WASHINGTON -- Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said he didn't know how the NCAA tournament selection committee would judge his team, but he said he believed his suspension should be considered because the Orange "already have been punished enough."
"The basketball committee is not the infractions committee,'' Boeheim said after Syracuse lost to Pittsburgh 72-71 in the second round of the ACC tournament. "Their job is to pick the best teams for the tournament. These guys had nothing to do with any of this and should be evaluated on how well they played. They've been punished enough.''
The Orange went 4-5 during Boeheim's nine-game suspension for NCAA violations and 15-8 since he returned to the bench. Syracuse's worst two losses on its NCAA résumé -- against Georgetown and St. John's -- both came when associate head coach Mike Hopkins was in charge. The Orange's best two wins, against Texas A&M and Duke, were while Boeheim was on the bench.
On Wednesday, NCAA tournament selection committee chairman Joe Castiglione said he believed Boeheim's presence affected the Orange's play.
"In Syracuse's case, we recognize you have a Hall of Fame coach who has assembled his team, knows his team,'' Castiglione said. "To pretend he's not a difference-maker would be a mistake.''
The selection committee has regularly considered a team's record with and without star players who have been either injured or suspended, but dealing with suspended coaches is a relatively new wrinkle.
"I don't know what will happen. I'm not on the committee,'' Boeheim said. "Every coach who has a record thinks his team belongs in the tournament. We'll be evaluated on our record and our circumstances and they will make a decision.''