The 2016-2017 Syracuse Orange basketball team non-conference schedule is officially complete. Look upon it, ye mighty, and despair.
Friday, November 11: Colgate Raiders
Tuesday, November 15: Holy Cross Crusaders
Friday, November 18: Monmouth Hawks
Tuesday, November 22: South Carolina State Bulldogs
Saturday, November 26: South Carolina Gamecocks (at Barclays Center)
Tuesday, November 29: at Wisconsin Badgers
Saturday, December 3: North Florida Ospreys
Monday, December 5: Connecticut Huskies (at Madison Square Garden)
Saturday, December 10: Boston University Terriers
Saturday, December 17: Georgetown Hoyas
Monday, December 19: Eastern Michigan Eagles
Wednesday, December 21: St. John's Red Storm
Tuesday, December 27: Cornell Big Red
Now, you and I have been doing this long enough to know we've learned a few things. Number one, none of us truly have any idea how good Syracuse will be this season. Number two, none of us truly have any idea how good these opponents will be this season. Number three, no expert knows any of this stuff either.
But, that's not going to stop us from casually looking over the November and December slate and getting way too excited about our chances to roll into ACC play with a great record and high ranking. The days when Syracuse would cruise through the non-con schedule with zero or one less feel a little far away but there's still an expectation that we should do pretty well.
(As a refresher, Syracuse went 10-3 last year with wins over UConn & Texas A&M in Atlantis and losses to Wisconsin in the Dome, Georgetown in DC, and St. John's in MSG)
Right out of the game, barring a catastrophe, we should be 4-0 headed into the South Carolina game in Brooklyn. Monmouth is a good squad but we're in the Dome and it's November and c'mon now.
As for the Gamecocks, they're an interesting match-up. An NIT team last year, they lost more guys to suspension or transfer than they did to graduation but they also bring in five-star recruit P.J. Dozier who is sure to contribute immediately. I'm going to give the win to the Orange but I don't think it's an easy one (5-0).
We follow that up with a trip to Madison to take on the Wisconsin Badgers for the B1G/ACC Challenge. Regardless of how good they are, it's a true road test in a hostile environment and I'll go ahead and peg us for our first loss here (5-1).
After that, amuse bouche with North Florida (6-1) and then we head to MSG to take on UConn in what should be a great atmosphere. It's cliche but you throw out the records for this one and it could go either way. Let's just say Syracuse loses (I'm a monster) just because I don't want to be super-biased (only slighlty-biased) (6-2).
Then we host Boston (7-2) and the stinky Hoyas bring their funk to the Dome. We're not losing this game, I don't care if we have to sacrifice live chickens to Jobu. Not happening. (8-2). After that, we host EMU (9-2), St. John's for some payback (10-2), and Cornell (11-2).
So there you have it. Syracuse heads into ACC play with an 11-2 record, a national-ranking, and everyone has their hopes up way too high before the inevitably come crashing down thanks to a three-game losing streak that involves an inexplicable loss to Wake Forest.