Syracuse Bubble Watch: Despite loss, Orange still alive

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Syracuse is among the last four teams out right now

Okay, so you’re still angry about yesterday’s game. Well, at least you have a way to channel your rage – rooting against a lot of other teams to lose and fall below Syracuse.

Here are Wednesday’s results that will affect Syracuse’s NCAA Tournament hopes and how they do so, aside from the obvious one. We all know that one ain’t good:

Colorado, USC, and Oregon State all won and the last was the only one that was not a blowout. The Beavers still managed to cruise to a nine-point win.

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 – Colorado, South Carolina, Wichita State, Butler
  • 9 seeds –Vanderbilt, Cincinnati, VCU, Texas Tech
  • 10 seeds – USC, Saint Joseph’s, Oregon State, Pittsburgh/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 – Syracuse, Connecticut, Tulsa, Valparaiso,
  • next four out – Florida, Michigan, Ohio State, George Washington

Texas Tech lost and slid from a seven to a nine. Providence moved up to that vacant seven-spot. Colorado’s win jumped them up a seed line, while Pitt won and slid to a play-in game, as Oregon State beat a sub-.500 team and hopped them. It all makes sense, Joe. Or, maybe you actually update everything at the same, specific time so your big, fancy Bracketology page matches what you’re spouting during games.

» Related: Syracuse Bubble Watch: Gonzaga wins; Pac-12 Conseqeuences

Anyway, as you can see, SU is the first team on the outside looking in. Thus, we channel our rage into rooting for teams in the field to lose, with the most rage going to the teams closest to the Orange who are yet to play. (That kicks in on Friday for St Bonaventure and Temple. But, we’ll save that for tomorrow.)

I’ve made a slight change for Thursday, namely, sorting by conference because it makes things more rational as lots more action tips off. For games not listed, the general rule of thumb is you want the favorite to win. No surprises = no team steals an automatic bid from a team that could get an at-large.

The schedule:

ACC: Pittsburgh vs. North Carolina (12:00pm Eastern, ESPN): Pitt beating Syracuse three times means there is likely no scenario where they fall below the Orange. Root for the Panthers to lose, just out of spite. Like I had to tell you that.

Atlantic 10: George Washington vs. Saint Louis (2:30pm Eastern, NBC Sports Network): Root for Saint Louis. Cannot have GW climb go on a tournament run and pass SU.

Big East: Providence vs. Butler (2:30pm Eastern, Fox Sports 1): With Providence apparently ahead of Butler, just remember the Bulldogs beating SU in the NCAA’s in 2010. Root against them.

Big Ten: Michigan vs. Northwestern (12:00pm Eastern, Big Ten Network), Ohio State vs Penn State (6:30pm Eastern, ESPN2): Just like with George Washington, SU cannot have other teams climb over them. Go Northwestern and go Penn State.

Mountain West: San Diego State vs. Utah State (3:00pm Eastern, CBS Sports Network): Root for San Diego State to go all the way in the Mountain West. If they lose, they possibly fall out of the field, but the Orange cannot have the risk of the Aztecs losing and still making the field as an at-large. Yay, SDSU.

Pac-12: Colorado vs. Arizona (5:30pm Eastern, Pac-12 Network), USC vs. Utah (9:00pm Eastern, Pac-12 Network), Oregon State vs. California (5:30pm Eastern, Pac-12 Network): We rooted against them yesterday, so we root against them today. As a reminder, in order of importance, that is Colorado, USC, and Oregon State.

Oregon State is Thursday’s Public Enemy #1 for Syracuse fans. Beating Cal probably guarantees them a spot in the tourney. As nice as it would be for the son of former SU player Stephen Thompson to get into the tournament, he’s wearing the wrong shade of orange and he’s got three more years get into the dance.

SEC: Florida vs Arkansas (1:00pm, SEC Network), Vanderbilt vs Tennessee (3:30pm, SEC Network): Root against the Gators and the Commodores. Can’t have Florida pass SU, and definitely want Vandy dragged down to SU’s level by losing to a 14-18 Volunteers team.

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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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