A guide to Syracuse’s NCAA Tournament chances and a look at the bubble

first_imgSyracuse will likely be sitting squarely on the bubble come Selection Sunday, and between now and then there is nothing that the Orange can do about its 19-13 record. However, there are a slew of other bubble teams that the committee will likely be comparing the Orange to, and some of them still have games to play.Here’s a look at how Syracuse’s resume compares to its bubble competition, as well as a look at the teams that Syracuse fans should keep an eye on over the next three days.Syracuse’s ResumeRPI: 66Kenpom: 41AdvertisementThis is placeholder textConference: ACCBest wins: Duke (R), Texas A&M (N), Notre Dame (H), Connecticut (N), St. Bonaventure (H)Worst losses: St. John’s (R), Georgetown (R), Clemson (H), Pittsburgh 3x (H,R,N)Vs. RPI Top 25: 3-5Vs. RPI 26-50: 1-1Vs. RPI 51-100: 4-4Strength of Schedule: 41Analysis: Syracuse will likely have the best wins out of any team lying close to the bubble, but that may not be enough. The Orange has several factors working against it, including three losses to another team that’s on the bubble. It has a really bad loss (St. John’s) and didn’t take advantage down the stretch by losing 5-of-6 games. If Syracuse was to get in, the committee would have to overlook SU’s shortcomings and see a team that can compete against almost any team in the nation. It will also likely mean that the committee took Jim Boeheim’s suspension into account when looking at its overall record. THE COMPETITIONVanderbilt’s Resume RPI: 60Kenpom: 26Conference: SECBest wins: Florida 2x (H, R), Texas A&M (H), Kentucky (H)Worst losses: Tennessee (N), Arkansas (R), LSU (H)Vs. RPI Top 25: 2-6Vs. RPI 26-50: 2-2Vs. RPI 50-100: 3-2Strength of Schedule: 43Syracuse common opponents: Texas A&M (W,L), St. John’s (W), Wake Forest (W)Analysis: Syracuse caught a massive break in watching Vanderbilt lose yesterday to Tennessee. A win for the Commodores would have solidified their spot in the field. The loss to the SEC’s 12th best team made that a question mark, and put them likely on the last four teams in, if anything. The resume that Vanderbilt has compiled is strikingly similar to Syracuse’s, with the Orange boasting slightly better wins, but also some much worse losses. That last spot in the field could likely come down to SU or Vanderbilt. Published on March 11, 2016 at 10:53 am Facebook Twitter Google+ Valparaiso’s resumeRPI: 54Kenpom: 36Conference: HorizonBest wins: Iona (H), Oregon State (R)Worst losses: Ball State (R), Belmont (R), Wright State 2x (R, H), Green Bay (N)Vs. RPI Top 25: 0-1Vs. RPI 26-50: 1-0Vs. RPI 51-100: 3-1Strength of Schedule: 178No common opponents with SyracuseAnalysis: Valparaiso was a dominant team all season, but just couldn’t close the deal in the conference tournament. That win over Oregon State is its saving grace, especially because the Beavers are another team that’s right on the bubble. That said, Valpo really hasn’t done much in terms of the past few months to set itself apart, and has only played two teams total inside the RPI top 50. St. Mary’s Resume RPI: 41Kenpom: 33Conference: WCCBest wins: Gonzaga 2x (H,R), BYU (H), UC Irvine (H), Stanford (H)Worst losses: Pepperdine 2x (H,R)Vs. RPI Top 25: 0-1Vs. RPI 26-50: 2-1Vs. RPI 51-100: 4-1Strength of Schedule: 164No common opponents with Syracuse Analysis: It’s clear that St. Mary’s has the cleaner record. Aside from two blemishes against Pepperdine, there weren’t many mistakes. That said, just because the RPI and Kenpom rankings favor St. Mary’s does not make their case bulletproof. The Gaels did not leave the state of California during the nonconference season. It played one game away from its home arena during nonconference play. In the only difficult nonconference game it scheduled, it lost on the road to California. The schedule is definitely lacking blemishes, but it also lacks anything of real substance. It will be interesting to see what the committee leans toward come Sunday afternoon. Other teams for Syracuse fans to watch:Michigan: The Wolverines barely escaped with an overtime win against Northwestern to keep their season alive on Thursday. They will likely need an upset over Indiana on Friday to keep the NCAA Tournament hopes alive. A win against Indiana and they’re likely in. A loss, and they’re likely out. That game could be a huge bid stealer.Michigan vs. Indiana, noon, ESPNOhio State: The Buckeyes have lost two games to Michigan State in the past three weeks, but maybe the third time is the charm on Friday. If it is, you can count the Buckeyes in as a bid stealer. They squeaked out a win over Penn State to stay alive on Thursday, but will need a little more oomph to actually get in the Big Dance.Ohio State vs. Michigan State, 6:30 p.m., Big 10 NetworkFlorida: The Gators have the exact same record as Syracuse, and fewer good wins. But that said, Florida is still playing basketball and SU is not. If the Gators were to get a win over Texas A&M today, that would change the complexion of the field, and possibly put Florida right in the Big Dance.Florida vs. Texas A&M, 1 p.m., SEC NetworkGeorge Washington: The Colonials might just be in anyway (remember when they beat Virginia?), but Friday could alter the course of their season. They play St. Joseph’s, who is already safely in the field. A big win over one of the best teams in the A-10 would likely solidify their berth in the field.George Washington vs. St. Joseph’s, 2:30 p.m., NBCSNTulsa: Tulsa is a team that sits almost directly next to Syracuse on the bubble. A win against Memphis tonight might not mean they’re in, but a loss would almost certainly mean they’re out.Tulsa vs. Memphis, 9 p.m., ESPNUConnecticut: Syracuse beat Connecticut, so as long as the Huskies don’t make an impressive run, it might be enough. UConn plays Cincinnati today, and a loss is definitely what Syracuse wants here.Connecticut vs. Cincinnati, 2 p.m., ESPN2Temple: The Owls are in the field right now, but they could open up a bid if they lose today to a really bad South Florida team. USF has actually kept it close against Temple this year, but getting over the hump and winning would be a celebratory event for Orange fans as another spot might open up on the bracket.Temple vs. South Florida, noon, ESPN2 Wichita State ResumeRPI: 47Kenpom: 11Conference: Missouri ValleyBest wins: Utah (H)Worst losses: Illinois State (R), Alabama (N)Vs. RPI Top 25: 1-0Vs. RPI 26-50: 0-3Vs. RPI 51-100: 3-4Strength of Schedule: 118No common opponents with SyracuseAnalysis: It’s interesting that Kenpom would think it was a crime to leave Wichita State out of the NCAA Tournament field, sporting the nation’s top defensive efficiency. That said, the Shockers haven’t really shocked anyone with big wins, aside from Utah. They started off the season 1-4 against Division I opponents. And while those losses haven’t proven to be terrible (Tulsa, Southern California, Alabama and Iowa), any one of them could have put Wichita State in the field. And while they certainly picked up the pace late in the year, it will be interesting to see if they get in. My gut would say that they’re in, but there’s no guarantee. Comments Monmouth’s resume RPI: 58Kenpom: 67Conference: MAACBest wins: UCLA (R), Notre Dame (N), Southern California (N), Georgetown (R), Iona (H)Worst losses: Canisius (R), Army (R), Manhattan (R)Vs. RPI Top 25: 0-1Vs. RPI 26-50: 2-1Vs. RPI 51-100: 2-2Strength of Schedule: 206Syracuse common opponents: Cornell (W), Georgetown (W), Notre Dame (W)Analysis: Monmouth will definitely be considered on Selection Sunday. They’ve been the darling of college basketball all season. They have some things working in their favor. They went on the road during the nonconference and beat tough opponents. That’s what you would want teams in the MAAC to do if they wanted to earn an at-large berth. Because of that, they might get rewarded. But that doesn’t negate the flaws in their resume. They have three atrocious losses that aren’t going anywhere. And the good wins that they collected at the beginning of the season don’t look so good anymore. Two of USC, UCLA and Georgetown are no longer NCAA Tournament teams. The Hawks have a case, it just might not be strong enough. Oregon State Resume RPI: 29Kenpom: 59Conference: Pac-12Best wins: Iona (H), Tulsa (N), Oregon (H), California (H), Southern California (H), Utah (H), Colorado (H)Worst losses: Stanford (H), Arizona State (R)Vs. RPI Top 25: 3-6Vs. RPI 26-50: 2-2Vs. RIP 51-100: 7-4Strength of Schedule: 9No common opponents with SyracuseAnalysis: Oregon State has a similar situation as Syracuse. They both have a wealth of good wins, but they also have a 19-12 record. The Beavers have played a boatload of good teams, though, and have come out on top in quite a few. They have wins against some bona fide NCAA Tournament teams, but have done nothing impressive on the road. In fact, out of Oregon State’s eight road losses, seven have come by more than 10 points. It’ll be interesting to see if that blemish means much come Sunday.last_img