After the Louisville game was cancelled on Wednesday, we talked about the rest of the Syracuse Orange men’s basketball schedule and the opportunities left to build an NCAA Tournament resume. That’s an important part of the postseason conversation around this team, but the other piece of that is where they stand right now.
As you know, SU’s currently 10-5 overall and 4-4 in the ACC. But where are they in various bracketology projections? We take a look below, to see just how close they are to potentially making the field.
Blogging the Bracket: First Four Out
On Wednesday morning, Chris Dobbertean had the ACC has a six-bid league, with Louisville and Clemson as 9-seeds and UNC getting a 10. He had Syracuse third on the list of “first four out” teams — but a home win over Louisville could’ve potentially vaulted them into a play-in game for the time being (Stanford, Colorado State, Richmond and Loyola-Chicago currently inhabit those spots). SU has three games remaining against squads currently included in the Blogging the Bracket field (at Clemson, at Louisville, vs. North Carolina). A win over any of those teams would go a long way provided they can at least win the games they’re supposed to elsewhere.
ESPN’s Joe Lunardi: Out of the Field
The major thing to happen to Syracuse’s resume since Lunardi compiled his bracket on Tuesday was a double-digit loss for Virginia Tech. So no help there. Definitely more teams to leap over by his account, though the Orange still ultimately decide their own fate.
Team Rankings: Next Four Out
These picks are up-to-date as of last night’s action. They’re slightly higher on some of the remaining ACC opponents, however, with Louisville as a 7-seed, Clemson a 9 and UNC a 10. Unfortunately, they’re not impressed with Virginia Tech, who’s also a 9-seed in the bracket.
CBS Sports: First Four Out
Jerry Palm’s picks on Monday saw SU fourth among the first four out, behind Wichita State, Utah State and Loyola-Chicago. The Orange have more opportunities to improve their resume than any of those squads, AND Palm had the Hokies as a 4-seed before this week’s loss to Pitt. He has Clemson and Louisville as 8-seeds, but Carolina as an 11.
Bleacher Report: Last Four In
Syracuse was the last team in when this was compiled, and as we’ve covered, nothing that’s happened since has helped. A win over Clemson on the road would at least temporarily cure a lot of ills.
Bracket Matrix: Next Four Out
Bracket Matrix compiles everyone else’s brackets, so this isn’t a pick as much as an average. Still, it’s good to see this as a way to best sort out various errors and biases for and against SU. Duke is directly above the Orange on average, and ‘Cuse will have a shot to fix that when they go to Durham on Feb. 22, plus the other games against teams listed in the field.
While SU’s chances for “big” wins are dwindling, there are still numerous opportunities to collect quadrant 1 or 2 victories, as James pointed out in yesterday’s comments — assuming no more games get cancelled, of course. There’s also the ACC Tournament, should it occur.
At 47th in NET rating, Syracuse is somehow fifth in the ACC by that metric, which is both interesting and an indictment on the conference this year. One now has to hope that the better teams left on the schedule maintain good enough rankings (debatable with many of them hanging around the 50-75 mark) to make those wins count, while SU also has to win the games they should. That’s tough given teams left... along with Syracuse’s minimal end-of-regular-season success since joining the ACC. The Orange had seven straight 2-4 finishes prior to last year’s 3-3 mark).