2021 March Madness: First Look At Syracuse
Here’s a closer look at the Orange who face the Aztecs on March 19.
Syracuse has by-and-large struggled against Quad 1 opponents all season.
Indianapolis, IN– On Friday, March 19th at 9:40 p.m. inside of Hinkie Fieldhouse, No.11 seed Syracuse face off against No. 6 San Diego State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Taking a closer look at the 2020-21 Syracuse Orange, here’s what the Aztecs might expect.
First, addressing the elephant in the room, many were surprised to find Syracuse squarely in the NCAA Tournament as an 11 seed. Even coach Jim Boeheim believed the Orange would have to play into the tourney this year as a First Four team, or possibly not make it at all. Why, exactly?
Syracuse finished 16-9 overall on the season, and is No. 40 in the NET. The glaring holes in its resume are a 1-7 quadrant one record as well as a 2-7 road record. That’s no typo. Syracuse finished 6-1 in their quadrant two and quadrant three games. The Orange registered a stinging quadrant three loss at home against Pittsburgh. Syracuse is 3-0 in quadrant four games.
Syracuse still finished with a Strength of Schedule of 43 and a non-conference SOS of 90. The Orange are 44 in KPI, 42 in SOR, 33 in BPI, 41 in Ken Pom and 34 in Sagarin.
As for Syracuse’s roster, the Orange had an unfortunate break when they lost starting center Bourama Sidibe one game into the season due to injury. Since then, the team has struggled to defend the middle and secure rebounds to finish defensive possessions.
Junior Guard Buddy Boeheim, son of coach Jim Boeheim, leads the team averaging 17.1 points per game and minutes played. Illinois transfer forward Alan Griffin is a key factor averaging 14.7 points 6.5 rebounds per game. Forward Quincy Guerrier is a rebounding force averaging 14.4 points and 8.8 boards per game. Freshman forward Kadary Richmond is an emerging force for the Orange averaging 1.8 steals per game.
As for this year’s ACC Tournament, Syracuse managed to defeat NC State before losing in to Virginia in the quarterfinals by a heart-breaking, game-winning three.
The day after the match, Virginia bowed out due to a positive Covid-19 test.
As of Friday, Syracuse Athletic Director John Wildhack announced that no positive tests have yet emerged for Syracuse, and that “no players would have to enter quarantine.”
There is certain to be a lot of buzz surrounding Syracuse’s inclusion in this year’s Tourney- especially considering that, once again, many worthy teams were excluded.
Even with their debatable inclusion, this is still Syracuse. The Orange have a rich legacy going far during March Madness- even when they are on the fringe.