Bracketology: Syracuse Could Still Come Through Buffalo, MSG; Latest AP Top 25 | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Tuesday / May 28.
  • Bracketology: Syracuse Could Still Come Through Buffalo, MSG; Latest AP Top 25

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    Tyler EnnisFor much of this season it seemed virtually inevitable that Syracuse would secure the No. 1 seed in the East and would be lined up to play as many as four straight NCAA Tournament games without leaving New York State.

    But that was before the Orange lost three of their last four games — to Boston College, Duke and Virginia — to tumble to No. 7 in the latest AP Top 25 poll.

    Although the Orange have lost the ACC regular-season title to Virginia, they are still expected to challenge for the ACC tournament title — along with No. 4 Duke, No. 5 Virginia and No. 14 North Carolina.

    If Duke, Syracuse or Virginia winds up winning, that program could well end up as the No. 1 overall seed in the East.

    Still, at this point ESPN’s Joe Lunardi still has the Orange playing in the East — as the No. 2 seed with Kansas as the No. 1.

    Under that scenario, Syracuse could still play their first two games in Buffalo and their next two at Madison Square Garden.

    Also in Lunardi’s loaded mock East bracket with Syracuse and Kansas are No. 3 Michigan, No. 5 UCLA, No. 6 Kentucky and No. 7 UConn. Talk about bluebloods.

    That group has combined to win 11 of the 26 NCAA titles since 1988.

    Syracuse could potentially have to beat UConn, Kentucky or Michigan and presumably Kansas to go to the Final Four.

    Still, you can bet they’d rather be the No. 2 seed in the East than the 1 in another region.

    “If you can play in your region, that’s a huge factor,” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said earlier this year while at the Garden. “One of the reasons Duke and Carolina went to the Final Four about 25 out of 30 years was because the Regional was in Greensboro or Charlotte or some place every year. They had good teams but they also had the Regional in those locations every  year.

    “And people say neutral court, but that’s nonsense. If you can go to the Regional in your area it’s going to help you. We got there from New Jersey,  we got there from Albany, we got there from Washington, D.C.

    “So it’s easier to get there if you’re in your own area, there’s no question about that. But you just gotta play well and see what happens. Control your own destiny a little bit.”

    AP POLL

    1. Florida (46) 27-2
    2. Wichita St. (14) 31-0
    3. Arizona (5) 27-2
    4. Duke 23-6
    5. Virginia 25-5
    6. Villanova 26-3
    7. Syracuse 26-3
    8. Kansas 22-7
    9. Wisconsin, 24-5
    10. San Diego St., 25-3
    11. Louisville, 24-5
    12. Michigan, 21-7
    13. Creighton, 23-5
    14. North Carolina, 22-7
    15. Cincinnati, 24-5
    16. Iowa St., 22-6
    17. Saint Louis, 25-4
    18. SMU, 23-6
    19. UConn, 23-6
    20. Memphis, 22-7
    21. New Mexico, 23-5
    22. Michigan St., 22-7
    23. Oklahoma, 21-8
    24. Iowa, 20-9
    25. Kentucky, 21-8

    Others receiving votes: Texas 70, VCU 58, UCLA 45, Gonzaga 38, Stephen F. Austin 38, Kansas St. 19, Saint Joseph’s 19, Ohio St. 17, Green Bay 13, Harvard 7, Arizona St. 5, UMass 5, Colorado 2, Pittsburgh 2, Xavier 2, NC Central 1, Oklahoma St. 1, Southern Miss. 1.

     

     

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.

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