The Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician staff gathered for another round table to pencil in our Women’s Final Four picks and to try and predict how far the Syracuse Orange can go in the 2019 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament.
Third-seeded Syracuse opens its tournament on Saturday at 1 p.m. ET against Fordham at the Carrier Dome.
Syracuse is a heavy favorite to make it to the Sweet 16, where they will likely clash with No. 2 seed Oregon in Portland. While some may be weary of it being a pseudo-home game for the Ducks, keep in mind the Orange played them to the wire in a two-point loss (75-73) in Eugene back in November.
Syracuse can definitely overcome the Ducks. Both teams match up with super stars (Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu versus Syracuse’s Tiana Mangakahia) and can light up a scoreboard with potent offenses. Oregon finished third in the NCAA in scoring offense (86.1 ppg) while Syracuse finished eighteenth (77.8).
That said, Syracuse absolutely has a shot at getting back to the Final Four. They have familiarity with the Ducks and No. 1 Mississippi State in its region. (The Orange played the eventual-national runner-up Bulldogs to a 76-65 loss in Las Vegas last season.) This year’s Orange has a deeper bench and the ability to space the floor with Miranda Drummond and Digna Strautmane outside and Amaya Finklea and reserve Maeva Djaldi-Tabdi inside.
As for a Women’s Final Four, it’s almost impossible to not pick chalk in this. I do feel the home environment benefits Oregon in the Sweet 16 and the Ducks take down the Orange for the second time this season.
Final Four: Baylor, Notre Dame, Louisville, Oregon. Notre Dame over Baylor in the National Championship.
Syracuse shoudl absolutely get to the Sweet 16, but what happens from there is largely based on whether they can drive the lane and avoid relying too heavily on outside shooting (sound familiar?). Likely Sweet 16 opponent Oregon will be playing what amounts to a home game and they’re familiar with us — as we are with them. I think this is where the road ends, but would love to see SU win an extra game and get to the Elite 8.
Final Four is pretty chalky, as per usual: Notre Dame, Oregon, Louisville, Baylor
Hosting the first two games is a big deal, but the Orange getting to, presumably, play Oregon in the Sweet 16 is a blessing in disguise. They’ve already played the Ducks once on the road and almost won. They won’t be intimidated, and even though Mississippi State is the better team, I think the core of seniors get this is the last chance at another Final Four and shoot the lights out.
Final Four: Baylor, Cuse, ND, UConn (ND wins it all)
I think Syracuse will win two games in the Dome and advance to face Oregon in what will be a road game in Portland. The two teams played a classic game in November with the Ducks rallying late for the win. Unfortunately for the Orange they cannot get revenge and drop another close game as Sabrina Ionescu outduels Tiana Mangakahia in what should be an incredible game to watch.
Final Four: Baylor, Oregon, ND, UConn with ND winning over Oregon
What do you think? Who do you have in your Final Four and how far do you think Syracuse can go? Join in on the discussion below.