Jim Boeheim said Wednesday that the Syracuse Orange basketball team has "nothing to play for but pride" when they take on the North Carolina State Wolfpack on Saturday. The final game of the regular season is also the final game of the entire season for the Orange, who face a self-imposed post-season ban.
Sorry, Jim, but I disagree.
This game is an opportunity. It's an opportunity to do something special. Something fun. Something you never get to do at any other time.
As for what that things is...I don't know.
Maybe it's an opportunity to see if you can get Rakeem Christmas to score 48 points and break the Syracuse single-game scoring record that's stood since 1971. What a way to send out the big man who carried this squad on his shoulders all season long. He won't have a chance to make history in the post-season and his legacy will unfortunately bear the shadow of the NCAA issues, so let's give him a flag to plant in the ground so that future generations will remember him better.
Sure, easier said than done, but what's the alternative? Play a normal Syracuse basketball game? Boooooring. I've seen plenty of those this season. Many of them weren't all that fun.
Maybe it doesn't have to be that drastic. Maybe it's an opportunity to let everyone, walk-ons included, get something on the stat sheet. Maybe this is about letting Kaleb Joseph run the show and get his confidence back. Maybe let Mike Hopkins coach the second half and watch as the Cuse Twittersphere collapses on itself.
I ask you...what wrinkle, big or small, would you like to see Syracuse pull out during the game on Saturday?