Conference: Big East Conference
How They Qualified: At-Large Berth
The Syracuse Orange may have went on a little rough patch at the end of February, but this has been one of the best teams in the nation all season long. The Orange were not expected to finish tied for fifth in the conference, but that’s what happens when a team loses three games in a row down the stretch.
Although Syracuse is not the strongest team coming out of the Big East, they were able to end things on a positive note in the Big East Tournament, making a run before bowing it in the league’s final championship contest. The Orange were 18-1 at one point in the season, so that’s a testament to what they are capable of.
What You Need to Know:
Leading Scorer: C.J. Fair (14.4 ppg)
Leading Rebounder: C.J. Fair (7.1 rpg)
Leading Passer: Michael Carter-Williams (7.7 apg)
Bad Losses: None
Good Wins: San Diego State, Louisville, Notre Dame
Although they may not count as good wins, Syracuse also beat Arkansas, Villanova and Cincinnati on the season. This is a team that rebounds the ball pretty well, ranking 16th in that department in the country, but it really relies on a well-balanced scoring attack, with four players averaging ten or more points per game.
However, Carter-Williams runs the show and his point guard abilities are out of this world for a sophomore, or anyone for that matter. It also helps that he stands at 6-foot-6. Not a whole lot of people have been talking about Syracuse, but they could easily make a deep run in this year’s NCAA Tournament.
The Syracuse Orange are dancing!