A Closer Look: Syracuse

Previous editions: GeorgetownCreighton, Butler

The majority of the Bracket Matrix (but not BoW) have Syracuse in the field today. This may be the most difficult team to project based on resume, though ultimately I believe they will be in the field so long as they enter Selection Sunday with 14 or fewer losses. Their current record is 17-13, with one game remaining (home vs Georgia Tech) before the ACC tournament. This game is essentially a must-win for Syracuse to land an at-large bid because no team has ever been selected as an at-large with more than 14 losses, and only a handful have gotten in with 14.

Syracuse doesn’t have much of a resume this year, with zero impressive out of conference wins, only two wins away from home (Clemson and NC State; neither of which will make the tournament) and they’re currently sitting in 9th place in the ACC. Plus Syracuse has a ton of losses, 8 of which were by double digits, including a horrible 33 point loss at home against a bad St John’s team. The Duke win last week was incredibly important; without it they’d already be out of the running for an at-large.

You may be wondering why I ultimately believe Syracuse will be in if they avoid a 15th loss after such an underwhelming season. Look no further than what they did in the tournament last year. They entered as a 10 seed at 19-13 (and were a bit questionable to be seeded that highly), but went on to make a run to the Final Four. The committee surely hasn’t forgotten that, and will point to it as a reason for including the Orange in this year’s field.