first_img Published on February 21, 2017 at 10:12 pm Contact Paul: [email protected] | @pschweds Syracuse (16-12, 8-7 Atlantic Coast) has only three regular-season games remaining. With Selection Sunday less than three weeks away, the Orange sits on the NCAA Tournament bubble. The Orange has beaten then-No. 6 Florida State and then-No. 9 Virginia, but both those wins came at home. SU is 2-9 outside the Carrier Dome.SU hosts No. 10 Duke on Wednesday at 7 p.m., visits No. 8 Louisville on Sunday and hosts Georgia Tech on Senior Day. But before the home stretch, we caught up with bracketologist Patrick Stevens to see where Syracuse stands. Stevens’ projects appear in The Washington Post and, in 2014, he was the only bracketologist, out of 121, to correctly pick all 68 teams in the field.The following conversation has been edited for clarity.The Daily Orange: Where does Syracuse stack up at this point?Patrick Stevens: I would say Syracuse is on the outside of a very crowded, very muddled, very middling group of teams right at the edge of the field. I think the big issue for Syracuse, and it’s been this way really from the start of the season, is what have they done away from the Carrier Dome. And the answer is not a whole lot. They’re 2-9 away from home and they obviously don’t have the luxury of playing any NCAA Tournament games in central New York this year. And as a result, you look at them and they’ve won at Clemson, which is somehow still a borderline Tournament team and they’ve won at N.C. State, which has fired its coach. There’s not a whole lot to work with there.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textYou think last season, how did Syracuse get in (as a No. 10 seed)? Well, it had won at Duke, it had beaten Connecticut on a neutral floor and Texas A&M on a neutral floor. When you were looking at the edge of the field last year, that was something that fell in their favor. This year, there isn’t anything like that. … So as a result of that, this Sunday at Louisville as well as the ACC tournament are critical chances to demonstrate some ability to beat somebody decent away from the Carrier Dome.The D.O.: Would one win be enough in Syracuse’s last three games?P.S.: It’s too hard to tell in that sort of specific sense, but if I were Syracuse, I’d want to win more than one game the rest of the way. … This is a Syracuse team that, especially compared to last year, that just doesn’t have as much oomph on their profile, doesn’t have as much strength on their profile as they did at this point last year and as a result they’re probably not going to be able to back their way into the field the way they did last year as well.The D.O.: What other bubble teams should Syracuse fans pay attention to?P.S.: If any of these teams happen to win three in a row, they’re probably going to be in pretty solid shape. And I say that in a generic sense. Some of these teams might have three in a row against bad teams and it really doesn’t help them that much. But it’s not that much of an exaggeration.Georgia TechClemsonMarquetteSeton HallProvidenceGeorgetownRhode IslandMichigan StateMichiganTexas ChristianKansas StateArkansasTennesseeGeorgiaAnd then you’re looking at does Wichita State or Illinois State win the Missouri Valley? Does Gonzaga or St. Mary’s win the West Coast Conference? Is there a bid to be found in one of the other leagues? Does someone other than SMU or Cincinnati win the American? Does somebody other than VCU or Dayton win the Atlantic-10? So, there’s still a lot of variables in play with a little less than three weeks to go and a lot of different directions that things can go in. But that’s a pretty large group of teams to be seriously thinking about going relative to other seasons at this stage in the year.The D.O.: What else should people be aware of from the Syracuse perspective?P.S.: The field’s a mess. The saving grace for Syracuse is that in a normal year, there would be more depth in a couple other leagues like the Atlantic-10, perhaps a Mountain West and certainly a handful of other leagues like the SEC. But they wouldn’t be particularly close to the conversation in most years. So this is a season that things just happen to be unimpressive enough across the board that they’re in the discussion. But the reality is they still have a lot to prove between now and the time they depart Brooklyn for the ACC tournament. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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