Syracuse basketball moves up 3 seed lines in latest ESPN bracketology

Syracuse basketball would square off with Arizona of the Pac-12 Conference in the round of 64 within Joe Lunardi’s new bracketology.

It seems that Syracuse basketball is growing on ESPN’s Joe Lunardi as the 2020-21 campaign inches closer to fruition. Lunardi has released a new version of his bracketology, and the Orange’s position in the field of 68 has improved.

About two months ago, Lunardi cast the ‘Cuse as a No. 11 seed and playing former Big East Conference rival Marquette, also a No. 11 seed, in the 2021 NCAA Tournament’s First Four.

This week, Lunardi arranges Syracuse basketball as a No. 8 seed in the West Region, where it would suit up versus No. 9 seed Arizona out of the Pac-12 Conference in the round of 64. This would prove an intriguing match-up, as the Orange and the Wildcats haven’t played each other since 1995, according to orangehoops.org.

Gonzaga is the No. 1 seed in the West Region. The other three No. 1 seeds, per Lunardi, are fellow Atlantic Coast Conference member Virginia, Baylor and Villanova.

The region where Syracuse basketball is slotted has a slew of teams that are expected to prove excellent in 2020-21. Besides Gonzaga, the ‘Cuse and Arizona, they include No. 2 seed Iowa, No. 3 seed Texas, No. 4 seed and 2019 national runner-up Texas Tech, No. 5 seed Houston, No. 6 seed Florida, No. 7 seed UCLA and No. 10 seed Alabama.

Seven ACC squads are in Lunardi’s mock field of 68, and they are No. 1 seed UVA, No. 2 seed Duke, No. 5 seed Florida State, No. 6 seed Louisville, No. 6 seed North Carolina, No. 8 seed Syracuse basketball and No. 9 seed Miami.

Additionally, this league has a pair of units in the “first four out” category, Clemson and Virginia Tech. For Lunardi to put nine ACC teams in his projected field, or at least near the bubble, speaks to the conference’s more optimistic outlook in 2020-21 as compared to the most recently completed stanza.

The Southeastern Conference also has seven teams in Lunardi’s bracketology, and the SEC and the ACC are tied for second behind the Big Ten Conference, which has nine groups in the Big Dance.

Another Empire State squad, Colgate, is placed as a No. 16 seed and facing off with No. 1 seed Villanova in the round of 64.