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Syracuse vs. Cornell: Upstate Rivalry So Close But So Far

As much as Cornell fans were rooting for Steve Donahue to stay as head coach or for the program to continue its recent run of success, Syracuse fans should have been rooting just as hard. It's lonely sometimes up in Central New York. Hell, all of Upstate New York, really. And it's be nice to have a dependable in-state rival that we could battle with from time to time.

When Cornell made that run to the Sweet Sixteen (in the Dome, no less) last year, it looked like the Big Red was finally emerging as the taker to that role. Then Donoahue bolted for Boston College (fech) and most of his stars graduated, leaving a young core and a new coach to rebuild the program once more. They'll be good again soon but it's a shame we don't get to play that unit from last March.

I say that as a guy who roots for a team that can't beat anyone, let alone a 2-4 Ivy League school, by more than five points. So maybe I should shut up.

Syracuse hosts Cornell tonight in the Dome at 7pm in what has been a yearly tradition for some time. There was a time when this series was a rivalry, but that time has passed...

Syracuse leads the all-time series with Cornell, 86-31. The Big Red’s last victory against the Orange came in 1968 when it defeated the Orange, 93-81.

Last season Syracuse beat Cornell, 88-73, in the Carrier Dome. Brandon Triche scored a then career-high 21 points to lead the Orange. Syracuse used a balanced scoring attack as nine different players scored, including four in double figures. Chris Wroblewski led Cornell with 20 points.

Wroblewski is back for the Big Red this season and tonight he's in the line-up, still recovering from a severely sprained ankle.

"It was frustrating because I wanted to be the leader of the team. I had high expectations for myself and my team," Wroblewski said. "And a lot of that summer work -- I don’t want to say it was erased -- but it’s evident that I’m a little bit rusty and a little out of shape."

Despite that rust, Wroblewski is shooting a robust 46 percent (11-of-24) from 3-point range. He claims that number can be deceptive, that he has had opportunities "down the stretch" of recent Cornell games when he missed shots that might have made a difference in each of the Big Red’s losses. He is turning the ball over, he said, more frequently than he would prefer. (He has 21 assists and 20 turnovers.)

Cornell center Aaron Osgood will also miss tonight's game with a knee injury.

The Big Red have lost three-straight and four overall. Their only game against a major conference team was a 92-68 loss to Seton Hall in which they got Hazell'd.

Mike Waters has the full scouting report on the game, include a very good trend for Kris Joseph...

Kris Joseph averaged a mere 11.3 points in SU’s first four games. He erupted with 22 points against Michigan and came back with 19 against Georgia Tech. His 17-point second half keyed the win over the Yellow Jackets.

Brandon Triche hopes to be as much a factor on the court as he is off it. He was named Orange Scholar Male Athlete of the Week. If I could ask one thing, however, it's that we get him a new headshot ASAP. I can't look at that thing much longer...