Basketball computers are pretty useful things, even if they will one day rise up with the robots in a massive apocalypse that destroys mankind in a blood-fueled robot rage. These things are built to help brains understand what is happening in college basketball, providing useful context where the void of "Aw, hell; I don't know" usually resides.
I pulled together some information from various basketball computers to try and illustrate what Syracuse's forward velocity -- or lack thereof -- looks like in the NCAA Tournament. The picture is somewhat bleak, but the most important thing is that the Orange actually has an opportunity to mess some stuff up before we're all dead due to our toasters going on a murderous rampage.
HELPFUL TABLE THING
This is a Helpful Table Thing:
IS SYRACUSE A REAL NCAA TOURNAMENT TEAM?
The Helpful Table Thing seems to think so: Of the six basketball computers considered, nine teams had a lower average ranking in the composite basketball computer ratings and over 30 teams -- automatic qualifiers included -- are looking up at the Orange. Take no gruff from those that will die first in the robot apocalypse because they have slow brains and are likely to perish well before the halfway intelligent: Syracuse's inclusion in the field isn't built on binary concerns (Syracuse v. St. Bonaventure, etc.); in the context of the entire field, there is a small nation of at-large teams that are, according to basketball computers that are organized to measure performance and relative strength, under the Orange's performance line.
Interestingly, of the nine teams that are below Syracuse's average basketball computer ranking, only two are seeded lower than the Orange (Michigan and Tulsa, both of which are play-in participants). One team -- Temple -- is seeded on the same line as Syracuse and the six remaining teams are an average of two lines above the Orange.
IS SYRACUSE GOING TO WIN A GAME AND SHUT THE MOUTHS OF THOSE THAT WILL DIE FIRST IN THE ROBOT APOCALYPSE?
Maybe! Here's the thing: Validating field selection through tournament success is notoriously weird. A single-elimination tournament in odd conditions isn't the best way to try and find value after 30-plus games of data-delivering competition. However, Syracuse isn't exactly an underdog against Dayton -- Orange-Flyers is pretty much in the toss-up zone with Syracuse likely standing as a one- to two-point favorite in St. Louis. These are comparable teams with the Orange having a razor-slim advantage, a fact to keep in mind when considering "seed upsets" and all kinds of narrative thoughts that only serve to enrage quietly plotting robots.
IS SYRACUSE GOING TO WIN ALL THE GAMES AND STOP THE ROBOT APOCALYPSE?
Unfortunately, no. Syracuse will die in the NCAA Tournament, foreshadowing your death at the hands of a non-feeling robot. Syracuse has decent odds to progress to the Second Round -- about a 53% chance of making it to Sunday -- but things quickly change once Sweet Sixteen considerations come around (the Orange's probability of making the Sweet Sixteen hovers around 11% and drops precipitously after that). This is heavily influenced by the fact that Michigan State potentially awaits in the Second Round, and Syracuse would stand as a major underdog to one of the three or four best teams in the country.
Here's the weird thing that ultimately doesn't matter but is fun to think about: If the Midwest Region was re-seeded based on team rankings in the six considered basketball computers, Syracuse's probability of advancing to the Sweet Sixteen doesn't drastically improve. This is due to (a) Dayton looking like a more beneficial opponent than Butler according to basketball computers, and (b) Virginia being comparable to Michigan State. So, even though the Orange may be underseeded in its bracket, it actually helps the Orange in the overall (just a little bit).
The other thing that lurks behind all of this is that the Midwest Region is angry. Based on mean and median basketball computer rankings, the Midwest stands only behind the South in terms of region strength. 12 of the Midwest Region's 16 teams are in the top 50 of the nation according the basketball computers considered with eight of those teams in the top 30 (four teams are in the top 20). (This is somewhat misleading given play-in paths, but whatever. It's close enough.) Hell, half of the bracket falls between 17 and 39 based on the composite from six basketball computers. Nobody is coming out of this alive (except for Michigan State because Michigan State may actually be a basketball robot created to annihilate human basketballers).