Home > Bracketology, Current Updates, S-Curve, Team News > Bracket Bits: Can Syracuse, UConn or Florida make a run?

Bracket Bits: Can Syracuse, UConn or Florida make a run?

dave1It’s a bit odd to look at the Seed List (on Jan. 31) and find Syracuse, Connecticut, and Florida below the projected NCAA tournament at-large cutline – well below when it comes to the Huskies and Gators. It’s even more odd given that Florida, in particular, was projected to be a top four seed back in November.

The reasons – for all three teams – are pretty obvious.  Combined, Florida (0-7), Connecticut (2-7), and Syracuse (1-3) are 3-17 against current Top 50 teams (RPI).   The Gators and Huskies have had their chances and largely whiffed.  Syracuse beat Iowa in November, but couldn’t sustain anything, dropping decisions to California, Michigan, and St. John’s  (non of which were in the Jan. 30 bracket).

So the question becomes – can Syracuse, UConn, or Florida make a run in February?  It won’t be easy. Here’s a quick look at each team’s chances …

  • Syracuse – The Orange are in the best position of the three, given their Seed List position. Down the stretch, ‘Cuse plays Duke twice, Louisville, Notre Dame, and Virginia.  Assuming Syracuse navigates two games with Pittsburgh and a tougher-than-you-think trip to Boston College, there’s opportunity.  Can the Orange find three wins among the aforementioned group?  You have to think it takes at least two for realistic consideration.
  • Connecticut – The Huskies have a tougher route because the AAC doesn’t offer the same quality win opportunities – only six teams on the Huskies’ remaining schedule are ranked in the Top 100. UConn has two games left with SMU and Memphis, and one with Tulsa. They’ve split with Cincinnati.  UConn will receive some credit for its schedule – nine games against Top 50 teams, but not enough to counteract its overall number of losses.  Assuming the Huskies avoid a bad loss (or two), they probably need to win four of the five already mentioned to stay in the picture.
  • Florida – Without a Top 50 win, the Gators are desperate. The small pot at the end of the rainbow is that the SEC is a bit improved, giving the Gators more chances. Notable games ahead include Arkansas, LSU, Tennessee, and Ole Miss.  Florida also plays Texas AM and Kentucky twice.  Assuming the Gators make a strong push against everyone on this list, they likely have to beat Kentucky at least once. That’s a monumental task.

A final thought … this year’s bubble – at least for now – appears to be weak.  The door is open, even if it’s only a small crack.

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