Syracuse Orange head coach Jim Boeheim has been accused of being many things. And that's just in the last couple weeks.
He's been called a complainer. He's been called an exaggerator. He's been taken to task for being too harsh and taken to task for being too flippant. It's been said he "doesn't get it" and it's been said that he lets his emotions get the better of him. A jerk. A goofball. A comedian. An ***hole. And a phony. Often by the same person all at once.
But when it comes to the Syracuse Orange basketball team, you can never ever listen to Jim Boeheim talk and call him a liar.
To a fault, he is always honest and forthcoming about the true state of his squad, polls & public opinion be damned.
We should probably start listening to him.
Before all this madness ever even started, Jim Boeheim looked at his roster, watched his team play and made a bold proclamation that made him seem a little silly until a couple hours ago...
I think the height of foolishness is to think that we're going to win 29 games and lose 2 or something like that.
Even when Syracuse was cruising along at 15-0, 18-0, 21-0…Jim Boeheim was always more than happy to remind everyone that this was no UCLA of The 60's and 70's. Here was his take on the team a little over two weeks ago when they sat at 24-0.
"The way we played the first 36-37 minutes of most games, we should be 20-4 or 19-5," SU head coach Jim Boeheim said, "but in the last three or four minutes we’ve been just about perfect in all those situations."
And now, on the heels of the 75-56 loss to the Virginia Cavaliers, a loss that officially dethroned the Orange as the class of the ACC, it looks like we can officially look at the season as a whole and say, yep, Boeheim was absolutely right.
We are 26-3, but we're damn lucky not to be 23-6, or worse. Since February 12th, we're 3-3. All three of those victories required miracle finishes and/or questionable referee-related situations. All three very easily could have gone the other way.
Remember when people used to wax romantic about Syracuse's heart-stopping victories? Those days are long over. Now, every game seems equally winnable and losable for the Orange, and no one is surprised when it comes down to the wire either way.
This is the part where I remind you they did win all those games. They are still 26-3 and they've got a slew of quality wins under their belt. This is not a bad team. Faaaaaar from it. This season has been amazing. Frustratingly-so, but, still…amazing.
But as much as we like to remind ourselves that regular-season rankings don't matter, maybe we need to remind ourselves that regular-season records don't always mean what we think they mean either.
The standings say 26-3. Jim Boeheim tells me we should probably be 23-6. Maybe that means we're a two-seed instead of a one-seed. Maybe not.
I don't know about you but, until the dust settles, I'm gonna agree with Boeheim.