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February 26, 2016Basketball

NCAAM: Syracuse on the Bubble

February 26, 2015 Louisville, KY. (Analyzed Sports)  By:  Stephen Patrick

Syracuse on the Bubble

We are slowly creeping up to possibly the best sporting event in sports. The NCAA Tournament and March Madness is almost upon us. Stars will be made, draft stocks will rise or fall and legends will be created. Records get thrown out and any team can be beat on any day with one game to play. The underdog against the power house is always a good storyline. But one of the power house teams is on the bubble looking to sneak into the dance of 68.

Syracuse has had one interesting season. How will the Tournament Committee review the Orange? Jim Boeheim squad started 4-5. Boeheim was serving a suspension for NCAA rules violations. Part of the penalty for his infractions was that his team would be without him on the sidelines. As of February 22nd Syracuse is 18-10 with an 8-7 record in the ACC, good for ninth place in the conference.  Joe Lunardi of ESPN believes Syracuse will face Providence in the first round. He seeds Providence as a No.7 seed facing Syracuse as a No.10 seed. Syracuse’s RPI is currently 51. Cracking the top 50 off the RPI will help bump up the Orange’s chances of securing a shoot at the Tournament. With the Louisville Cardinals self imposed post season ban it opens up a spot for any team.

Syracuse certainly didn’t help their chances in their last outing. Syracuse lost 66-52 on Saturday to Pittsburgh. The orange are on a two game skid.”I thought we played about as well as we could defensively for about 30 minutes or a little over that,” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. ”Even with the rebounding, our defense held us in there pretty good for a long time, but we have to make shots if we’re going to be successful, we have to make shots. That’s the bottom line.”

It was more about the poor execution of the offense than defense.Syracuse’s top four scorers Michael Gbinije, Malachi Richardson, Trevor Cooney and Tyler Roberson were held in check the entire game, going 3 for 10 in the opening half as freshman Tyler Lydon kept the Orange in the game with 13 points. The starter’s production was lacking leading to Gbinije, Cooney and Richardson failing to hit a shot from beyond the arc in the second half, missing nine attempts as the Orange shot 1 of 12 from long range after the break.

Syracuse has three games left of its regular-season. The Orange will be at home against the North Carolina State Wolfpack and on the road against the North Carolina Tar Heels and Florida State Seminoles. If they can win two of their last three; especially if they have an upset in Chapel Hill, North Carolina there will be little doubt that there in. Either way, two more wins whether they are in the conference tournament or regular season should be enough to make the NCAA tournament field putting them at 20 win mark.

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