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Why Syracuse Makes The NCAA Tournament

Syracuse NCAA Basketball

Syracuse 78, Duke 75. That’s it. Head coach Jim Boeheim and the Orange upset the Blue Devils on Wednesday night and, as a result, they should be a lock for an at-large berth to the NCAA tournament. But, it’s just one victory, you say. Yes, but a win over the nation’s No. 10 team and a perennial national power like Duke weighs a lot.

 

When you couple Syracuse’s defeat of Duke and a certain midseason stretch by the Orange, there is no question they will be dancing come March Madness time. Between Jan. 24 and Feb. 7, Syracuse won five straight games, including two wins over Top 10 programs. The Orange beat sixth-ranked Florida State, 82-72, and edged No. 9 Virginia, 66-62. The win over the Cavaliers is beginning to fade some as Virginia has now lost four in a row and six of their last eight. Still, Virginia, now ranked 18th, is a lock for the tourney.

 

The Orange also have wins over a very good Miami (19-8, 9-6) and the Metro Atlantic Conference’s top team, Monmouth (24-5, 12-2). Syracuse is now 17-12 overall and 9-7 in the ACC. As in year’s past, Boeheim’s team seems to play its best basketball near the end of the season. A strong showing in the conference tournament will only bolster the Orange’s position come Selection Sunday. Syracuse can also add to its resume with a win over No. 7 Louisville on Sunday. The Orange close the regular season with Georgia Tech on March 4.