The Midwest Region bracket is packed and will no doubt have Bet365 NJ servers very busy as fans put in some action for number 10 seed, New Jersey’s own, Rutgers. Syracuse is going to get their shot at becoming NCAA champions, a long shot for sure, but that is why basketball is not a foregone conclusion, and the reason why we have Cinderella runs every year. Coach Boeheim was right to believe they had done enough, and the committee felt the same way, as the Orange made the cut in the Midwest Region as the eleventh seed, with Illinois taking the number one seed. Across the bracket, Gonzaga, Illinois, Baylor, and Michigan grabbed the four number one seeds, with Gonzaga the favorite to go the distance.
Getting into the bracket was one thing; advancing will be another. Syracuse has it in them to win at least two games here, but for the rest, the team will have to show a consistency that was lacking in the regular and ACC postseason. Buddy Boeheim became the frontman for the Orange as the season progressed and will be needed to shine once again for the team to beat have any chance at success. Balanced offense from two juniors (Boeheim and Griffin) and a sophomore (Guerrier) have been the backbone for Syracuse all season long, and they will need that, coupled with consistent, aware defense. Coach Boeheim’s boys will open their run against No.6, San Diego State, and face either No.3 West Virginia or No.14 Morehead if they make it past the first round. As a whole, the bracket for Syracuse is by no means a walk in the park. The Orange have in their way gen teams that have shown better basketball this season, which Syracuse will know all about, having faced Clemson, Rutgers, and Georgia Tech in the regular season.
All three teams had the better of Syracuse, with Clemson and Rutgers beating them by at least 10 points. Coach Boeheim’s men have a bit of luck on their side as Clemson will face Rutgers in their opening round, meaning one of the teams will be out and one less for Syracuse to worry about. First up, however, the Orange will have plenty on their hands with San Diego State. If consistent defense has been an issue for Syracuse, the same cannot be said of San Diego State, who have made their season and run entirely on solid defense, good enough for eighth nationally, and a balanced offense. The Aztecs have made great defense their identity, allowing only 60.6 points on average all season. Anchored by seniors Jordan Schakel and Matt Mitchell, who jointly average 30 points for the Aztecs, San Diego State is well covered for this one, especially if you decide to throw in big man Nathan Mensah to that defensive mix. However, Syracuse is known to be scrappy and is not expected to play it safe. This matchup is a battle between two teams that have the potential to make a sneaky Cinderella run, especially for Syracuse, if they can be consistent with what they have shown only glimpses of, this season.