Duke Blue Devils head coach Mike Krzyzewski earned his 1,000th win on Sunday, becoming the first men's college basketball coach to do so.
For Syracuse Orange fans, only one question now lingers: When will SU head coach Jim Boeheim achieve the same feat?
Boeheim, who holds the record for victories at one program, entered the 2014-15 season with 948 wins. He's now at 962 wins, meaning he needs 38 more to reach 1,000. Athlon Sports projects he'll reach the plateau in the 2016-17 season.
Still, he could get to 1,000 wins by the end of next season.
For now, let's assume two things: (a) that all of Boeheim's wins will remain intact following the NCAA's investigation into the Syracuse athletic department and (b) that next year's team, which will include a handful of top recruits from the 2015 class, will live up to the standards that Syracuse basketball has set over the past six years.
If the latter of those two assumptions proves true, then the Orange should win close to 30 games in 2015-16. SU averaged 29.5 wins per season in the six seasons leading up to this one, so for the sake of this discussion, let's say next year's team will win around 30 games.
In order for Boeheim to reach 1,000 wins next season, that would mean that the 2014-15 group has to win about eight or nine more games.
On the remaining schedule, I see only three games the Orange should definitely win: home against Virginia Tech next Tuesday, at Boston College on February 11, and home against Pittsburgh on February 21. Syracuse's other games are at Pittsburgh, home against Duke, home against Louisville, at Notre Dame, at Duke, home against Virginia, and at NC State.
Syracuse is probably capable of winning any home game and is definitely capable of winning at Pittsburgh and at NC State. At the same time, it's probably safe to assume SU will lose at Duke and at Notre Dame.
Again, we're engaging in some serious hypotheticals, but Syracuse's quickest path to six other wins this season might look something like this:
- Split games at Pittsburgh and at NC State
- Beat either Duke, Louisville, or Virginia at home
- Win one or two games in the ACC Tournament
- Win two or three games in either the NCAA Tournament or the NIT