A win over Villanova the other night would have been huge; instead Syracuse left some work still to be done. The win over St. John's definitely help. Syracuse continues their trend of beating the teams they should beat, and losing to those that are better. Logic tells me that based on their resume, Syracuse should be 'safe' from the bubble position, assuming they don't collapse down the stretch. But I have no faith in the NCAA selection committee.
A win against Marquette on the road became a little bit easier with the injury last night to Dominic James. It will still be a tough win to get, and if the Orange can win that game, that should 'seal the deal' for post season action (a win against a top rate team on the road to close out the year).
Syracuse is currently at #22 in the RPI and #11 in the strength of schedule (SOS), using CBSSportsline's RPI. Those numbers won't likely change much over the next three games, and the Big East tournament should help to bolster the SOS.
West Virginia is sitting a little prettier at #17 in the RPI and #9 in the SOS. The strange thing is that Syracuse fans feel like we may be in jeopardy of making the NCAA, and my West Virginia fans feel the same way about the Mountaineers.
Meanwhile, look at these four programs:
UCLA 20-7, but a #35 RPI and #46 SOS, #22 in the AP
Arizona 18-9 but #46 RPI and #36 SOS
Florida 21-7 but #43 RPI and #95 SOS
These schools are normally the 'darlings' of the NCAA selection committee and with sportswriters (hence the high AP ranking). The RPI and SOS numbers above all position those teams as bubble teams. Do you think that their fans think they are on the bubble? I'm guessing they are feeling somewhat comfortable right now.
We'll see how this all shakes out. There is a lot of basketball left to be played, but time is short.