The Syracuse Orange basketball team plays a lot of really, really, really, really good teams this year as a byproduct of preseason tournaments, reviving old rivalries and normal ACC play. Some of the biggest ones include the North Carolina Tar Heels, Duke Blue Devils, Connecticut Huskies (potentially), Wisconsin Badgers, and the Georgetown Hoyas. (It's 9:00 AM...)
So which game is the one everyone is looking forward to most?
Steve Haller: Georgetown. It's solely because of my bias and dire hatred towards all things Hoya, but it's always the biggest date on the calendar. I'd assume the kids will think it's at Duke or the UNC home game, but they're wrong. Now get off my lawn.
Kenny Lacy: I really want to say Georgetown just because of my hatred for them, but it has to be the UNC game. From this list only the Wisconsin and UNC games are home games (and lets face it, a home game is clearly going to be bigger to everyone) and UNC is much bigger than the Wisconsin game, so it has to be this one. UNC comes into the season ranked number one and Syracuse will be playing this one without Boeheim on the sideline, getting a win in this game would mean more than any of the other games and show that this Syracuse team is for real.
Andy Pregler: I really think that the North Carolina game will be a huge game for a number of reasons. In the absolute, best case scenario, Cuse already has resume wins versus UConn, Wisconsin, GTown and St. Johns. They'll be coming off two really tough road games against Pitt and Miami that can open some eyes to ACC play. Then they get UNC at home with probably some national rankings for the Orange against the probable #1 team. Huge opportunity to make at least a strong showing.
James Szuba: Duke. Hands down. Georgetown will always be a historic rivalry, but as long as Syracuse and Georgetown are in a separate conferences the Duke game takes precedence. Boeheim will always be compared to Coach K and Syracuse will be compared to Duke following the Boeheim era. I understand that Hopkins will be coaching that game if everything stands as it is now, but Syracuse vs. Duke is the biggest game for Syracuse from 2014 on out.
Andrew Carey: Georgetown, simply because who doesnt hate Georgetown. It will be nice to see the two teams on the floor again, after Syracuse had the last laugh in the Big East Tournament a few years ago. But it should be a sea of Orange in D.C for this game and it will be a nice blast from the past. The biggest home game is UNC, which should be insane. Personally I love the big nonconfrence games so I think Wisconsin will also be a great game too.
Kevin Wall: Georgetown. Look I grew up on the Big East and the only negative to being in the ACC is mising this rivalry. It's hard to predict how many times these schools will play, so I look forward to every time we see Boeheim face the Hoyas.
Michael Burke: I have to go with at North Carolina. If the Tar Heels live up to expecations, they should be the best team in the conference. If Syracuse somehow goes into Chapel Hill and knocks off the country's No. 1 team, that would be a monumental win.
Joe Leathersich: I'm going to echo James on this. I understand the historical value of Georgetown but Duke is Duke. Every team in the ACC marks on the calender when its Duke game is. As much as I hate to admit it, the Blue Devils are like the New England Patriots of college hoops: calm, cool, and collected; always seem to find a way to be good and make other team's flounder. The Boeheim/ Coach K comparisons will forever be a thing, even after they both retire. Plus it's going to be interesting to see how Hopkins handle's that pressure.
Claudia Ceva: I'd have to go with the Duke game. It's in-conference, and Duke is always one of the top teams in the nation. I always think that conference games are priority, especially in those like the ACC.
John Cassillo: If we can beat Duke -- especially on the road -- that's the "BIGGEST" result. But the biggest single game is clearly the December matchup at Georgetown. Playing the Hoyas has been the most important date on the schedule for a long time, and the short absence of the rivalry *should* have the hype for this thing at a fever pitch. I can't wait.
Dan Lyons: Georgetown is still the rival, and I hope we re-up that series for ever and ever, but the Duke games are probably more important. Duke is young but talented as hell. If we get a split there, it means we're probably a legitimate threat to make some real noise this year. Also, adding a bit of intrigue to that budding rivalry as we move forward would be great.
Brian Pilatzke: I'm going with UNC because of home game factor pointed out by Andy. The fan base will always get more ramped up for a home game over an away game. North Carolina is the biggest home game on the schedule and they presumably will still be highly ranked by that time.
Matt Constas: UNC and Duke. Specifically the UNC road game. Not taking anything away from the importance of the non-conference games, which might be stronger than year's past, but with an inexperienced squad that has a lot of question marks, hopefully their best basketball will come at the end of the season for a change. The Orange have struggled closing out the regular season the past two years, going 2-4 in the final six game stretch of each. These games have told us a lot about the team the past couple years and I don't think this year will be different.
Brian Tahmosh: Georgetown obviously means the most to the fanbase, but I'll go off the board and say Wisconsin. The Badgers lost a ton from last year's team and are probably the closest of the bunch to Syracuse in terms of expectation. It will be a great test, and if the Orange can handle Wisconsin, it would show that this team is likely heading back to the NCAA Tournament.
So what are you guys excited for? Let us know!
This is the second in a series of season previews for the Syracuse Orange Basketball team. Check out previous posts if you missed them: Who Will Be Number 2? What Are You Excited For? Are You Ready for the Hop Experience?