Syracuse qualifies for NCAA tournament, to play Princeton in opener

first_imgSyracuse (9-9, 1-6 Atlantic Coast) received an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament as an unseeded team. The Orange will face off against unseeded Princeton in the opening round of the tournament on May 11. The winner of the opening round matchup will take on four-seed Boston College.Syracuse took on Princeton on March 29 in Princeton, New Jersey, and won 17-16. Tess D’Orsi drove the Tigers with five goals on 11 shots that day but the Orange pulled out the road win.After qualifying for the tournament in each of the last six seasons, with two top-six seeds the past two seasons, Syracuse entered the selection show firmly on the NCAA tournament bubble. It was an up and down year for the Orange, which was unable to string together two-straight wins over the final 10 games of its season.Coming into Selection Sunday, the Orange’s Ratings Power Index ranked it 19th in the country, putting it near the edge of the 26-team field picked by the selection committee. But SU’s resume didn’t add up. The Orange fell to Virginia and Notre Dame in road matchups and was blown out by Duke at home, 17-10, on March 31. All three teams ranked below the Orange in RPI coming into today with the Cavaliers, the Fighting Irish and the Blue Devils ranking 20th, 27th and 29th respectively. Notre Dame and Duke — if the selection was based solely on RPI — wouldn’t even be included in the field of teams.The Orange didn’t record its first conference win until its final regular season game, when it bested a lowly Louisville team, which ranks 53rd in RPI with a 6-11 overall record, 19-8, on April 22.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAfter Syracuse fell in the penultimate regular season game to Boston College in a tight road matchup, SU head coach Gary Gait admitted that the Orange was firmly on the NCAA tournament bubble and that its remaining game against Louisville was a “must win.” While the Orange was able to capture an ACC win before the postseason commenced, before traveling to Durham, North Carolina, for its ACC tournament opening matchup against North Carolina, Gait was poised for SU to forge a potential season-saving run. In a year filled with endless travel, poor scheduling and quick turnarounds, Gait hoped that experience would be SU’s backbone to beat a team that had already blown out the Orange, 20-11, April 14. But that proved futile as Syracuse was dominated again in what he admitted may be the toughest test the Orange would face in the ACC tournament.But in the end, the Orange’s resume was just enough to give it another chance to repair the tough season in the NCAA tournament. Comments Published on May 6, 2018 at 9:40 pm Contact Michael: [email protected] | @MikeJMcCleary Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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