Team: Syracuse Orange
Conference: Atlantic Coast Conference
Coach: Jim Boeheim
Record: 19-13 overall, 9-9 in conference
KenPom Rank: 41
Good wins: at Duke; over Connecticut and Texas A&M, neutral.
Impact Players: The favorable NCAA Tournament Committee, Michael Gbinije (18 points/ g, four assists/ g, four rebounds/ game, 41% on 3-ptrs); Malachi Richardson (13 ppg); Trevor Cooney (13 ppg); Tyler Roberson (eight points, nine rebounds/ game).
How did they get in?: So... that's a story. Syracuse has drawn the ire of many for their inclusion in the Tournament, which seems to amount to the Selection Committee accepting that the Orange are a different squad without Jim Boeheim. For Boeheim was suspended a few games early in the season for NCAA violations admitted last year. The Orange won some games with him out, but also lost to Georgetown and St. John's in that stretch. Anyway, they also fumbled to a 9-9 record, but the ACC's strength means that their losses were generally to good teams.
It's not the most egregious thing ever, but it's a bit of a head scratcher after the Orange lost three straight to finish the season. But they are talented and do have some good wins.
How far can this team go in the NCAA Tournament?: The Orange have struggled offensively, especially inside the arc, where they only hit 48% of their shots - 217th in the country. If the outside shots aren't falling, they lean on their defense. It's a good, tall matchup zone, but a team that can move the ball and hit threes can win.
Last time in the NCAA Tournament: 2014, the last year Syracuse did not impose a postseason ban on the men's team.