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What if March Madness worked like the College Football Playoff?

There are pluses and minuses for Syracuse here.

NCAA Basketball: Duke at Syracuse Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

While college basketball is largely still controlled by a small collection of bluebloods, its postseason is increasingly a crapshoot dictated by matchups and hot streaks. That provides a ton of entertainment in the lead-up to crowning a champion, of course. But it doesn’t necessarily do the best job of deciding the best team every year.

On the other hand, college football is the exact opposite. The four-team College Football Playoff has featured a lot of one-sided matchups and minimal entertainment value beyond the immediate fan bases involved — but it DOES result in a true champion being crowned, and one that you could conceivably refer to as the best team in the sport when the dust settles.

SB Nation’s Rock Chalk Talk (Kansas blog) took a look at what college basketball would look like if its structure more resembled the latter over the years. They look specifically at how many “Final Fours” the Jayhawks would’ve participated in had the tournament only featured one-seeds. But they also look at the other teams that would’ve been involved in those years.

Syracuse has been a one-seed three separate times — 1980, 2010, 2012 — and has never made the Final Four in any of those seasons. Having just four teams in the event would provide redemption opportunities for those squads. However, it would greatly diminish the number of Final Fours the Orange have participated in (six total), and wiped the 2003 title from the ledger.

For as much as the straightforward postseason sounds nice, think we’d rather get the random chance to spring the zone on unassuming coaches and maybe make a run, no?

That, plus the rest of your Syracuse-related links below:

What if college basketball had a 4-team playoff? (Rock Chalk Talk)

Unfortunately, that’s just the way it is, and apparently the powers-that-be don’t want to make even more money with a larger field, which to me is even more silly, but more on this later. Let’s look at the NCAA Tournament through the lens of college football, using our optical zoom feature to focus in on the Kansas Jayhawks. Yes, I know there are 350+ D1 basketball programs as opposed to 130+ D1 football programs, but we’re just going to pretend that doesn’t really matter.

Syracuse has cause for concern despite likely NCAA Tournament berth (Daily Orange)

Because of a weak bubble and a few marquee wins, Syracuse (19-12, 10-8 Atlantic Coast) will make the NCAA Tournament. It’ll be somewhere between an eight and 11 seed depending on the results of this week’s ACC tournament. But everything isn’t OK for SU. It still has issues all over the floor — guard play, the frontcourt and on the glass. For once, the edge of the bubble isn’t Syracuse’s biggest issue. The Orange’s shortcomings are.

Syracuse football WR Ed Hendrix out for remainder of spring practice (Syracuse.com)

Syracuse football wide receiver Ed Hendrix will miss the remainder of spring practice due to a lower-leg injury, SU Athletics announced on Monday. The injury will not require surgery. A redshirt freshman, Hendrix suited up for the first day of practice last Sunday before seeking medical attention during the open portion of the session. He walked into practice on Thursday wearing a boot on his right foot and using crutches.

The pilot sails no more: After four decades, ACC’s longtime TV partner signs off (News & Observer)

For decades, before cable became ubiquitous and ESPN became a monolith, the way to see ACC basketball was on a Raycom affiliate. Only in the past few years has ESPN eclipsed Raycom as the delivery vehicle for ACC basketball and football games. In the early days of ESPN, it merely carried Raycom’s broadcasts of the tournament. Now, with the August launch of ESPN’s ACC Network, Raycom is officially obsolete, at least financially.

6 questions on eve of ACC tournament with league commissioner John Swofford (Charlotte Observer)

Personally, I would prefer that college athletics be carved out and not legal to bet on, but that day has probably passed. So you need to accept that reality. You can’t have your collective heads stuck in the sand on this. I get a little bit concerned about having 10 different sets of circumstances in 10 different states.

Syracuse will face No. 1 seed Wisconsin in its 1st-ever NCAA Tournament game (Daily Orange)

ACC Expansion Teams: How Successful Have They Been? (Duke Basketball Report)

2019 ACC Tournament bracket, odds: Advanced computer model picks every game (CBS Sports)

Good coaching has greatly improved the ACC (Duke Basketball Report)