NCAA Bracket 2012: How Syracuse Basketball Got To March Madness

Mar 9, 2012; New York, NY, USA; Syracuse Orange head coach Jim Boeheim argues with the referee against the Cincinnati Bearcats during the second half of the semifinals of the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden. Cincinnati won 71-68. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

Syracuse stormed through the Big East, finishing the regular season with just one loss. A loss to Cincinnati in the Big East Tournament wasn't ideal, but the Orange look primed to make a run in the NCAA Tournament.

The Syracuse Orange put together an almost-perfect season, running the table in the non-conference slate and nearly doing the same in the Big East. There was never a question that the Orange were NCAA Tournament bound, with the team instead playing for a No. 1 seed throughout the season. They eventually earned it, and will face No. 16 UNC Asheville in their first game.

The Orange played a relatively light non-conference schedule, notching their best win over Florida in December. The early part of the year was more a of a tune-up, and 'Cuse passed with flying colors. It shouldn't come as much of a surprise, however: The Orange powered through the Big East slate with only a loss to Notre Dame as a blemish.

Syracuse lost to Cincinnati in the semifinals of the Big East Tournament, setting off a chain of reminders that late-season losses can serve as wake-up calls for top-seeded teams.

A 31-2 record and Big East regular season title is about the best possible resume a team could dream of putting together, and Syracuse was rewarded come Selection Sunday as a result. Now, with the seeds announced, the attention turns to how deep a run the Orange can make after surviving the always difficult Big East, coming out on top at the end of a grueling conference schedule.

For more on the Orange, visit Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and SB Nation New York. Join our 2012 NCAA Bracket pool to compete against the best and brightest from around the network.

For more on the 2012 NCAA Tournament bracket, stay with SB Nation's Selection Sunday StoryStream, and stick around SB Nation's NCAA Tournament hub for a complete printable NCAA Tournament bracket and tons of analysis on who was snubbed, who got the best bracket, and who will make it all the way to New Orleans and the Final Four.

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