Wednesday was a busy day in the world of Syracuse Orange men's basketball scheduling. A couple non-conference games were confirmed, AND the full ACC conference schedule (with dates and everything!) was released. Let's try to examine everything here:
The Orange confirmed a previously-reported contest against Montana State on Dec. 22, and then added a new date with Texas Southern for Dec. 27 to close out the non-conference slate. Syracuse has played each team just once before. The last time Syracuse faced Montana State was in the 1996 NCAA tournament where the Orange won 88-55 (but went on to lose to Kentucky in the National Championship). Texas Southern’s last contest against Syracuse was in the 1997 Carrier Classic,which saw the then-Orangemen won 85-73.
The Tigers, who play in the SWAC, are coached by Mike Davis who coached at Indiana University from 2000-06 and then UAB from 2006-12. This season will be his fourth year at Texas Southern.
If you recall, as part of the NCAA sanctions put on SU this year, Jim Boeheim must miss the first nine conference games. He announced he will appeal the suspension, but not much more has been announced. If precedent on every appealed suspension case in any sport anywhere (whoops, forgot about Tom Brady) is an indication, this will be reduced. But as we all know, the NCAA drags its feet so slowly that we may never hear the outcome.
So, this means his future-successor Mike Hopkins is stepping in and we’ll get a glimpse of what’s to come. A lot of people are wondering if Hopkins will veer from the iconic 2-3 zone but he has assured everyone he will not. The games Coach Hop is slated to handle as of right now:
- December 30: at Pittsburgh
- January 2: at Miami
- January 5: Clemson
- January 9: North Carolina
- January 13: Boston College
- January 16: at Wake Forest
- January 18: at Duke
- January 23: at Virginia
- January 28: Notre Dame
Some very big matchups above, especially the stretch of Duke, Virginia and Notre Dame from mid- to late-January. Unlike previous years, Syracuse's ACC slate is largely frontloaded, however. Louisville and a Big Monday date at the Dean Dome down in Chapel Hill are the primary tests in the second half of the conference schedule. That doesn't discount matchups with BC, Florida State, NC State or PItt. Just highlighting the toughest squads front and center...
For those curious about the dates for the not-really-basketball-rivalry with Boston College, the Eagles come to SU on January 13 (see above) and we travel there on Valentine's Day, February 14. Our actual basketball rivalry with Pittsburgh serves as the ACC opener on December 30 (above), plus the later Carrier Dome date on February 20. The other former Big East foe you're concerned with (Louisville) is a road game on February 17.
Brent Axe points out on Twitter that Syracuse is set to be on ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU 18 different times this season.
So what do you think? Happy with how everything shakes out. Obviously a bummer not to see Duke twice this time around, but we get the Heels twice instead. Plus, we're locked into a tough game against Wisconsin, and matchups with former Big East foes St. John's and Georgetown too. Add in the potential Battle 4 Atlantis meeting with UConn and... this really is the best of both worlds for the Orange from both a historical and future-looking standpoint.
Full schedule's below. Now let's get back to talking about football...
|Nov. 2||Le Moyne (exhibition)|
|Nov. 8||Florida Southern (exhibition)|
|Nov. 17||St. Bonaventure|
|Nov. 25||Charlotte (Battle 4 Atlantis)||ESPN2|
|Nov. 26||Michigan/UConn (Battle 4 Atlantis)||ESPN|
|Nov. 27||Battle 4 Atlantis|
|Dec. 5.||at Georgetown|
|Dec. 13||at. St. John's|
|Dec. 22||Montana State|
|Dec. 27||Texas Southern||ESPNU|
|Dec. 30||at Pittsburgh||ESPN2|
|Jan. 2||at Miami|
|Jan. 9||North Carolina||ESPN|
|Jan. 13||Boston College|
|Jan. 16||at Wake Forest|
|Jan. 18||at Duke||ESPN|
|Jan. 23||at Virginia||ESPN/ESPN2|
|Jan. 28||Notre Dame||ESPN/ESPN2|
|Jan. 30||Georgia Tech||ESPNU|
|Feb. 2||Virginia Tech|
|Feb. 11||Florida State||ESPN/ESPN2|
|Feb. 14||at Boston College|
|Feb. 17||at Louisville||ESPN/ESPN2|
|Feb. 27||NC State|
|Feb. 29||at North Carolina||ESPN|
|Mar. 5||at Florida State||ESPN/ESPN2|