The sky is not falling yet, but it is getting pretty dark.
Two heartbreaking losses in the span of six days has dulled Syracuse's consideration for tournament inclusion. However, the losses are not irreparable; over the Orange's final slate of nine contests, Syracuse will face seven clubs with RPI values within the nation's top 100.
The moral of the story: put down the bleach and razor blades.
As illustrated below, John Milton's timeless words may better encapsulate Syracuse's situation:
Where no hope is left, is left no fear.
Lacrosse season cannot start fast enough.
Resume and Factors of Relevance
The foregoing data is accurate only to the date and time of publication. As this feature will not receive a daily update (rather, a weekly update will take place), its particular factual accuracy should not receive great weight as the week subsequently passes. However, it should stand as a solid indicator of what Syracuse has accomplished this season and what the Orange must yet achieve in order to secure another NCAA Tournament invitation.
With respect to the status variables included, each variable relates to one of five possible states of affairs:
- Troubling; and
Status variables ranging above "adequate" indicate facts and circumstances conducive to receiving a bid. Status variables ranging below "adequate" indicate facts and circumstances of concern -- relative to the rest of the nation, Syracuse needs to improve its position. The status variable of "adequate" indicates a hold position -- depending on what other colleges or universities accomplish, Syracuse's current status may or may not be good enough to merit an invitation.
|Resume and Factors of Relevance|
|Factor of Relevance||Factor Value||Status|
|Big East Record||5-5||Troubling|
|Big East RPI||6||Troubling|
|RPI 1-50 Record||2-3||Troubling|
|RPI 51-100 Record||3-4||Troubling|
|RPI 101-200 Record||6-1||Good|
|RPI 200+ Record||4-0||Great|
|Last 10 Games||5-5||Troubling|
|Solid Victories||1. Marquette|
3. Holy Cross
|Detrimental Defeats||St. John's||Adequate|
|Projected BE Record||8-8||Troubling|
|Total Invitation Status||Troubling|
Invitation Status Downgrade
The NCAA Dance Card still anticipates Syracuse's inclusion in the Tournament field, yet the quantitative and qualitative data above appears to contradict such an assumption.
The presumptions of pace and anticipated outcomes have hurt the Orange as nothing, seemingly, has gone Syracuse's way the last two weeks. The wheels are rapidly falling off of the bus, and should Syracuse not find a way to win five or six weeks over the next three or four weeks, an NIT bid is likely in the not-too-distant future.
Who To Root For
To be honest, the Orange is its worst enemy at this point; RPI and strength of schedule are merely ancillary worries at this juncture.
- I am still not sure why Texas is generally considered to be a tournament club. Its marquee victories are Arkansas, Texas Tech, and Oklahoma (three fairly average teams) and its quantitative values are not all that impressive compared to Syracuse. Unless the Longhorns do something markedly impressive over its final 10 games, Texas should not have a stronger shot at the tournament than Syracuse.
- I cannot see more than six bids for the Big East at this point. Marquette and Pittsburgh are locks, but the next four bids are coming from a group of: Notre Dame, West Virginia, Georgetown, Louisville, Providence, Syracuse, and Villanova.
- I'm not sure how I feel about Arizona. The Wildcats have played the toughest schedule in the country, yet are 15-7, 4-6 over its last 10, and just 4-4 on the road. The losses are all acceptable, yet there are no "marquee" victories. Arizona will likely get a spot in the field, but it will not be without mild controversy.