Syracuse Bubble Watch: Gonzaga wins; Pac-12 Conseqeuences

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Syracuse plays Pitt today in the ACC Tourney

Here is the result of the game from Tuesday night that will affect Syracuse’s NCAA Tournament hopes and what those effects are:

In the WCC title game, Gonzaga shot the lights out to beat St. Mary’s, sewing up an automatic bid. With that, one at-large bid almost certainly disappears, bringing the Orange closer to the edge. In a word: sadz.

Sticking with our previous format, the focus is on the updated 8-12 seeds and teams listed as the eight closest, but not in, the tournament in Joe Lunardi’s current field at ESPN.com. Here is this morning’s update:

  • 8 seeds –South Carolina, Wichita State, Providence, Butler
  • 9 seeds – Colorado, Vanderbilt, Cincinnati, VCU,
  • 10 seeds –Pittsburgh, USC, Saint Joseph’s, Syracuse/Saint Mary’s
  • 11 seeds – Temple (projected automatic bid), St Bonaventure/Monmouth, San Diego State (projected automatic bid), Gonzaga (automatic bid)
  • 12 seeds –South Dakota State (automatic bid), Arkansas-Little Rock (projected automatic bid), Akron (projected automatic bid), Yale (automatic bid)
  • first four out – Connecticut, Oregon State, Tulsa, Valparaiso,
  • next four out – Florida, Michigan, Ohio State, George Washington

First, I’d like to bid a fond farewell to Connecticut from the field. Also, congratulations to Valparaiso for hopping Florida in Lunardi’s pecking order while neither team played.

You may have also noticed the Orange got nudged up to a ten-seed while still being in a play-in game. Lunardi has SU as the best of the four teams in the play-in games.

» Related: Syracuse Bubble Watch: Monmouth, Gonzaga results may hurt Orange

We can probably skip looking at the 12 seeds for the rest of the week. With two automatic berths and two projected automatic berths making up that seed line, the 12’s are clearly spoken for. Even if neither projected automatic bid winner gets it, their replacement will snag a lower bid and push a 13-seed higher, like Northern Iowa, who Lunardi just slid off a 12 with Gonzaga making the field.

The SDSU Aztecs will be a team to watch on Thursday, as they are a projected conference tourney winner, but also a fair at-large resume for one of the last few spots. Their biggest weakness if only having one top-50 RPI win on the season. Again, that’s on Thursday.

There is more pressing business today.

Specifically, Syracuse would be well-served to take care of business today against Pitt. While some of the direct competition for the last few bids will also lose early in their conference tourneys, it is best to eliminate the question on your own.

Here is your viewing (and cheering) schedule for Wednesday:

12:00pm Eastern – ESPN:
Syracuse vs. Pittsburgh: Root for Syracuse. Just making sure you’re still paying attention.

5:40pm Eastern – Pac-12 Network:
Colorado vs. Washington State: Root for Washington State while you wonder who actually gets to watch this game.

9:10pm Eastern – Pac-12 Network:
USC vs. UCLA: Root for UCLA while you wonder who actually gets to watch this game.

11:45pm Eastern – Pac-12 Network:
Oregon State vs. Arizona State: Root for Arizona State while you wonder not only who actually gets to watch this game, but who actually will stay up to watch this game. Actually, root for Oregon State in your sleep.

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Jim Stechschulte

About Jim Stechschulte

A 1996 graduate of Syracuse University, Jim has reported on Syracuse sports for the Syracuse University Alumni Club of Southern California on nearly a decade, where he currently resides. He has also written a fantasy basketball column published by NBA.com. Follow him on Twitter @DSafetyGuy.
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