It may be the middle of October, but it's basketball season in Central and Northern New York. Sure, it's weeks from actually starting, but 'tis the season for hoops here! As evidenced by all the coverage and talk centered on college basketball.
And the biggest question needing answering that I can think of is: How do you top Syracuse and Georgetown one last time under the Teflon? A game that was so big it somehow raised the maximum capacity for Orange home games. Consider: A sellout in 2011 drew a then record crowd of 34,616. Hoyas in the House that Boeheim Built in 2013? 35,012.
There will never be anything like it again, right?
Well, as it turns out, maybe there will be. Single game tickets for Syracuse's home game against Duke on Feb. 1 are all gone, all ready. Not technically a sellout yet, but that's only a matter of time. As Chris Carlson points out, fans are frenzied over the home slate:
Syracuse sold out of its single-game allotment early Wednesday morning, just minutes after putting the "couple hundred" remaining on sale, according to athletic department chief of communications Joe Giansante."It was instant," Giansante said. "I wouldn't be surprised if there were people that loaded them into their shopping cart and weren't able to get them."
The most annoying feature of shopping online: "checking out" only to find that the item you have selected isn't actually available. Imagine that happening at Wegmans? Waiting in line, unloading your groceries, including some fantastic seasonal micro-brew, only to have them disappear as they hit the little conveyor-belt thing. But, wait, I had that in my cart? Super frustrating. And apparently there are a lot of angry Orange fans trying to get tickets for the Blue Devils game.
(Side Rant: Wouldn't it be a great rivalry move for Syracuse to sell one extra ticket for Feb. 1? Sellout the Dome with 35,013. One more poke at the Hoyas. I like it and I'll be disappointed if it doesn't happen. Daryl Gross, PHD, get on this!)
Actually, as it turns out, the same annoying checkout problem is probably happening to fans trying to purchase tickets for home games against Indiana and North Carolina! It's freakin' October and games, as in several, are selling out. It's amazing to think about, but it's certainly not a surprise. Not given the new ACC home for Syracuse, plus non-conference dates with those Hoosiers and even Villanova. For the hoops fan, 2013-14 presents one hell of a tasty smorgasbord. Thus the reason for the mad-dash for tickets.
Of course, we all knew this was coming The schedule has been out for a while, plus, the second Syracuse joined the ACC who didn't start thinking about Mike Krzyzewski v. Jim Boeheim or SU v. UNC?
But I guess it's the reality of ACC Media Days and tickets for the season officially going on sale that kind of makes things all the more real. We're sitting just a few weeks from the start of what should be one hell of an entertaining season. At least two games with Duke, including what may be Syracuse's first official visit to Cameron Indoor Stadium. (I remember the '89 ACC/Big East Challenge and being so upset that game with Duke was played in Greensboro.) Plus, Notre Dame, the Wildcats, and the Maui Invitational! (Something that kind of gets lost in all the hype surrounding Syracuse's first ACC season.)
It's a little bit of overload, really. Seriously, starting next month my hoops addiction will only get worse. We all should make sure to do "family" related things to build up some brownie points (make sure to work those activities around college football and the NFL schedule, of course).
Not to mention, all of this pending basketball euphoria coincides with the recent uptick in the Orange program. Number one seeds, topping the rankings, Sweet 16s, Elite Eights, and, of course, last season's Final Four run. While Boeheim has always had Syracuse a top-25 program with an incredibly high ceiling, the last five to six years seems to have been at a different level. Hell, I've seen a few "experts" pick Syracuse as the team to beat in the ACC this season.
The Big East was something special, and every year always brought the best-of-the-best in form or another. But this season, this ACC thing really, is all a little different. This is a place where topping the untoppable could be a regular thing. And hot damn, you all should be pumped!
That is unless you're one of the hundreds, if not thousands, of people trying to get tickets to a game that effectively sold out over three months before tip-off. You know, basketball season starts early 'round here.