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KenPom compares 2019 Syracuse to 2016, 2013 tournament teams... and 2014 UConn

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Interesting parallels here...

Syracuse v Virginia Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team is just two days away from tip-off in the NCAA Tournament. And as discussed yesterday, we’re apparently gaining some steam as an upset pick.

With this in mind, Ken Pomeroy compared 10 national title contenders to their closest matches NCAA Tournament team matches since 2007, to see if that history would tell us anything about this year’s squads. Syracuse was also mentioned as a team outside that group — but one that most closely compared with the 2016 and 2013 Orange clubs that made the Final Four. And also the 2014 UConn squad that surprised everyone and won the whole thing.

Now, that doesn’t mean this SU team will win the whole thing. But it seems relevant that there’s a comparison to be made there to a team that did (begrudgingly, of course, since two of the Huskies’ four titles were incredibly lucky — not that I’d complain if they were ours, though). Anyway...

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

KenPom: Finding comps from seasons past to size up the title contenders (The Athletic)

The Orange have made a cottage industry of bringing teams with undistinguished regular seasons to the dance and winning more games than you’d expect them to. Given their unique style, it’s not surprising that two of their top three comps are 2016 and 2013 Syracuse, which made unexpected trips to the Final Four.

Syracuse returns to Salt Lake City, site of one of its toughest losses (Syracuse.com)

“I can picture that towel over Arinze’s locker,’’ Mookie Jones, a sophomore on the 2010 team, said. “As he cried, I cried. I felt for my guy.’’ Syracuse had been a heavy favorite to go to the Final Four and challenge for the national championship until Arinze Onuaku, the Orange’s starting center, suffered an injury in the Big East Tournament. Onuaku would not play during the NCAA Tournament.

Which are the richest and poorest ACC football programs? (Syracuse.com)

To put that in perspective, that is less than half the revenue raked in by the most lucrative program in the ACC, showing the financial gap the Orange must compete with on the field. Syracuse’s revenue during the 2017 season was the ninth-highest figure out of 14 ACC schools.

Syracuse walk-ons rarely play, but they dream big and cherish little moments (Daily Orange)

“People might be surprised by this, but offensively they’re tough to guard,” Syracuse junior guard Tyus Battle said. “They see the zone every day. They know how to move the ball, and they see the weak points. They’re really engaged in practice. There have been times where they kill us offensively.”

Ranking 2019 NCAA tournament coaches as players, 1-68 (ESPN)

Boeheim played three seasons at Syracuse (1963-66), coming off the bench his first two seasons before becoming a starter as a senior. He averaged 14.6 points and 3.1 assists during the 1965-66 campaign, leading the Orange to the Elite Eight. Boeheim went on to play professionally with the Scranton Miners of the ABL.

Syracuse’s one-time heir apparent jolts a struggling Washington (New York Times)

Defensive slumps have nearly sunk Syracuse in recent weeks (Daily Orange)

Ten Teams to Trust Your Bracket With in the First Round (Sports Illustrated)

Report: Lions ‘met at length’ with WR Jamal Custis at Syracuse pro day (Lions Wire)

Even unranked teams can find success in the NCAA tournament (NCAA)