The Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team dropped a frustrating game to fellow NCAA Tournament hopeful Clemson on Saturday, and as a result, many of us are probably getting a little less comfortable about the Orange’s place in the field.
Syracuse is currently in, mind you, but the loss dropped the Orange to 19-12 on the year and robbed them of a Quadrant I win. A loss to BC or Pitt in the second round of the ACC Tournament could suddenly have us sweating a bit on Selection Sunday if chaos breaks out during Championship Week.
The experts seemingly agree with that assessment, as nearly all have moved us down to at least the 9-seed. Here’s the full rundown of where we could potentially be headed:
Fox Sports: South Region, vs. Iowa Hawkeyes
Fox remains a believer despite the Clemson loss, keeping Syracuse as an 8-seed. The lone publication to do so at the moment. Don’t really want to face Iowa, however.
The Athletic: South Region, vs. UCF Knights
ESPN: West Region, vs. Baylor Bears
CBS Sports: South Region, vs. Iowa State Cyclones
Sports Illustrated: West Region, Ole Miss Rebels
TeamRankings: West Region, vs. Iowa State
USA Today: West Region, vs. Seton Hall Pirates
Bracket Matrix*: East Region, vs. UCF (Bracket Matrix is an average of all bracket predictions)
This is where most have us, and rightfully so given the fact that SU’s lost four of five. There’s a varied group of teams above, some of which are more advantageous than others in terms of matchups. I’ll take Baylor, Seton Hall or Ole Miss. Don’t love facing Iowa State or UCF.
One saving grace above is that being slotted as the 9-seed in the West potentially means we’re still pretty far up the list. Can’t be a 9 in the East (the top region) because that would mean a second round matchup with fellow ACC team Virginia. So getting tossed to the second region, Gonzaga’s, means we’re technically the second-best 9 (could also just be indicative of where the bracket needed to shake out to accommodate league affiliations).
Also, as previously stated, sign me up for the West and the potential to get through to a Sweet 16 in Anaheim. Southern California’s sizeable Orange fan contingent would be a pretty nice boost should SU get that far.
SB Nation: East Region, vs. Wofford Terriers
Stadium: East Region, vs. Wofford
Washington Post: West Region, vs. Villanova Wildcats
This one has me concerned because Chris Dobbertean is typically among the most accurate bracketologists, and also has no problem being bullish on Syracuse when it’s called for. Appearances on the 10-line mean a win against BC/Pitt is an absolute necessity.
NOOOOOOO, to the ‘Nova matchup. Absolute death knell (plus then we have to hear about it for awhile after).
Yet to update:
Bleacher Report, NCAA.com
We’ll add to the list as projections are included for the last few publications there. Seem about right, otherwise, though?