While we continually ask questions about the Syracuse Orange football schedule, the basketball side of the house seems to be quite busy. CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein reported today that Syracuse will play the Kansas Jayhawks in a non-conference game next season, on December 2, 2017:
Syracuse and Kansas will play a neutral site game in Miami on 12/2/17, per sources. Here's more @FanRagSports: https://t.co/oNNUe4SrLb— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) November 8, 2016
... in Miami? Just... why?
It’s an interesting matchup to plan this far out, especially given the existing non-conference demands on the Orange. Syracuse is already scheduled to play UConn at Madison Square Garden again in the Jimmy V Classic, and will be on the road against Georgetown down in Washington D.C. SU will also face a to-be-determined Big Ten opponent as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. There isn’t a St. John’s game on the books, but perhaps those go away with the alternate options Syracuse has carved out to get New York City exposure (games at MSG and Barclays this year, MSG already scheduled for next year).
Syracuse and Kansas have faced off five different times since 1968, but the Orange have won two straight in the series. In 2008, SU beat the Jayhawks in the CBE Classic Championship Game in Kansas City, Mo. The time before that is one you’ll certainly remember even more fondly: the Orangemen’s 81-78 National Championship Game win.
So while it’s fun to face Kansas again, it’s still confusing why the game will take place in Miami. SU will be in the city once already next season when they visit the Hurricanes in-conference. And neither team really recruits Florida heavily. Also, if it’s truly Jim Boeheim’s final season, wouldn’t they want this one in front of a home crowd -- one way or another?
In some fever dream, I imagine it’s potentially part of an upcoming football series announcement. While Syracuse has its Power 5 opponents set through 2021, Kansas has some openings around the same time. Should the teams find a way to schedule one another on the gridiron, perhaps they’ll aim for a campus site this time.
This could be part of the HoopHall Miami Invitational next year.
Miami has been the host of HoopHall events the last two season. Date seems to line up with this game being part of that event again. https://t.co/nfA9WnY1Dg— Matt Sarzyniak (@mattsarz) November 8, 2016
This year’s event features a host of notable names, including Miami, Temple, Illinois, DePaul and something called a Georgetown (among others). The dates line up, so let’s see if this ends up being the case.