Syracuse hasn't played at Virginia Tech since January of 1978. The Great Jim Boeheim's Orangemen lost that game. It was the 8th loss of his coaching career (not bad for January of season 2). Somehow the Orangemen haven't gone back, until now. A fact that I had to double check about 8 times because it didn't seem possible. So Tuesday presents The Great Jim Boeheim with the opportunity to beat a team on the road for the 1st time.
Below are some random stats and musings about the Hokies:
4-1 Syracuse's record vs. V'Tech during the Boeheim Era
3-0 Syracuse's record vs. V'Tech in Big East Play
*Syracuse has been ranked in every match-up with Tech during the Boeheim Era, Tech has never been ranked.
*Syracuse has never played a Tech team that went on to make the NCAA Tournament during the Boeheim Era
Big East School V'Tech reminds me of: Notre Dame Much like Miami, I don't really think of V'Tech as an ACC school so much as a Big East school playing in the ACC. Notre Dame is also kind of a cop out answer too, as they're kind of a quasi ACC school now, just not for Football (dicks). Which is why I make the comparison. V'Tech was sort of the bizarro Notre Dame in the Big East. We let them join for Football but told them they were unworthy for basketball and let them linger in the Atlantic-10 for about a decade before making them full members. Where as Notre Dame has now told two conferences they're unworthy for football and joined for everything else (dicks).
Player I think of when I think of Virginia Tech: Bimbo Coles
In all reality, the player I think of is Adrian Autry, but obviously he never played at Tech. Bimbo on the other hand, played at Tech but never against Syracuse. But he's still forever going to be the player that comes to mind when I hear V'Tech basketball. Some of you may be too young to remember following sports before the internet. But back in the mid-80's most games weren't on tv and you couldn't get stats online. So what stat junkies did was buy USA Today for their comprehensive stats. Bimbo had three things going for him that made his name pop off the pages for me: (1) A funny name, (2) a school with a name that sounded made up, and (3) three years of crazy scoring averages around 25 ppg. He also took the Hokies to the NCAA Tournament the first two seasons it expanded to a symmetrically pleasing 64 schools.
Allegedly Bryant Mathews was all an Big-East 1st team selection in 2004, but I'd be lying if I said I remembered him. He was also Honorable Mention in 2003 along with some dude named Terry Taylor. No other Hokies ever earned the honor in the brief stint they were allowed to call themselves a "Big East" basketball team from 2000-04.
Tech has seen 11 players go on to play in an NBA game, none of whom ever played a game against Syracuse during their time as Hokies.
Individual Game Results during the Boeheim Era
Jan. 30, 1978: H Virginia Tech 87, #18 Syracuse 71 Marty Byrnes 21 pts
Dec. 2, 2000: H #20 Syracuse 88, Virginia Tech 68 DeShaun Williams & Damone Brown 26 pts
Jan. 26, 2002: H #12 Syracuse 81, Virginia Tech 69 DeShaun Williams 28 pts
Jan. 31, 2004: H #20 Syracuse 76, Virginia Tech 64 Gerry McNamara 26 pts
Nov. 23, 2011: MSG #5 Syracuse 69, Virginia Tech 58 Kris Joseph 20 pts