What is a 10-seed? Seriously, as a Syracuse basketball fan since 2009, I’m unaccustomed to being seeded below fourth. A 10-seed? Now that’s a foreign concept.
But alas, it will have to be one we accept, and it should be one that we greatly accept after a year off from the tourney. It’s been two years since SU was in the tournament, and three years since it won a game in said tournament. That’s a long time for our spoiled fan base.
With the tourney starting tomorrow, we can expect nothing and everything based on recent SU seasons.
I seem to reference my four years at Syracuse a lot on here, because statistically it was one of the best, or possibly the best four years in SU basketball history if we’re talking about pure wins. Not to mention the two No. 1 seeds. And an Elite Eight. And a Final Four. All that was missing was a title!
No run is the same. Each is like a fingerprint or a snowflake, unique in its own vibe and feelings. We remember how old we were, where we were living. We have associations with certain tourneys.
Who knows what this March will hold. The Orange play Dayton on Friday afternoon. My feelings toward this game are more subdued than in past years, perhaps because of last year’s sanction, perhaps because this team barely made it in the tourney. We don’t know how much we like a version of a team until the end of the road.
Take the 2012-2013 team, which happened to be a Final Four team. It was my senior year. SU had entered the season with big expectations for itself and Michael Carter-Williams. But the team really had an up-and-down season. I had minimal hopes for a run past the Sweet 16. But MCW stepped up and Cuse went on a dominating run.
The 2009-2010 and 2011-2012 teams had amazing regular seasons and were No. 1 seeds, but couldn’t advance past the Sweet 16 and the Elite Eight, respectively.
This year is the most unpredictable I’ve seen in a while in college basketball. When I was at the Final Four last year, I knew I was seeing greatness in three of those teams (Duke, Kentucky and Wisconsin). Oh, and the other team was only Michigan State. Not too bad.
This year, SU could make a run. I wouldn’t bet on it, but if SU’s past tells us anything, it doesn’t matter what happened in the regular season, you just have to get into the tournament. All that matters is the scoreboard going forward.