The Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team is 14-12 (7-8 in the ACC) and has virtually no shot to make the NCAA Tournament, barring a miracle run to a conference championship in Greensboro. If we’re looking for hints they can pull that off, it obviously starts with wins — and closing out the regular season strong. Unfortunately, the end of regular seasons have been a persistent issue for the Orange since 2013 (SU’s last season in the Big East).
As you may recall, we wrote something like this article last year. At the time, Syracuse was trying to avoid its seventh straight 2-4 finish to the regular season. On cue, they went 2-4 yet again. but a great win over Louisville in that stretch was enough to help mitigate another weak finish.
Syracuse has five games left on this year’s schedule, and is already 0-1 with regard to the final six games. That doesn’t mean they’re going 2-4 (or worse) again. But it doesn’t start them off on the best foot.
If you forgot, here’s how the last seven seasons have shaken out:
- Wins - DePaul, Providence
- Losses - Georgetown, Marquette, Louisville, Georgetown
- Wins - Maryland, Florida State
- Losses - Boston College, Duke, Virginia, Georgia Tech
- Wins - Louisville, Notre Dame
- Losses - Pitt, Duke, Virginia, NC State
- Wins - Boston College, NC State
- Losses - Louisville, Pitt, North Carolina, Florida State
- Wins - Duke, Georgia Tech
- Losses - Pitt, Louisville, Georgia Tech, Louisville
- Wins - Clemson, Miami
- Losses - NC State, North Carolina, Duke, Boston College
- Wins - Louisville, Wake Forest
- Losses - Duke, North Carolina, Virginia, Clemson
For the first time during this ignominious streak, Syracuse repeated a win over an opponent last year, recording their second victory over the Cards. With a third win over Louisville out of the question now, the selections for the “two” in this year’s 2-4 finish are Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh, North Carolina, Boston College and Miami. UNC and Pitt haven’t been wins in previous 2-4 finishes, so perhaps this is the year on those?
Since we already know what happens in these remaining games means little-to-nothing with regard to an NCAA Tournament trip, the main reason to avoid a 2-4 finish is to help keep the streak of seasons finishing .500 or above alive. SU’s finished .500 or better every year since 1970 (when they went 12-12 under Roy Danforth). Going 2-4 this time around (2-3 from here on out) would put Syracuse at 16-15, so they’d need a win in the ACC Tournament to make sure the streak survives.
If you want to watch Syracuse try to stave off another 2-4 finish, they’ll be at the Dome on Saturday taking on Georgia Tech. You can buy tickets here, if you haven’t purchased them already.