Along with SU, six other Atlantic Coast Conference schools were selected in the prediction, including Louisville (2 seed), NC State (2), Notre Dame (7), Georgia Tech (7), Boston College (9), and Florida State (12).
Yes, the season hasn’t started yet. But, I still think Charlie’s prediction is way off.
In my opinion, having Tiana Mangakahia back after her bout with breast cancer last year is the cherry on top of this 2020-21 Orange squad. The combination of Kiara Lewis, who was recently ranked No. 22 in ESPN’s top 25 players in women’s college basketball 2020-21, Emily Engstler, and a top freshman class is more than enough for ‘Cuse to earn a sixth seed. Add Tiana back in the mix, six is way too low for Syracuse.
A prediction that I more align with is ESPN analyst LaChina Robinson, who chose ‘Cuse as a Final Four finalist and a team to watch. LaChina also picked UConn, Louisville, and South Carolina as her Final Four teams.
LaChina Robinson, ESPN analyst: I am looking forward to watching Syracuse. The return of Tiana Mangakahia after she beat breast cancer is the story of the year in our sport. Syracuse is laced with McDonald’s All Americans, including Emily Engstler, who is on the brink of playing her best basketball, and Kamilla Cardoso, who could be the next coming of Kayla Alexander. With Mangakahia’s vision and passing ability, everyone on her team becomes a bigger scoring threat. The explosive Kiara Lewis was the only Syracuse player who averaged in double figures last season and can now move to the wing to focus on getting buckets. Coach Quentin Hillsman has a deep, talented bench and a Syracuse system that doesn’t change no matter the season. That is particularly important this year with a shortened preseason and less time with your team. With the inspiration of Mangakahia, this will be a Final Four season for the Orange.
Like Robinson said above, with Tiana repping the Orange and White again this year, 2020-21 could be a Final Four season for Syracuse. The last (and only) time the Orange went to the Final Four was in 2016, where they defeated Washington 80-59 to advance to the Championship. Connecticut defeated Syracuse in the Final, 82-51.
Once the season starts, I would expect Charlie to move the Orange up. A sixth seed is just way too low for Coach Quentin Hillsman squad (just like No. 23 in the AP Poll is too low, but I would expect that to change very soon as well).
All 22 Syracuse games will be televised this season with 15 of them on national TV. Orange Nation, there is no excuse to not watch WBB this year (or any year)! Don’t miss what could potentially be a championship season.