Cuse Country

Home Away From Dome for Syracuse Orange Fans

Three Reasons to Win

Posted by Tim on February 14, 2007

Josh’s excellent analysis of the South Florida Bulls got me thinking about the consequences of a loss tomorrow night. They aren’t pretty. I’ve pointed out a couple of games already that I felt were must wins, but this game is really, really a must win.

Our NCAA Tournament hopes end if we don’t win tonight. Here are three reasons why:

1. Our RPI is bad enough already. Yeah, I know it’s not all about the computer rankings. But WarrenNolan.com has us at 64 right now, and that’s probably not going to get it done. In WN’s most recent tournament projection, we aren’t even among the last four out. Joe Lunardi at ESPN.com puts our RPI at 62 (Insider subscription required), which is good enough to make his list of four near misses. But more importantly, the lowest ranked at-large team in his field right now is Georgia Tech at 57. They have six wins against top 50 RPI squads. We have two. I’m sure I don’t have to explain why that math doesn’t work out in our favor.

2. Our remaining schedule is too hard. The team can’t look past tonight’s game, but we can. Anyone who’s not developing an ulcer over the UConn game this weekend needs his or her head checked. This is a no-win situation for us: Losing to a bad UConn team at home is embarrassing, but we’re not going to get nearly the credit we deserve for beating them. And that game concludes the “easy” portion of conference play. After that we play at Providence, Georgetown in the Dome, and at Villanova. Oy. (Also, sorry for doubting ‘Nova earlier this year. They aren’t great, but they’re better than us.)

3. A loss would reveal SU as the tin men of the Big East. We should beat them. We have to beat them. And if we don’t, it will seriously damage any lingering confidence I might have otherwise had that we could finish the season strong or make a run in the Big East Tournament.

P.S. Mike Waters thinks a 3-2 finish capped by a Big East Tournament win gets us into the Big Dance. Maybe he’s right. But mark my words: South Florida can’t be one of those losses. After getting beaten at St. John’s, we can’t have any more stumbles.

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5 Responses to “Three Reasons to Win”

  1. OrangeRay said

    I think we have to go 5-0 to control our own destiny. If we go 4-1, and exit the Big East tourney early, then we may not be going to the dance.

  2. Josh said

    4-1 should be enough because of who they’d be beating. The best result would be to beat Georgetown, since they are most respected by the media and the computers of all the remaining opponents. But if they lose to the Hoyas, 4-1 means they got two good road wins (at Nova and at PC), while taking care of business vs UConn and USF, and I think in that case they’d be a likely NCAA pick (though not a lock). Also consider that their last 4 games are all on National TV, so if they play well and win most of them, it will greatly enhance their image.

  3. Chris said

    um, excuse me…Nova is better than us? um, didn’t we beat them this year–handily? Now the Cuse might be struggling of late, but we’re 7-5 in the conference and they’re 6-5, so that’s almost a wash. If Nova beats us in the final game of the year, then you might have an argument. But until then, there’s no way you can say Nova is better than the Cuse this year.

  4. Josh said

    Villanove has a top-20 RPI. Conference records are not the best measure of a team’s ability, espcially in this giant conference where you don’t even play everyone once. Our win against them is the 2nd-best win we have all year (Marquette on the road is the best one). If we beat them in philly that will be a big boost to our resume.

  5. Sounds crazy. What do you think of my babies goals Do you want a fresh joke from net? Why is an evil witch like a candle? They are both WICKED

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