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An abridged history of Syracuse basketball’s NCAA Tournament results by seed under Jim Boeheim

Jim Boeheim has now taken Syracuse to 34 NCAA Tournaments in his 43 year tenure.

NCAA Final Four Tournament, Syracuse University Orangemen v University of Texas at Austin Longhorns Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Did you know that Jim Boehiem’s Syracuse head coaching tenure predates the NCAA Tournament seeding process? The NCAA didn’t adopt a seeding policy for the tournament until 1978, at which point Boeheim already had two full seasons worth of head coaching experience under his belt.

His Orange squad earned a No. 8 seed in this year’s tournament and will square off against the No. 9 seed Baylor Bears in the West Region. This is the second time ever in program history that Syracuse has been a No. 8 seed.

Boehiem has now brought Syracuse to the NCAA Tournament 34 times in his 43 year head coaching career. With the second ever No. 8 seed being given out in program history, we compiled an abridged history of how the Orange have done in March Madness under every seed line in Boeheim’s career (H/T: OrangeHoops for reference). No, we really didn’t have anything better to do.

No. 1 Seed

Syracuse has appeared as a No. 1 seed three times under Boeheim. Those years were 1980, 2010 and 2012. The Orange have never made it to the Final Four as a one seed. The furthest tournament run as a one was in 2012 when the Ohio State Buckeyes took down Syracuse in the Elite Eight after Fab Melo’s suspension. Syracuse lost in the Sweet 16 in 1980 and 2010, the latter year to Butler after Arinze Onuaku missed the tournament after an injury against Georgetown in the Big East Tournament.

No. 2 Seed

Interestingly, Jim Boehiem hasn’t had a No. 2 seed since the turn of the century, but Syracuse has appeared as a two seed on five separate occasions in 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991. Syracuse lost in the second round in 1986, went all the way to the National Championship game in 1987 before losing to Indiana and Keith Smart never mind, and reached the Elite Eight in 1989 after blowing a 13 point lead to Illinois.

Syracuse won the Big East regular season in 1990 and 1991, but lost in the Sweet 16 and first round in those two years, respectively.

Anthony cuts down the net
NEW ORLEANS - APRIL 7: Carmelo Anthony #15 of Syracuse cuts down the net after he and his team defeated Kansas 81-78 during the championship game of the NCAA Men’s Final Four Tournament on April 7, 2003 at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. Anthony was named the tournaments most outstanding player. (Photo by Craig Jones/Getty Images)
Photo by Craig Jones/Getty Images

No. 3 Seed

This will be the seed line Syracuse fans are sure to remember as in 2003 Carmelo Anthony led the then Orangemen to the program’s only National Championship. Aside from that season though, Syracuse has been a No. 3 seed on five other occasions in 1984, 1988, 2009, 2011 and 2014. The Orange made the Sweet 16 in both 1984 and 2009 before bowing out to Virginia and Oklahoma on those respective years. In, 1998, 2011 and 2014, Syracuse never made it past the second round.

No. 4 Seed

Syracuse has faired well as a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament, making it to at least the Sweet 16 in five out six times. The Orange made it to the second weekend in 1979, 1994 and 2000 and made it all the way to the Final Four as a No. 4 seed in both 1996 and 2013. The 1996 team overachieved before it lost in the National Championship game to Kentucky and the Orange lost to Michigan in the 2013 Final Four.

The only year Syracuse failed to make the Sweet 16 as a No. 4 seed was in 2005 when SU lost to No. 13 seed Vermont. Terrence Roberts has some thoughts on that game.

No. 5 Seed

In just four showings, Syracuse has made it to the Sweet 16 twice as a No. 5 seed in 1998. The Orange(men) also appeared on this seed line back in 2001 and 2006 but lost in the second and first round respectively. Syracuse fans will likely remember the 2006 year as Gerry McNamara willed SU to bubble status to Big East Tournament champs before falling to Texas A&M in the first round of the big dance. In 2004, a fifth-seeded Syracuse team beat BYU by five, then Maryland by two, before 8-seed Alabama upset them 80-71 in the Sweet 16.

2004 NCAA Round 3: Alabama v Syracuse Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

No. 6 Seed

In 1983 and 1992 Syracuse lost in the second round of the tournament as a No. 6 seed both times.

No. 7 Seed

Syracuse has never made a Sweet 16 in two tries as a No. 7 seed, falling to Georgia Tech in the second round of 1985 and also in the second round of 1995 to defending National Champion Arkansas in an overtime game by just two points.

No. 8 Seed

Syracuse has been a No. 8 seed just one other time under Boeheim. In 1999, Syracuse lost to Oklahoma State in the first round as the Orange never led once during that opening round game.

No. 9 Seed

Never a No. 9 seed appearance by Syracuse, although this year was about as close as SU has been.

Syracuse v Virginia Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

No. 10 Seed

In Syracuse’s first and only showing as a No. 10 seed in 2016, the Orange parlayed their tournament invite all the way to the Final Four. Not bad for a team that some considered destined for an NIT berth that season.

No. 11 Seed

Last season, Syracuse once again turned heads in March as a double-sigit seed. The 2018 Orange team won three games in five days as the last team selected into the field of 68. Syracuse played in the First Four and knocked off Arizona State, TCU and Michigan State to get to the Sweet 16.

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