I don’t think the Syracuse men’s basketball team is a top-four seed in the NCAA Tournament.
They are going, for sure, but not in one of the Top-16 slots.
DePaul is the chicken soup for the Big East soul, but I just wasn’t all that impressed with the 78-57 win by the Orange in the final conference game at the Carrier Dome.
Call me a Johnny Raincloud that is just looking to poke holes in anything positive after the roughest stretch of the season, but it is getting toward that time of year when we have to get really real about what we are watching.
I would take UCLA over SU for a No. 4 seed right now. The Bruins have won four in a row and are 8-4 over the last 12, including a win over Arizona (a No. 3 seed for me) during the win streak.
I would take Ohio State over SU for a No. 4 seed right now. The Buckeyes are 22-7, have won four in a row, are 9-3 over the last 12, and have wins over Michigan, Michigan State and Indiana.
I would definitely take Saint Louis over SU for a No. 4 seed right now. The Billikens have a hilarious nickname, are 11-1 over the last 12, have won 11 in a row, and beat New Mexico (a No. 3 seed for me). They played Xavier late last night.
I would still take Oklahoma State over SU for a No. 4 seed right now. The Cowboys lost Iowa State during the Orange’s win, but OK-State is 9-3 over the last 12, won at Kansas at Feb. 2, and played Gonzaga within a point.
Just for good measure, I would take Marquette over SU for a No. 4 seed right now. Marquette is 9-3 over the past 12, beat 'Cuse head-to-head and four of its five losses against the RPI's top 50 were on the road.
So, that puts SU in a No. 5 spot somewhere.
As we all know, or have heard, since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985, a No. 12 seed has beaten a No. 5 team 38 times - including twice last year - for a .352 batting average.
Only leading DePaul - 2-15 in the Big East this winter - by about 15 for most of Senior Night in a game that should be as close to a live practice as possible this deep in the season?
Good luck with that.
But the beauty is, a win at G’Town and some W’s in the conference tournament would make me eat some crow.