Day & Time: Saturday, November 18, 2017, 7 p.m. ET
Location: Carrier Dome, Syracuse, N.Y.
Line: N/A just yet
TV/Streaming: ACC Network Extra/WatchESPN
Radio: Syracuse IMG Network, WAER 88.3, Sirius 93/XM 193
Texas Southern blog: Mid-Major Madness
Rivalry: 2-0, Syracuse leads
Current Streak: 2, Orange (duh.)
First Meeting: Then-sophomore Etan Tomas put up 16 points to lead the Orangemen past the Tigers at home in 1997. Syracuse would wind up winning 85-73, but Texas Southern did not go away without a fight. Marius Janulis started in that game too, which I’m obligated to point out.
Last Meeting: Syracuse closed out its 2015-16 non-conference schedule with an 80-67 victory over Texas Southern, getting to 10-3 on the year. Despite the typical too-close-for-comfort start to the first half, SU went into the locker room on an 18-8 run. From there, they just kept the lead around the same range. Michael Gbinije led all scorers with 15 points.
Head Coaches: SU: Jim Boeheim (42nd year, 1,006-357); Texas Southern: Mike Davis (6th year, 99-72)
Coach Bio: Davis played for Alabama, then after drifting around the NBA, CBA and Europe for a bit, he went to coaching — jumping from Miles College (DII) to the CBA, then Chicago (DIII) before getting a shot as an assistant with his alma mater in 1995. In 2000, he took over the Indiana gig and his program was eventually crushed under the expectations in Bloomington. He caught on with UAB, who fired him just a season after a First Four berth. Shortly thereafter, he landed at Texas Southern in 2012. Since he signed on to coach the Tigers, the team’s been an annual SWAC contender and has made the NCAAs three times.
Last Year: Texas Southern won the SWAC regular season title and conference tournament championship, earning a 16-seed in the NCAAs. The Tigers finished 23-12 after losing to the eventual champion North Carolina Tar Heels in the round of 64, 103-64.
Last Game: The Tigers got within two of Ohio State with about eight minutes to go on Thursday night. However, the Buckeyes were able to pull away from there, outscoring them 23-7 over those final minutes to win 82-64. Four Texas Southern players scored in double figures, including Donte Clark, who led the team with 17 points.
"Fear Me, I've Killed Hundreds of Timelords": (Assuming he plays — he was suspended vs. OSU) Sophomore Demontrae Jefferson is a quick and compact guard (just 5-foot-7) who’s been able to punish teams while shooting effectively from anywhere on the floor. He’s hitting 50 percent of his threes, and is averaging 21 points per game (in two contests). If any random player gets hot from outside against Syracuse, it’s probably him.
If not Jefferson, then it’s Clark, who’s typically the team’s second-leading scorer and the next-best threat from outside.
If Syracuse Wins: We did what we were supposed to do, getting to 3-0 and handling business against a lesser team. That said, Texas Southern’s a quality program and one with tournament experience. They have several shooters that can’t be overlooked.
If Syracuse Loses: AHHHHHHHHH!!!
Fun Fact No. 1: Texas Southern’s actually made more NCAA Tournaments in the last four years than we have. That’s not fun, but it is a fact. Just thought you should know it (/sobs).
Fun Fact No. 2: Texas Southern is one of the SWAC’s most successful members over the course of its men’s basketball history. The Tigers won the first two league championships in 1957 and 1958. They also won the final pre-conference tournament championship in 1977, followed by seven tourney titles from 1990 through last season.