Despite college football being just around the corner, ESPN's decided to dedicate some time to college hoops season previews as well. Yesterday, ESPN.com's C.L. Brown kicked things off by ranking the ACC's basketball venues to determine the toughest place for road teams to win.
The Syracuse Orange's Carrier Dome ranked fifth out of the conference's 15 venues. The reasoning:
"It's never a good thing for an opponent to know that 30,000-plus fans clad in Orange can pack the Carrier Dome. There's a festive feel at tipoff when the band pounds a drum until Syracuse scores its first basket. For most teams, it is the only domed stadium they will play in during the regular season. The spacious feeling can cause opponents to be disoriented.
Fun fact: The Carrier Dome, the largest on-campus basketball arena in the nation, took the naming rights of an air conditioning company. The dome itself, however, does not have air conditioning."
Fair enough, I suppose? The Loud House's noise level is alluded to, even if not called out directly. The challenges of the domed stadium dimensions are something we've heard before though there's certainly some questions around the validity of it given SU's less-than-perfect home record at times. Of course, there's the typical notes on the Dome's air conditioning situation too, which... yeah, I guess that's a "fun" fact.
The teams listed ahead of Syracuse in the rankings? North Carolina (fourth), Louisville (third), Virginia (second) and Duke (first). There's knocks on all of these places too, mind you (just like the Dome). But it's not all that hard to rectify why each of them may rank where they do (and in front of SU). I'd probably cast a little doubt on Virginia, given the very short time frame they've been a top program. But the rest? Fine.
Notre Dame and Pitt are directly behind Syracuse, to no surprise. It's oddly satisfying to see the Dome in front of Pitt, especially, given the hype around that venue and our own demons there over the last decade (RIP Jamie Dixon era).
Have any other qualms about the rankings? Or just want to gloat about certain elements? Feel free to make your case below.