The Syracuse Orange’s performance during the 2021 NCAA basketball season has been highly anticipated. Following a stretch of some strong years, Syracuse fans have been eager to find out if their team would make the 2021 NCAA tournament.
As the regular season winds down, here’s a look at the current standings and whether or not Syracuse has been able to make the tournament cut.
Overview of the NCAA Tournament
The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is an annual men’s basketball tournament featuring 68 teams from the Division I level of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). It is a single-elimination tournament that culminates in the Final Four, where 2018 national champions Villanova, who defeated Michigan 79–62, was crowned.
Each year, colleges and universities vie to be part of March Madness as teams compete in seven rounds over a three-week period. This year’s championship will take place on April 8th and will match the Final Four teams that survive the opening rounds. Selection Sunday for 2018 will take place on March 11th when the NCAA announces which 68 programs have been chosen to advance to this year’s tournament.
Syracuse is one of those 68 programs selected for this tournament. The Syracuse Orange are seeded with the same number that they maintained during last season, being ninth in their conference rankings, and earned largely thanks to their strong season performance against strong opponents like Duke and Virginia Tech in a very competitive field of ACC opponents. The Orange were so successful throughout their season that they were able to earn an at-large bid even though they did not win their conference tournament due to losses against higher ranked teams early on in March Madness as well as losses towards mid-season and end-of-season opponents.
Syracuse’s History in the NCAA Tournament
Syracuse has a long and rich history in the NCAA Tournament. The Orange have been competing in the tournament since 1975 and have made it to the Sweet Sixteen or beyond in twenty-three of their appearances. They have won five national championships and made two Final Four appearances in the past decade.
In this article, we’ll take a look at Syracuse’s performance in the tournament over the years and discuss if they made the NCAA Tournament for 2021.
Syracuse’s NCAA Tournament Appearances
Syracuse University has one of the most storied histories in college basketball, with an abundance of conference titles, Final Four appearances and National Championships. The Orange have also enjoyed a successful NCAA Tournament career, having made 35 appearances since their first in 1944.
Syracuse’s first trip to the NCAA Tournament came in 1944, when they advanced to the Elite Eight along with Saint Louis University and Villanova University. That would be short-lived success though, as Syracuse did not advance to their next NCAA appearance until 1962 when they lost in the Eastern Regional Final.
The 1970s marked a special period for Syracuse basketball, as the Orange made eight straight NCAA Tournament appearances from 1973-1980 under legendary coach Jim Boeheim. During that stretch Syracuse had its best showing yet when they reached the 1975 Final Four before ultimately losing to eventual champions UCLA in triple overtime.
This successful run culminated with an Elite Eight appearance in 1980 as Boeheim and Syracuse thought back on fondly on this era gracing a competitive Big East Conference alongside teams like Georgetown and St John’s.
From 1982-1991 Syracuse went through a relative drought before returning to winning ways at the beginning of what some call Boeheim’s golden era which lasted until 2015 making 11 NCAA Tournaments with four Sweet Sixteen appearances which included the 1993 national championship runner-up season where future NBA greats Pearl Washington and Lawrence Moten led them drawing comparisons to past greats like Carmelo Anthony who won it all four years later as well as Wesley Johnson who lost controversially against Butler University or reserve center Arinze Onuaku whose last second putback sent SU over Paul Pierce’s Kansas Jayhawks into triple overtime.
From 2007-2012 Syracuse earned multiple No 1 seeds going 103-30 including their 2006 Big East tournament win crowning them Big East champs year after year before landing a spot twice to yet another coveted final four proving that even after seventy five years of March Madness fluctuation makes up part in SU’s proud basketball history day by day.
Syracuse’s NCAA Tournament Victories
Syracuse has been a frequent and successful participant in the NCAA Tournament. The program has made the tournament 53 times, including 28 of the last 29 seasons since 1991 and 27 of the last 29 since 1992. Syracuse won its first ever NCAA basketball championship in 2003, defeating Kansas 81-78 to win the school’s first national title.
Since then, Syracuse has been to eight Final Fours and won 11 total NCAA Tournament games across 10 appearances. While they have not made it to another Final Four, they have had historic successes in their six trips to the Elite Eight, including a win against Marquette in 2003 that clinched their championship run and their most recent appearance against Duke in 2016. Another memorable victory was against Arizona, who entered that game with an impressive 31-3 record, an effort Syracuse rewarded with an 87-65 blowout win on their way to a Sweet Sixteen appearance in 2012. The Orange have also had several close losses since 2003, including two overtime defeats at the hands of Ohio State (2012) and Virginia (2016).
While having a successful regular season is enough for some college basketball teams to make it into March Madness, Syracuse’s storied past makes them one of the top programs with great expectations each year. Fans expect SU to make deep runs into March every year as evidenced by their numerous tourney wins over two decades—and so far they haven’t disappointed!
Syracuse’s 2020 NCAA Tournament Prospects
The Syracuse Orange Men’s Basketball team has been on the bubble of reaching the NCAA tournament for the past few seasons. With the 2020 NCAA tournament just around the corner, many fans have been wondering if Syracuse will make the cut this season.
In this article, we will examine Syracuse’s 2020 NCAA tournament prospects and discuss their chances of making the tournament.
Syracuse’s Regular Season Performance
The Syracuse Orange completed their 2019-20 regular season with a record of 18-14 and 9-11 in the ACC. Their record placed them fifth in the Atlantic Division, putting them a spot behind North Carolina and Duke who tied for third with 11-9 records. Syracuse’s non-conference schedule included wins over Maryland, Iowa, Georgetown and Rutgers that helped provide a buffer against an up-and-down ACC season.
The Orange opened conference play with an impressive win over Pittsburgh who at the time was 11-2 and ranked as high as 22nd in the AP Poll. Over the course of their nine conference victories, Syracuse had four wins over teams ranked in either or both of the two major polls – Florida State, Virginia Tech and Louisville twice – which helped to boost their NCAA Tournament resume.
Despite some successes during league play, there were also key losses, most notably three games to last place Georgia Tech who finished 4-14 in conference play. Ultimately Syracuse’s regular season put them squarely on the bubble as one of many teams fighting for an at large NCAA Tournament bid.
Syracuse’s Postseason Performance
Syracuse University has a long and storied history in college basketball, and they’ve achieved plenty of success in the NCAA Tournament. The Orange have participated in the Big Dance 36 times since their first appearance in 1942, making it all the way to the Final Four on five occasions and winning the National Championship in 2003. Despite this impressive resume, Syracuse has not made the tournament since 2017.
Syracuse’s last three seasons have been arguably their most difficult since joining the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) for the 2013-14 season. During this time period, Syracuse failed to make a single postseason appearance outside of making it to the ACC tournament semifinals twice. The team struggled with both consistency issues and an inability to close games late in regulation – something that is crucial for making NCAA Tournament runs.
Despite these setbacks, Syracuse came back strong this season under third-year head coach Jim Boeheim by finishing 21-10 overall and 12-6 in ACC play with wins against ranked opponents such as Duke, Virginia Tech and Florida State during conference play. Their strong performance resulted in earning them a spot as one of two teams receiving first round byes at Madison Square Garden for the 2021 ACC tournament – a result which should give them an early advantage when fighting for their NCAA Tournament bid on Selection Sunday.