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Syracuse vs. Pitt: Streaks, Records & Bad Juju

A lot of folks are probably looking at the Big East standings and assuming that the No. 1 Syracuse Orange will have no problem with the Pittsburgh Panthers tonight in the Dome.

Of course, we Syracuse fans know better than to think such things. In fact, you could say there is a similarity to the different ways folks walk into this game and the way they perceive our national ranking.

The people you hear saying Syracuse shouldn't be No. 1 are the ones that look at paper and stats. The people you hear saying Syracuse is clearly No. 1 are the ones who have actually watched the games.

And it's the same thing for game like this. On paper, Syracuse should mop the floor with the 11-7 (0-5). But anyone who knows their Syracuse - Pitt history would tell you that records don't matter.

As you've probably heard (and are well aware), no active player on the Syracuse roster has ever beaten Pitt. The last time a Syracuse basketball team beat a Pitt basketball team was 2006 and the last time we beat them during the regular season was 2004. That's all kinds of insane.

And then there's this. If they win tonight, it will be for all kinds of milestones. The 20-0 start would be the best in school history. The win would be the 876th of Jim Boeheim's career, pushing him into a tie with Adolph Rupp for fourth place all-time in Division 1. Syracuse it would be the 34th time in Boeheim’s 36-year coaching career that his SU team won 20 games in a season, a record he already owns. And of course, before they even play the game, Syracuse will have tied its longest reign as the No. 1 team in the nation with a six-week run.

That's a lot of stuff going into a game against DePaul, let alone a game against Pitt. The same school that ended our 18-game start last year and the same team that has had our number so often it seems unbelievable.

That's why you won't hear Syracuse fans going too crazy today before the big game. There's a lot riding on it. A lot of streaks, a lot of records and a lot of bad juju that needed to be excised. In a way, I suppose it's perfect that our opponent here is Pitt.

We're Syracuse fans. We expect to win, but..