Joe Lunardi Finally Gives Syracuse Basketball Some Love

The Syracuse basketball team rarely gets love around the country, but with their recent play experts can’t deny them any longer, including Joe Lunardi.

Highly recognized ESPN Bracketologist Joe Lunardi has finally included the Syracuse basketball team in his latest NCAA March Madness projections.

Lunardi put Syracuse at No.11 in the South Region and are slotted to face No. 6 seed Xavier in Indianapolis. In Lunardi’s previous projection from earlier this week, he had Syracuse in the ‘next four out’ category.

In his latest projections, Lunardi wrote that Syracuse is “still in the bubble”, but nobody expected this team to be in contention, especially after some humiliating losses in non-conference play.

After Lunardi gave Syracuse a near impossible chance of making the tournament a month ago when saying “it is inevitable that the Orange make the tournament”, Syracuse has won 5 in a row, and sit in fourth place in a tough ACC conference.

After harshly criticizing Syracuse earlier this month, Lunardi gave the Orange much deserved

credit when saying “I think it was the weekend of the Martin Luther King holiday that I declared the Orange couldn’t get there …again …and they have won five straight including their first two road wins of the year…Suddenly they are playing for a (double) bye in the ACC Tournament.”, when speaking on ESPN Radio Syracuse yesterday.

It his hard to like Joe Lunardi if you are a Syracuse Orange fan. It is hard to forget when he claimed that ‘Cuse would not make the Tournament last year. The Orange ended up entering as a No. 10 seed, and you know the rest.

Lunardi tried to save himself when saying “I think you could make the argument that it was less likely this year, this turnaround to make the tournament, than a year ago,” Lunardi said. “A year ago they were a legitimate bubble team. When I wrote that, Syracuse wasn’t anywhere near the bubble three weeks ago. I think that just goes to show you how rapidly these things can swing.”

Lunardi recently said that Syracuse would make the tournament if they can split their remaining games. Last season, Lunardi counted Syracuse out because they lacked wins against top 25 teams in the country. Syracuse has recently taken down two powerhouses in Florida State and Virginia, and will have the opportunity to strengthen their resumé against Duke, and have two showdowns with Louisville before the end of ACC play.

Lunardi joked around during the final stages of his interview when saying “I’m going to predict right here and right now that Syracuse isn’t going to win a game next season,” Lunardi joked. “That means they are going 40-0. You can thank me later.”

Syracuse made an improbably March Madness run last year, and with how they are playing, nobody should count them out, especially Joe Lunardi.

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