With Syracuse in the midst of a tailspin heading in to Saturday’s important game against the Louisville Cardinals, many are wondering what implications these games down the stretch have on the NCAA Tournament. If you take stock in to Bracketology, Joe Lunardi currently has Syracuse as a 4 seed in the south region. But since his guess is as good as mine when predicting the NCAA Tournament, I’m going to give scenarios for the rest of the regular season, and how I think it will affect the Orange’s seeding for March Madness.
- Syracuse loses all three remaining games-Yikes. I find this extremely unlikely to happen, but with the state of college basketball anything is possible. Should the Orange drop their final three games of the season, this five game losing streak would put the ‘Cuse at 10-8 in the Big East, and would be disastrous. I think this scenario would drop the Orange in the range of a 7 or 8 seed heading in to the Big Eat Tournament, with an embarrassing loss to DePaul on their resume.
- Syracuse beats Louisville and DePaul, but lose to Georgetown- To me, this is the worst case scenario for going 2-1 down the stretch. I can’t think of anything worse in life than getting swept by Georgetown, and the Orange faithful will have to pray to the good Lord for a third game against them in the Garden. In terms of the NCAA Tournament, I think this scenario would put them in position to get a 3 seed in the east region. 2-1 would be good, but this is not what Syracuse fans want to see down the stretch.
- Syracuse loses to Louisville, but beat DePaul and Georgetown- Hallelujah! All will be right in the world, with Syracuse winning their final Big East game over the hated Hoyas. A home loss to Louisville is never fun, but with a win over the Cards already on their resume, a Syracuse win over Georgetown in DC would be the better game to win out of the two, even disregarding the rivalry. I think this scenario would ensure the Orange get a 3 seed, with the slim chance of earning a 2 seed depending on what happens with the teams ahead of them.
- Syracuse wins all three games down the stretch- As poorly as this team has looked at times this season, this would not surprise me at all if it happened. It is a tall order for Syracuse, but I think they have more than enough talent to do it. Should the Orange win out for the rest of the regular season, I think they are an absolute lock for a 3 seed regardless of what happens in the Big East Tournament, and a 2 seed would be a real possibility for this team. Some may call that wishful thinking, but I truly believe that with the state of college basketball this can be done. If the Orange have a resume of 13-5 in the Big East to go along with a 25 win regular season and two wins over Louisville and a win over Georgetown, Syracuse will definitely have a case that can be made to get a 2 seed in the tournament.
Now of course we all know this is meaningless, and given the history of conference tournaments a team can easily earn their seeding in that four day stretch in New York. It should absolutely be noted that the previous two teams to win the Big East Tournament went to the Final Four, with UConn winning the National Championship in 2011 and Lousiville bowing out to Kentucky in the National Semifinal game last season. These next three games will really set the tone for the postseason, for both earning the double-bye in the Big East Tournament and for NCAA Tournament seeding.