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Syracuse women’s basketball: the Orange earn NIT bid

Felisha Legette-Jack’s team came oh-so-close to sneaking into the dance in her first season back.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Syracuse at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

While it was an impressive turnaround for Syracuse Orange women’s basketball in the first season under coach Felisha Legette-Jack, the program fell just short of a 2023 NCAA Tournament bid after the dust settled on Selection Sunday.

Syracuse finished as the first team in “Next Four Out” status according to ESPN’s final bracketology update. Creme said Syracuse’s ACC Tournament game versus the eighth-seeded NC State Wolfpack, which the Orange lost 83-58, was considered a “must-win” to keep the team’s tournament hopes alive.

Still, there will be postseason play for the Orange this year. The team announced after the Selection Sunday show that it received an invite to the 2023 Women’s National Invitation Tournament, the first time SU will compete in the WNIT since the 2011-2012 season.

Eight ACC teams (#1 Virginia Tech, #3 Notre Dame, #3 Duke, #5 Louisville, #7 Florida State, #6 North Carolina, #7 NC State, and #9 Miami) earned bids to the NCAA Tournament, the most postseason nods secured by any conference in Division I women’s basketball.

Syracuse hovered on the NCAA Tournament Bubble conversation dating back to mid-January, eventually working its way up to “Last Four In” status heading into the 2023 ACC Tournament. But after losing to NC State by 25 in the ACC Tournament, the Orange fell to the wrong side of the bubble.

Things are still looking up for the team after the first season under Legette-Jack, who guided Syracuse (18-12, 9-9 this season) to a seven-win improvement over last season (11-18, 4-14).

A lot will be analyzed over the next few weeks regarding the Orange’s postseason resume, but long story short, Syracuse did not earn enough wins against quality teams. The Orange were 0-5 against NCAA top-25 NET programs and 2-6 against top-50 NET programs, They were also had a 2-9 record against the eight ACC teams who earned a bid for this year’s tournament. This is the first consecutive NCAA Tournament misses for the women since 2010-11 and 2011-12.

A full bracket for the 2023 WNIT will be announced on Monday afternoon.


What led to the Orange falling short of an NCAA nod? What are some of your early takeaways from this season, and how will the Orange fare in the WNIT? Leave your thoughts down below.