NEW YORK — After a bit of gentle prompting, Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim let his opinion fly.
Following Syracuse’s 62-57 loss to Miami in the second round of the ACC Tournament on Wednesday afternoon, ESPN’s Dana O’Neil asked Boeheim what he thought his team’s fate would be on Selection Sunday.
“It doesn’t matter what I think,” Boeheim said.
“What would you expect to see happen?” O’Neill responded.
She was stymied again, as Boeheim said that he expected the committee to make a decision.
The third time was a charm, though, as Boeheim pled his case for his team, comparing it to the 2015-16 team that squeaked into the NCAA Tournament as a 10-seed and eventually fought its way to the Final Four.
That team had “three good wins against a top team in the country, Texas A&M, Connecticut who was not ranked, and Duke was at about 18,” Boeheim said.
This year’s version has racked up three top-10 wins over Duke, Florida State and Virginia. But those quality wins need to be balanced against SU’s bad non-conference losses against St. John’s, UCONN and Georgetown, none of which are even close to an at-large bid.
Syracuse has also been criticized for winning just two games away from the Carrier Dome. But Boeheim was quick to compare SU’s resume with other ACC teams that are locks for the NCAA Tournament.
“In the ACC, there’s four teams going to the tournament that have three losses in conference on the road, and we have two,” Boeheim said. “The only team with a winning conference on the road is North Carolina, and they’re top 10 in the country.”
Another factor SU has going in its favor is that it won 10 games in what is widely regarded as the best conference in the country this year. Syracuse finished at 10-8 after opening ACC play with an ugly loss to Boston College.
“Other conferences are talking about getting 60 percent of their teams in the tournament. If we’re the best conference in the country, we should get more than 50 percent of teams in the tournament.”
“I think the committee, from what I’ve gathered through my years, is looking for teams that can win games in the tournament. I think we can.”