While we remain pretty worried about the Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team’s NCAA Tournament chances, they at least started down the right path this week. Following a surprising win over UNC, they picked up yet another needed victory over the Clemson Tigers. That wraps up SU’s regular season at 9-7 in the ACC.
And now, we wait...
Kevin will get into the bubble conversation, but we’ll just limit this conversation to ACC Tournament seeding situations. Things have changed a bit since Tuesday. First, the current standings:
- Florida State Seminoles (11-3)
- Virginia Cavaliers (12-4)
- Virginia Tech Hokies (9-4)
- Louisville Cardinals (8-4)
- Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (10-6)
- Clemson Tigers (9-6)
- North Carolina Tar Heels (9-6)
- Syracuse Orange (9-7)
- Duke Blue Devils (9-8)
- N.C. State Wolfpack (9-8)
- Pittsburgh Panthers (6-9)
- Notre Dame Fighting Irish (6-11)
- Wake Forest Demon Deacons (3-14)
- Miami Hurricanes (3-15)
- Boston College Eagles (2-10)
And here’s what needs to happen for the two possible outcomes:
How they get there:
- North Carolina loses to Duke, AND
- Clemson loses to Pittsburgh
In this scenario, all three teams finish 9-7 in league play and would need to consult the three-way tiebreaker to determine who finishes sixth, seventh and eighth, respectively. There, Clemson is sixth because of a 2-1 record against the other two. Then Syracuse is seventh at 2-2 (having split both meetings with both teams). UNC’s 1-2 record slots them into the 8-seed.
How they get there:
- Either Clemson beats Pittsburgh or North Carolina beats Duke
Much simpler here. If the Tigers win, they’re 10-6 and then no matter what happens, UNC is either 10-6 a well or wins a tiebreaker with Syracuse due to a Heels win over Florida State. If UNC wins and Clemson loses, Clemson also takes that tiebreaker with Syracuse due to their own win over the top-seeded ‘Noles.
Ultimately, no matter which of the seeds they wind up getting, it sets up a tough matchup with either Florida State (No. 1) or Virginia (No. 2) in the ACC quarterfinals — even they even win that second round matchup with team TBD.
Being a seventh seed means getting the winner of the 10/15 game. That 10-seed could be NC State, as the Blue Devils would’ve beaten UNC to make that happen.
If Syracuse is the eighth seed — the more likely outcome — then they’ll either face one of those teams as the 9-seed. Duke makes it happen by just beating UNC. NC State is No. 9 with a win over ND and a Blue Devils loss.
Obviously we’d rather face State. Though the Blue Devils have seemed to be in a bit of a tailspin of late, the matchup’s bad for Syracuse. The Orange need wins most importantly, so we’ll face whoever. SU’s odds of making the NCAA Tournament won’t change a ton beating either Duke or NC State. Things would shift considerably if they can defeat UVA or FSU.
What would you prefer here? Share your own seeding thoughts below.