In politics, a rule of thumb is to not mention your opponent by name. You don’t want name recognition for fear that in the voting booth, a person could forget your name, but remember the name of your opponent.
You wouldn’t say, “Doug Gottlieb is a terrible person.” You would say, “My opponent is a terrible person.”
With that in mind, I won’t give any of the so-called experts any credit for dismissing Syracuse as if it was lucky to get an NCAA tournament bid. I will only give myself, Gene Siudut, props for realizing that all this Orange bashing is a lot of bark, but no bite.
First, let’s set the record straight.
The narrow defeat of UNC-Asheville in the opening round was not a lucky win for Syracuse. It was lucky for UNC-Asheville that Syracuse played so poorly. UNC-Asheville is a talented team and went toe-to-toe with one of the best teams in America.
This game was not indicative of Syracuse basketball, only a lapse in its customary solid play.
The following game against Kansas State was more Syracuse’s style.
The Orange scored off of turnovers, blocked 10 shots vs. no blocks for Kansas State and dictated the pace of the entire game.
The absence of Fab Melo has been the biggest reason for the collective legs of our nation’s brightest commentators to break in their leap from the Syracuse bandwagon, but just because the experts predict a Syracuse thrashing at the hands of Wisconsin or Ohio State or whichever team the Orange will face, doesn’t mean it’s true.
The Orange was supposed to lose to Kansas State if you listened to some of the hype.
There was a lot of scuttlebutt about the Orange falling to Vanderbilt, but I don’t see any Vanderbilt on Thursday’s schedule. Maybe they play on Friday.
Here are the reasons Syracuse should be just fine.