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Latest look at Syracuse men’s basketball’s ACC Tournament seeding opportunities

After beating Boston College, how do things look for the Orange?

NCAA Basketball: Syracuse at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

After wrapping up a season sweep over Boston College on Tuesday night, the Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team is now 17-13 overall and 10-9 in conference play.

Though the NCAA Tournament remains a non-starter right now, there’s still an ACC Tournament to care about down in Greensboro, N.C. next week — as you’re certainly aware.

Things have cleared up a bit since we took a look at the Orange’s seeding possibilities last week, but there’s still uncertainty about where Syracuse can wind up.

Georgia Tech is not joining us at the ACC Tournament is there are only 14 teams in this year’s event. Here are the opportunities available for SU and how they get there:

Fifth Place

How they get there:

  • Finish 11-9 while avoiding a tie with Clemson
  • Finish 10-10 while avoiding a tie with Clemson OR NC State

Syracuse has lost games to both Clemson and NC State, so they lose the tiebreaker with either. However, State’s already picked up a 10th loss, so the Wolfpack are out of the equation if the Orange beat Miami. Clemson has Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech to close the season.

SU can’t finish tied with Clemson or NC State to stay in fifth. But they can finish ahead of both AND with the same record as Notre Dame (via win over Virginia) and stay in fifth as well.

Sixth Place

How they get there:

  • Finish behind Clemson (while avoiding tiebreaker issue with NC State)
  • Finish behind Notre Dame (while avoiding tiebreaker issues with NCSU/Clemson)
  • Finish tied with Clemson OR NC State, with none of Clemson/NCSU/ND in front of them

Obviously having a team (Clemson or Notre Dame) with a better record makes it impossible for Syracuse to finish higher than sixth. SU can also hang onto the sixth seed if they’re tied with just one of Clemson or State. In a four-way tiebreaker, Syracuse actually finishes last. Same goes for a tiebreaker with both the Pack and Tigers.

Seventh Place

How they get there:

  • Finish behind Clemson AND Notre Dame (while avoiding tiebreaker issue with NC State)
  • Finish tied with Clemson AND NC State (but not Notre Dame)
  • Finish behind Clemson and tied with NC State (but not Notre Dame)

Similar to above, as better records obviously get better seeds. Syracuse can finish behind Clemson and Notre Dame (both 9-9 right now), but not NC State (already 9-10). If State loses their last game against Wake Forest, then it’s feasible to avoid the tiebreaker. Otherwise, nope.

The Tigers and State can still finish tied with ‘Cuse if they both go 10-10. A 9-11 record is still on the table for Notre Dame if they lose to both Florida State and Virginia Tech. As mentioned a four-way tie puts the Orange in eighth.

Eighth Place

How they get there:

  • Finish behind Clemson AND Notre Dame, AND tied with NC State
  • Finish behind Notre Dame AND tied with Clemson AND NC State
  • Finish in four-way tie at 10-10 with Clemson, NC State and Notre Dame

Noted both above. If Clemson and Notre Dame both go 11-9, and SU and State go 10-10, the Orange finish behind the Wolfpack. If the Irish go 11-9 and all of SU, State and Clemson go 10-10, the Orange finish behind both. Syracuse also finishes behind all three teams in a tiebreaker scenario at 10-10, with the worst record against the other teams in question.


Which of these seeds is the preference? if Syracuse has a magical run in them, it doesn’t really matter who they face. But obviously we’d like to maximize wins just the same, so perhaps anything that gets us Duke or Virginia in the quarterfinals — while also avoiding North Carolina in the second round — sounds good?