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Syracuse men’s basketball: season predictions from the TNIAAM staff

Welcome to the Red Autry Era.

NCAA Basketball: Empire Classic-Syracuse at Richmond Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange begin year one AB (After Boeheim) tonight when they welcome the New Hampshire Wildcats. With the season upon us, it’s time for the TNIAAM crew to make their season predictions. Bookmark this and prepare to applaud or roast us come March.

Kevin: 19-12, 10-10, NCAA First Round

I have no real idea what to expect in the Georgetown/Oregon games, but right now I’ve got Syracuse only losing two non-conference games, both in Hawaii. Seems a bit irrational optimism there, but these are my predictions and that’s what I’m feeling right now. I do think the Orange will be up and down during ACC play and head into the ACC Tournament firmly on the bubble. Two wins in DC will get the Orange into the NCAA Tournament as an 11 seed where they fall in the opening round.

Dom: 18-13, 10-10, no NCAA Tournament

Syracuse will go 8-3 in a worst-case scenario during the non-con schedule (two losses in Hawaii, one loss to someone in the G-Town/Oregon/LSU trio). I still believe that the top of the ACC is a gauntlet to face, but the rest of the conference is fairly manageable to play. The back-half of the ACC schedule is very doable, and if Autry can get his players to find their groove by the winter, Syracuse should be sitting right on the NCAA Tournament bubble. With that said, similar to Felisha Legette-Jack’s first season and the women’s team, year-one progress to me doesn’t necessarily correlate with a tournament bid.

Mike: 18-13, 10-10, NIT Semifinal

Pretty similar to Dom above, I think SU drops three of their four neutral site games but otherwise fights their way through the non-conference slate. The ACC portion is tough but only in bunches - and the last four games against Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, Louisville, and Clemson will be crucial for a shot at a playoff push. I think ‘Cuse falls just short of the big dance with a Day Two loss in the ACC Tournament, but Autry’s Orange atone for it by hosting an extra pair of games in the NIT and winning them both.

Szuba: 19-12, 12-8, NCAA Tournament First Round

This is a really difficult early conference schedule for such a young team with a new head coach, but I’ll say Syracuse gets seven wins in the non-conference, including 1-2 in Maui. Winning two of out Georgetown, Oregon and LSU would be helpful for the non-league résumé — which I think Syracuse will do. Those seven wins should be just enough to allow the Orange to stay in the hunt in ACC play where the middle of the conference is much closer together in competition than previous years. Syracuse has the talent to separate itself from the middle and into the top half of the ACC.

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Time to put your predictions on record in the comments.