutral courts or away from home. Buffalo (RPI 26) and St. Bonaventure (RPI 27) wound up being key games for Syracuse. They were two of SU’s three Quadrant 1 games in the non-conference portion of the schedule. The third was against Kansas on a neutral floor.

Syracuse basketball to get visit from elite 2019 forward Quincy Guerrier (Syracuse.com)

Guerrier, who attends Thetford Academy, is ranked No. 46 in the 2019 class by 247Sports.com. Earlier this summer, Guerrier said he planned to graduate early this December and enroll in college immediately. Guerrier is high on Syracuse’s list of priority recruits in the 2019 class.

Syracuse’s Logan Hicks is a third-generation talent (The Hockey Writers)

Hicks is a native of Scottsdale, Arizona. While hockey roots may run very deeply in her family, the sport is still not readily found in this neck of the United States. Opportunities to play at an elite level needed to be sought elsewhere, but more than anything else Hicks’ time spent training with her father is what really helped her blossom into the player that she is today.

Syracuse football players: Strength and conditioning staff ‘safety-first type of group’ (Syracuse.com)

“They say, I don’t know the exact saying, but it’s like, ‘Work until you’re tired,’” redshirt junior cornerback Chris Fredrick said. “So if we’re running and they start to see guys die down, not going full speed anymore, sometimes they’ll cut the run there. They say, ‘You’re not getting better if you’re not running full speed.’

Podcast; ACC college football season preview (Athlon Sports)

Which teams we like more and less since the Athlon Sports preview magazine was published in the spring. Mitch makes his favorite over/under season win total picks. What’s the deal with Florida State? Are the Seminoles ready to return to national prominence?

Syracuse football inexplicably turns to Stephen A. Smith for help (New York Post)

Predicting the likelihood of every potential MAC upset over the Power 5 (Hustle Belt)

What if college football had preseason games? (Eleven Warriors)

Notre Dame football: The Shamrock Series must come to an end (One Foot Down)

College football AP Top 25 Poll released (AP)