Syracuse Orange: 19-12, 8-10 in the ACC

Head coach: Jim Boeheim (42nd season)

Players to watch: Tyus Battle (20.0 PPG, 3.0 RPG); Frank Howard (15.2 PPG, 5.0 APG, 1.8 SPG); Oshae Brissett (14.7 PPG, 8.7 RPG)

Season recap: Syracuse opened up the season very strong, winning 10 of its first 11 contests with its only loss coming to then-No. 2 Kansas. But once the calendar turned to January after one ACC win on New Year’s Eve, its success against mostly inferior opponents faded. The Orange proceeded to lose four straight matchups before eventually bringing its ACC record back to .500 at 7-7. 

But Syracuse has struggled as of late as the Orange lost three games in a row, including a 16-point loss to the Blue Devils before knocking off Clemson at home on Senior Day.

Syracuse prides itself on defense as New York's home team finished 14th in the nation in points allowed per game at 64.1 per contest. The team ranked 10th in blocks per game, led by 7-foot-2 junior Paschal Chukwu’s 2.6, which lands him in the 14th spot in the country. At the same time, the Orange have not put the ball in basket in bunches, ranking 309th with only 67.6 points a game. Sophomore Tyus Battle, who was named to the All-ACC Second Team, led the team in scoring and finished second on the team in assists and blocks per game. The 6-foot-6 sophomore also leads the team in free-throw percentage and averages 38.9 minutes per game.

After a surprising Final Four run in 2016, Syracuse will likely miss out on the NCAA tournament unless it can make a deep push in Brooklyn. The Orange's biggest win of the year was against Clemson, with their other two Quadrant 1 wins coming with road victories over Miami and Louisville.

How they make a run: Syracuse’s zone defense replicates its performance against Clemson, leading to a low-scoring contest to accompany strong offensive performances from both Battle and Howard.