Terrible form. Terrific result.
Note: In the Boeheim era, only once has Syracuse been denied an NCAA tournament bid after accumulating 20 wins over the course of the regular season and Big East Tournament. This was in the 2001-2002 season, where Syracuse lost in the Big East Tournament First Round to Villanova.
Syracuse's RPI that year was 66 and its strength of schedule was only 86th best in the nation. In addition, the Orange's out-of-conference RPI in 2001-2002 was ranked 61st, with an accompanying strength of schedule rating of only 166.
Of course, it must be conceded that none of those 20-win seasons saw Boeheim guide Syracuse to a sub-.500 regular season conference record. The last time the Orange accumulated a a sub-.500 conference record was in 1980-1981, when Syracuse went only 6-8. The Orange were forced to participate in the NIT that year.