Day & Time: Tuesday, November 14, 2017, 7 p.m. ET
Location: Carrier Dome, Syracuse, N.Y.
Line: Syracuse, -10 (seems a bit low?)
TV/Streaming: ACC Network Extra/WatchESPN
Radio: Syracuse IMG Network, WAER 88.3, Sirius 93/XM 193
Iona blog: Mid-Major Madness
Rivalry: 4-0, Syracuse leads
Current Streak: 4, Orange (duh.)
First Meeting: Despite the fact that they’re both New York schools, it took until 1978 for the Gaels and Orangemen to face off. In that first meeting, Syracuse won an 89-76 game over Jim Valvano’s squad. Dale Shackelford would put up 30 on the night. The victory was the fourth straight to start the season for the ninth-ranked SU squad.
Last Meeting: The teams most recently met in 2010; an 83-77 victory for Syracuse at the Dome. Kris Joseph scored 21 points and the Orange needed almost the entire clock to really put this one away. It was the 11th straight win to start the season, en route to an 18-0 start.
Head Coaches: SU: Jim Boeheim (42nd year, 1,005-357); Iona: Tim Cluess (9th year, 162-79)
Coach Bio: The Queens product played at both St. John’s and Hofstra in college, and later spent a decade and a half at St. Mary’s high school. He parlayed that into time at Suffolk Community College and then LIU Post. Cluess has been at Iona since 2010, and has turned them into an annual NCAA Tournament contender. The Gaels have made four tourneys in his tenure, including each of the last two. Among those bids, they’ve also been an at-large team, losing in the First Four in 2012.
Last Year: Iona took on some water in non-conference play, and only finished third in the MAAC during the regular season. However, the Gaels won the league tournament and earned a 14-seed in the Midwest region of the NCAA Tournament. Despite being a trendy upset pick against 3-seed Oregon, the Gaels fell 93-77 in the first round.
Last Game: The favored Gaels went on the road against Albany and despite being the better program on paper, they came away with a 69-67 defeat. Iona was down 11 at the half, but stormed back. However, it was free throws that iced things for the Great Danes in the closing minutes. TK Edogi (17 points) and Deyshonee Much (15 points) led Iona in scoring for the evening.
"Fear Me, I've Killed Hundreds of Timelords": Iona replaces a bunch of scoring this year, so the standouts could potentially be surprises. But of the returning players, perhaps Much has the most potential to really harm Syracuse (or any other opponent). The senior Rochester product can be an erratic shooter, but when he’s hot, he’s hot. Much also has ability to hit from three, making nearly 39 percent of his shots from beyond the arc last year -- though he made just 25 percent the other night. He also has the best name on the team.
If Syracuse Wins: We’re vanquishing one of the better (top seven or so) opponents on the non-conference schedule and getting to 2-0 on the year. Plus, as we saw vs. Cornell, the Orange are going to be playing quite a few freshmen this year. They need these early opportunities to not just see the court, but get some confidence.
If Syracuse Loses: Not the WORST non-conference loss we’ve ever experienced, but certainly not a positive for a young team building themselves up and establishing what they need to be within Jim Boeheim’s system. Still, don’t panic...
Fun Fact No. 1: Iona has a chance to join the elite club of schools that have faced Syracuse five or more times and never earned a victory. The others on the short list include Lafayette (0-8), Siena (0-8), Northeastern (0-6), Kent State (0-5) and Wake Forest (0-5).
Fun Fact No. 2: These teams have faced off in the NCAA Tournament one time, a very close 63-61 win for the Orangemen in 1998. That team was coached by former Syracuse assistant Tim Welsh (1988-91), who went on to coach Providence after that and was just 2-7 against Syracuse while at PC.