After the Syracuse Orange men’s lacrosse team royally screwed up their ability to advance their seeding situation at all by losing in the NCAA Tournament, they’re sort of waiting for everything else to shake out before knowing their fate.
Syracuse currently sits at 9-4 (2-2 in the ACC) with notable wins over Army, Duke and Cornell. That’s a quality resume for sure, and one that will get them into the NCAAs. But where will they land?
College Crosse looked at things a week ago, and there, the Orange are a 4-seed. The loss here to UNC potentially locks the Heels into the field. Ranking the full slate of at-large schools, it probably looks something like this:
- Duke Blue Devils (11-3)
- Virginia Cavaliers (11-3)
- Syracuse Orange (9-4)
- Yale Bulldogs (10-2)
- Maryland Terrapins (11-3)
- North Carolina Tar Heels (8-6)
- Cornell Big Red (9-4)
- Notre Dame Fighting Irish (7-5)
- Ohio State Buckeyes (8-3)
Syracuse is safely in the field by a long mile, albeit a little shuffled down to No. 5 overall. Conference tournaments can keep shifting that around a bit, for sure. But it would seem improbable at this point that the Orange can fall outside of a home game in round one.
The worst-case scenario probably includes UNC winning the ACC, Maryland taking the B1G and Yale taking Ivy, which would shift some better teams in the line a bit and maybe knock the Orange as far back as the No. 8 seed.
But right now, seeds probably look something like this:
1. Penn State (11-1)* vs. Marist*/Vermont*
2. Duke (11-3) vs. Mount St. Mary’s*
3. Virginia (11-3) vs. Delaware*
4. Penn (8-3)* vs. Villanova (8-5)*
5. Syracuse (9-4) vs. Cornell (9-4)
6. Yale (11-3) vs. Air Force*
7. Maryland (11-3) vs. Notre Dame (7-5)
8. Loyola (10-3) vs. North Carolina (8-6)
The big caveat above, for those more used to the way basketball handles these things: unseeded teams aren’t necessarily in S-curve order, but rather, matched up via convenient geography. Therefore, when Syracuse is ranked and Cornell is not, you end up with this matchup in the first round more often than not. It’s lame from a variation standpoint as well as an advantage standpoint since the Big Red are a rival we already face in the regular season. But that’s just how it goes.
Should Syracuse get through that first round game, they’d get a winnable matchup at Penn or potentially a game against Villanova. That would be all that’s stopping the Orange from advancing to the program’s first Final Four since 2013. This is already the longest Final Four drought for SU since the NCAA started sponsoring a men’s lacrosse tournament.
Where do you see Syracuse seeded right now? Do you want to face Cornell again just a year after losing 10-9 to the Big Red in the first round? Weigh in below.