March has finally arrived and as the teams jockey for positions in the final week, the Syracuse Orange have found themselves back on track. They enter their final regular season game on a four-game winning streak at 11-6 in the Big East and 24-6 overall.
The Orange can close the regular season in no worse than fifth in conference play with a win. One thing that remains to be seen with this team is the consistency of their big men. Outside of Rick Jackson, who the Carrier Dome faithful will salute for the last time Saturday, consistency has been an issue for the Orange roster.
Fab Melo and Baye Moussa Keita have shown some signs of improvement. The question now becomes can they find six or seven productive games in a row? If the big men come together and the Orange defense continues to create offensive opportunities, there is no telling how long (or short) March will be.
A look ahead: The Big East Tournament begins Tuesday and the Orange will have at least a first-round bye. If standings remain as they are, the Orange will face the winner of the Rutgers-Seton Hall match up. This leaves the Orange in a familiar situation. The Orange beat Seton Hall in Seton Hall in a tight game. When Seton Hall visited upstate New York, however, the Orange found a much different Pirates team. Rutgers also played the Orange close. It took overtime before the Orange could manage a W.
Right now, the Cuse find themselves looking at a three seed in the NCAA Tournament according to ESPN’s Joe Lunardi. It wouldn’t be out of the question to see them play into a two seed or play themselves as low as a five seed. It all depends on how long their stay in the Big East Tournament is.
Predictions: It’s that time of the year again and isn’t it wonderful? The Orange have all the pieces to go the distance and they seem to be getting hot at the right time. It isn’t unrealistic to believe this team can take the Garden in the upcoming weeks.
But realistically they will be one and done. They got bigger fish to fry.
This season has been a roller coaster ride to say the least. The Orange are getting healthy. The production of key guys is improving game by game. Look at the Georgetown game, Scoop Jardine had zero turnovers. Maybe on that note Cuse fans should play the lottery. The odds have to be about the same. All kidding aside, destination Houston.