Syracuse basketball’s 20-point loss on Sunday to No. 7 Louisville was its worst since joining the ACC in 2013-14.
Today's 20-point loss to Louisville was Syracuse's worst loss in a conference game since joining the ACC in 2013-14. pic.twitter.com/naSA3ELXI3— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 26, 2017
It didn’t feel like Syracuse’s worst loss in ACC play, but, according to the score, it was. The 20-point loss was the most ever by the Orange in an ACC game, but that doesn’t necessarily make it the “worst.”
Syracuse’s 15-point loss to Boston College earlier this season was its worst loss in league play since joining the conference, and I don’t think there’s much room for debate.
In the 2013-14 season, Syracuse lost by 19 points at Virginia, which was the team’s worst loss of that season. SU went 14-4 in the ACC.
In the 2014-15 season, the Orange lost by 19 at Duke. SU went 9-9 in the ACC.
And last season, Syracuse lost by 15 points to both North Carolina and Florida State to close out the regular season. The Orange, again, went 9-9 in league play.
Jim Boeheim has said it time and time again: it’s not by how much you win or lose by, but how you play.
Against Louisville on Sunday, Syracuse didn’t play well by any means, and rebounding was a major issue.
Against Boston College earlier this season, everything was going wrong for the Orange and the Eagles hit, what felt like, everything.
You can explain a 20-point loss to Louisville, who has been a powerhouse program for a while. But it’s hard to explain a 15-point loss to Boston College — a team that went winless in league play last season.
And this loss can be easily erased, as most expected the Orange to lose in the first place. But a win on Saturday would put Syracuse at 18 regular-season victories, and gives the team momentum heading into the ACC Tournament in Brooklyn.
A loss, well, that may very well put the Orange out of the Tournament. With just 17 wins, and a likely second round matchup with Virginia — it would be a tough road ahead for an up-and-down team.
But as always, SU controls its own destiny. Whether that’s for better or worse — we’ll see.