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Let Us Count The Ways Jim Boheim Is Full Of Crap

Carleton v Syracuse
Jim Boeheim ostensibly fantasizes about the gamut of directional schools and vocational institutes he will stack Syracuse’s non-conference schedule with next season. (Getty Images)

Perpetual sourpuss and scourge of working-journalists-who-have-the-audacity-to-ask-routine-questions-that-must-be-asked Jim Boeheim is upset his Syracuse squad was left out of the NCAA tournament.

So instead of taking responsibility and trying to learn from what went wrong–you know, what reasonable, mature adults do–Boeheim naturally has decided to assign blame elsewhere. Namely, the NCAA tournament selection committee.

Boeheim said in no uncertain terms that the committee got the field wrong when it left Syracuse out and put Michigan State in.

“I love Michigan State, but they lost 14 games and they didn’t have as many good wins as we had,” he said Monday on The Dan Patrick Show.

It’s true that Syracuse had a couple really nice wins: The Orange upset then-No. 9 Virginia and later then-No. 9 Duke.

But as we all know–even if some of us choose to ignore it–the committee looks at the entire body of work over the course of a full season. So let’s compare ‘Cuse and MSU to see if Boeheim’s argument holds any water (SPOILER ALERT: It doesn’t.).

  • Overall records: Michigan State, 19-14; Syracuse 18-14
    This is a virtual wash.
  • RPI: Michigan State, 51; Syracuse, 84
    Point: Michigan State
  • Strength of schedule: Michigan State, 10th; Syracuse, 58th
    Point: Michigan State. In a big way.
  • Non-conference strength of schedule: Michigan State, 15th; Syracuse, 194th (!)
    Point: Michigan State. Syracuse should be embarrassed. How can you even have the nerve to argue your resume is better than a team that played four Top 20 teams within the first two-and-a-half weeks of the season when you were playing such stalwarts as Colgate and Holy Cross?
  • Records vs. RPI Top 100: Michigan State, 9-12; Syracuse, 8-9
    Point: Michigan State. One more win isn’t that significant, but it makes a difference when you consider they played four more Top 100 teams than the Orange.
  • Records vs. RPI Top 50: Michigan State, 5-9; Syracuse, 6-8
    We’ll call this one a wash.
  • Records vs. RPI Top 25: Michigan State, 3-8; Syracuse, 3-4
    Point, Michigan State. Because 11 > 7.
  • Records away from home: MSU, 5-12; Syracuse, 2-11
    Point, Michigan State. Neither are pretty, but give State the edge for more than double the wins and more non-home games overall, since Boeheim seemingly won’t play away from the Carrier Dome (which, by the way, boasts the nation’s largest college basketball seating capacity by about 10,000 butts) unless he’s forced.
  • Results vs. common opponents: Michigan State beat St. Johns on a neutral court, 73-62; Syracuse lost at home to St. Johns, 93-60
    Point, Michigan State. God, Boeheim really has no shame.
  • Embarrassingly unprofessional exchanges with media: Michigan State, 0; Syracuse, at least 1, probably more.
    Point: Syracuse–specifically, Boeheim. Those are levels of sardonicism befitting of a pubescent teenager who just got grounded for the weekend. Impressive when it comes from a septuagenarian Hall Of Fame coach.

Turns out Boeheim really has no one to blame but himself for his team playing in the NIT this season. Maybe if Syracuse didn’t rack up meaningless victories over borderline community colleges from rural New York and Ivy League cellar-dwellers, and instead scheduled even marginal Power 5 competition, then we wouldn’t have to suffer Boeheim’s petulant whining.

To some extent I get that Boeheim is just doing what any other coach would do in stumping for his team. But it takes on a different tone when it comes from the kind of chronic bellyacher like him, especially since he’s notorious for his aversion to scheduling actual competition in non-conference play.

It would be hard for me to feel sorry for any team getting snubbed by the NCAA tournament selection committee for non-existent non-conference strength of schedule. So it’s absolutely impossible for me to feel any sympathy for Syracuse given the circumstances.

Throw in the fact that Boeheim is a veritable wart on the game–he has more scandals on his resume than national championships–who comports himself with all the dignity of Cash Me Ousside girl and I’ve got a full-blown case of apathy for him and his team.

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