Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
Best Wins: Villanova (4), Duke (9), North Carolina (19)
Worst Losses: Boston College (175), Georgia Tech (173)
The Case for Syracuse
On win No. 25 after a come-from-behind, one-point victory over NC State, Jim Boeheim acknowledged that the record said 25-0 but his team was more like a 20-5 club.
Oh Boeheim, you fortuneteller you.
The Orange have now lost four of five, and all those close wins (five by five points or less) really were a sign that Boeheim's team wasn't as good as the record showed.
If a metric were used that measured not just if you won but by how much, like Ken Pomeroy's ratings, the Orange would be on the No. 3-line right now. (Pomeroy had Syracuse ranked No. 11 entering Tuesday.)
Heck, the Orange could be headed in that direction.
But to the benefit of Syracuse, all of those close wins that made the record look better than the actual product will be viewed by the committee just like comfy 10-point wins, and there's still time to get back in the hunt.
What Needs to Happen
A win on the road on Sunday at Florida State is a must. The Seminoles are ranked 57th by the RPI, so it's not going to be a huge resume-builder, but this team needs something good to happen.
Win that, Boeheim can do what he did best last year: start with a clean slate in the postseason. The Orange also have the benefit of the committee considering that the loss to Georgia Tech and a majority of the Duke and Virginia games were played without Jerami Grant.
Go out and win the ACC tournament, and Syracuse would have a 30-4 record (assuming an FSU win), an excuse for three of its losses and the possibility of getting two more wins against UNC, Duke or Virginia.
If other candidates lose in their conference tournaments, it's still within reason for the Orange to get back to the top line. It's just hard to fathom right now.
C.J. Moore covers college basketball for Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter @CJMooreBR.