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Syracuse, UConn & Georgetown all on pace to make history — for the wrong reason

The former Big East rivals haven’t lived up to the hype this season.

NCAA Basketball: Syracuse at Georgetown
Syracuse Orange forward Tyler Lydon (20) drives to the basket as Georgetown Hoyas forward Paul White (13) defends in the second half at Verizon Center. The Hoyas won 79-72.
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

For the second time since 1972, the Syracuse Orange, UConn Huskies and Georgetown Hoyas are all on pace to miss the NCAA Tournament.

Syracuse, now part of the ACC, is 12-9 (4-4) on the season and doesn’t have a win away from the Carrier Dome. SU’s best two wins — Miami and Pittsburgh — aren’t as good as they were a week ago either. (Recently vanquished by SU) Wake Forest blew out the Hurricanes, and the Panthers lost by 26 on their home court to Miami in recent weeks.

Jim Boeheim said this could’ve been one of his best teams he’s ever had at Syracuse. Looking back on that comment, it sounds pretty silly. But it’s true. SU has everything this season, or so we thought. One major flaw with the Orange is the lack of leadership. The two returning seniors — Dajuan Coleman and Tyler Roberson — aren’t natural born leaders, and transfers Andrew White III and John Gillon have each been here less than eight months.

NCAA Basketball: Georgetown at Syracuse
Syracuse Orange head coach Jim Boeheim calls out to his team during the first half of a game against the Georgetown Hoyas at the Carrier Dome. Georgetown won the game 78-71.
Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Georgetown, who’s still a member of the Big East, is 10-10. Realistically, the only chance the Hoyas have of making the NCAA Tournament would be to win the Big East Tournament. Georgetown has lost its last 16 conference games to teams other than St. John’s and DePaul. The Hoyas (somehow) beat then-No. 13 Oregon earlier this season in Maui, which is easily their best win.

Let that soak in.

And UConn, who is now apart of the AAC, is 8-11 and its best win is against Syracuse. Or Temple. Either way, “yuck.”

But looking back on this (yes, even SU’s losses to both schools), what a disappointing year for the former Big East trio. I know everyone reading this isn’t exactly rooting for Georgetown or Connecticut, but it is shocking to see the downward spiral of all three teams this season, just the same.

UConn was ranked No. 18 to start the year. Syracuse was No. 19.

Georgetown, out of all three, has bragging rights. The Hoyas beat Syracuse on Pearl Washington Day at the Carrier Dome, and also defeated UConn on Jan. 14. They probably have the best chance of making the NCAA Tournament, despite the .500 record but that isn’t saying much at this point.

But, uh, there’s always next year, right? The Orange face both former conference foes yet again in 2017-18.