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Syracuse basketball, in recent years, one of best at Big Dance success

Syracuse basketball, Derik Queen (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Syracuse basketball, Derik Queen (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

Throw away regular-season performances and NCAA Tournament seed lines – over the past decade or so, Syracuse basketball is one of the top teams across the country at reaching the second weekend of March Madness.

I’m not saying that the Orange has proven one of the best overall squads in the sport in recent seasons. Since joining the Atlantic Coast Conference from the Big East Conference for the 2013-14 stanza, the ‘Cuse has struggled through numerous regular seasons and barely gotten into, or missed, the NCAA Tournament.

So while Syracuse basketball residing on the Big Dance bubble for a while now has left some Orange fans feeling frustrated, let’s face it. When the ‘Cuse makes it to March Madness, it often does a good amount of damage.

John Cassillo, a terrific writer with the fabulous NunesMagician.com, notes in a recent article that from 2011 to 2021, Syracuse basketball has reached the Sweet 16 on five occasions (2012, 2013, 2016, 2018 and 2021).

In that duration of time, Cassillo says only six teams have gotten to the regional semi-finals more than the Orange has. Pretty solid stuff, in my humble opinion.

Syracuse basketball, of late, has been quite consistent in faring well at the Big Dance.

Taking things even further back, Cassillo details that since 2000, the ‘Cuse has advanced to a total of 10 regional semi-finals, which is tied for the sixth-highest amount.

According to Cassillo, Syracuse basketball is tied with some high-quality groups, including Gonzaga, Arizona and Wisconsin. What’s more, the units ahead of the Orange are powerhouse March Madness performers such as Duke, Kansas, Michigan State, Kentucky and North Carolina.

The ‘Cuse is not a blue-blood squad like the Blue Devils, the Jayhawks, the Wildcats or the Tar Heels. Syracuse basketball doesn’t recruit as well as those schools and others in the top tier of collegiate hoops.

And, yes, I would love to see the Orange revert back to the days when it did contend for conference titles, as well as NCAA championships.

However, as Cassillo’s article illustrates, Syracuse basketball consistently performs at a nice level when it suits up in the NCAA Tournament.

Whether it’s a No. 1 seed, a No. 4 seed or a double-digit seed, the Orange is a dangerous team in March Madness. The current Big Dance, in which the No. 11 seed ‘Cuse will face No. 2 seed Houston in the Sweet 16 on Saturday night, appropriately supports that theme.

Next. Syracuse Basketball: Benny Williams, targets pumped about tourney run. dark