The Ides of March: Syracuse and the NCAA Tournament

A Sneak Peek On How Well Syracuse Will Do This Year

Sporty Sports | Sean Onwualu | February 26, 2016

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The NCAA March Madness tournament: College basketball’s foolproof method on deciding the best of the best in the collegiate basketball world. The NCAA selects the best 68 teams and inputs them into an elimination style bracket where the winners take all. The Orangemen have been blessed with a storied franchise which is currently ranked 5th in winningest Division I basketball team of all-time.  Our loyal fans can thank hall of fame head coach Jim Boeheim’s 40 year career for this success.

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end as Boeheim is set to retire in March of 2018. As his career comes to a close, the ‘Cuse faithful hopes that he can end his career on a high note with some tournament wins. Although Syracuse is widely known as a top basketball school, they can not make the tournament based off of just name and notoriety. The Syracuse basketball team will be a peculiar case study for the NCAA Selection committee this year for a couple reasons.

First off, The Orange play in the Atlantic Coast Conference which is arguably the best basketball conference in the nation. Syracuse sits in the conference with a record of 19-10, which is average and puts them in the middle of the pack for the ACC. Additionally, the selection committee will have to take into account Jim Boeheim’s nine game suspension in the beginning of the year where the Orange posted a lackluster 4-5 record with assistant coach Mike Hopkins.

Secondly, our men’s basketball team’s inconsistent record as of late further confuses the process. Since Boeheim’s return to the basketball court, the Orange have benefitted from an 8-4 record with superb upset wins over Duke and Notre Dame. But with those upset wins come some heartbreaking losses like their games against Pitt and Louisville. With that kind of track record, nobody can really predict which Syracuse will show up when it comes down to the tournament. It truly is Madness because we all know that every year it is full of surprises. Syracuse needs to put up a convincing performance in their next three contests against NC State, UNC and Florida State. Also, Syracuse will have to have a noteworthy performance in this year’s ACC Tournament in Washington D.C. if they want to make a better case for themselves in this year’s March Madness tournament.

Only time can tell what is in store for this year’s Syracuse Orange and the clock resumes ticking this Monday with their game against UNC on ESPN and the ACC Network. Hopefully the Orange will give students something to cheer about this weekend and make the selection committee impressed.