As impressive as the Syracuse Orange have been against top 10 teams this season, they still don’t deserve a bid to the tournament this year.
Ah, March Madness has officially begun. In lieu of “Selection Sunday,” the Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team finds themselves in an unfamiliar position.
The historically dominant franchise is on the bubble for the second year in a row.
However, this is the year they don’t deserve to make it to the NCAA Tournament.
Hold the pitchforks and flaming torches! Just hear me out first. Let’s talk about this.
The Orange finished their unpredictable season with a 62-57 loss to the University of Miami Hurricanes in the first round of the ACC Tournament. With a 18-14 overall record, the Orange managed a 10-8 record in the ACC.
Only slightly better than last year’s ACC record (9-9), the Orange still managed to sneak into the tournament last March. However, their bid was surrounded by criticism over the committee’s selection.
The Orange then caught on fire, went on an improbable run and ultimately ended up succumbing to the University of North Carolina Tar Heels in the Final Four.
This year, however, the Orange are not the same team. And they are too inconsistent to warrant a shot at the Big Dance.
The Orange may have defeated Duke, University of Virginia and Florida State in dramatic fashion, but these wins are eliminated by embarrassing losses to UConn, Boston College and St. John’s. They may have those high-profile victories on their record, but they couldn’t win the games they were expected to.
That is mainly because Syracuse prides themselves on being a second-half team. The problem is, they let themselves fall behind in the first half and end up having to climb a mountain in order to make up for it.
Their reliability in the second half comebacks is something that has haunted them all season long. While it’s fun to watch them overcome a large deficit to claim victory, it’s even more fun to not expect to go into cardiac arrest when there are two minutes left in the game.
In addition, Syracuse dug their grave by performing poorly outside of the Carrier Dome. While they were 16-3 at home this season, they had no answer away from the Dome. Their 2-8 road record is not only embarrassing, it is absolutely pitiful.
The Syracuse Orange have been far too inconsistent in both team and individual efforts this season. While the comebacks have been nice, there are other teams on the bubble that have actually proven they deserve a shot at the tournament.
The Orange just don’t cut it this year.
If the Orange get into the tournament this year, it will not be because they deserve it. And that will only prove that ratings are far more important than giving smaller teams a shot at glory.
So, now that we’ve covered all that, what do you think? Do the Syracuse Orange actually deserve a tournament bid?
Maybe that is a good thing for the Orange. Not making the tournament might give them the motivation they need to work on improving their first half game for next season.
After all, you can’t win them all. And this year, the Orange certainly proved that their inconsistency might finally keep them from the Big Dance.