Syracuse Basketball Bubble Watch: Limited chances remain for the Orange this season

Syracuse basketball suffered a Quad 3 loss to Florida State, hurting their chances at making the NCAA Tournament.

Syracuse basketball suffered a Quad 3 loss to Florida State, hurting their chances at making the NCAA Tournament.
Syracuse basketball suffered a Quad 3 loss to Florida State, hurting their chances at making the NCAA Tournament. / Rich Barnes/GettyImages
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A back-and-forth game with Florida State turned into a blowout in an instant, sending Syracuse basketball to 13-6 overall and 4-4 in the ACC. Is all hope lost? Certainly not.

The Orange still have a dozen conference games remaining plus the ACC Tournament. But given this year's trends, and a weak ACC, there aren't many more chances for Syracuse to convince the committee of an at-large spot in the 2024 NCAA Tournament.

Four games stand out to me. At Wake Forest (Feb. 3), vs. Clemson (Feb. 10), vs. North Carolina (Feb. 13), and at Clemson (Mar. 5). Those games are the only Quad 1 chances left, with the home game against Clemson currently listed as Quad 2, but subject to change based on up-to-date NCAA NET rankings.

For an Orange team just 1-5 in Quad 1 games, it's imperative they add two more Q1 wins before Selection Sunday. There are a lot of teams with great wins. College basketball is stacked this year. A good record alone won't secure you a spot in March Madness.

For Syracuse basketball, limited chances remain to pick up marquee wins.

How can Syracuse basketball do this? They have two great chances to get back on track before the Wake Forest game. NC State is a very winnable home game and the Orange already beat Boston College at home, and now get a crack at the Eagles on the road.

Syracuse basketball must go 2-0 here and get past the FSU loss quickly. Getting into a groove before taking on the Demon Deacons is key to keeping in the bubble picture.

More specifically, Syracuse can't have the same struggles from three-point land. Finishing a game with one made three is incomprehensible, especially with Chris Bell and Justin Taylor (sometimes). JJ Starling, Judah Mintz, and Benny Williams are also capable, and on Saturday, Quadir Copeland showed he is too.

The bubble watch is competitive and one loss or one win can make the difference. Syracuse basketball has only a few chances at resume building wins, so they need to take advantage of those. Until then, taking care of the business in front of them is imperative.

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