Teams: Syracuse Orange (15-7, 4-5) vs. Virginia Cavaliers (21-1, 10-0)
Day & Time: Saturday, February 3, 2018, 4 p.m. ET
Location: Carrier Dome, Syracuse, N.Y.
TV/Streaming: Check your local ACC Network affiliate/ACC Network Extra
Radio: Syracuse IMG Network, WAER 88.3, Sirius 93/XM 193
Virginia blog: Streaking the Lawn
Rivalry: 5-5, tied
Current Streak: 1, Hoos
First Meeting: Virginia beat Syracuse in their first of three all-time NCAA Tournament meetings, 63-55. The seventh-seeded Hoos pulled the upset over the Orangemen in the Sweet 16 en route to an eventual Final Four bid. They probably played a more entertaining brand of basketball back then. Maybe.
Last Meeting: SU actually hung around with Virginia down in Charlottesville for awhile, and even used the press (not surprising) to make’em sweat a bit in the second half. Still, the Orange fell by a score of 68-61. Frank Howard scored 18 points and Paschal Chukwu had an impressive 16 rebounds. Going to need similar efforts from both on Saturday, you’d venture.
Head Coaches: SU: Jim Boeheim (42nd year, 1,019-364); Virginia: Tony Bennett (9th year, 209-84)
Coach Bio: Parlayed a career at Green Bay into a three-year stint with the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets. Then he played in New Zealand and Australia before taking up coaching. He was back stateside in 1999 as an assistant with Wisconsin, left for Washington State in 2003, and then took over the Cougars’ program in 2006. Three years of reasonable success with Wazzu led to him leaving for Virginia. He’s been pretty good for the Hoos, tallying seven straight 20-win seasons now. No Final Four trips, however.
Last Year: UVA stumbled a bit, going 23-11 overall and 11-7 in the ACC. At one point late in the regular season, they lost four straight, but came back to take four straight before falling to Notre Dame in the ACC Tournament. The Hoos outlasted UNC-Wilmington in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, then got smoked by Florida by a score of 65-39.
Last Game: UVA did their usual thing, frustrating Louisville en route to a victory. Virginia shot over 50 percent from the floor and from three, forced 13 turnovers and avoided fouls. Louisville actually shot pretty well too, but it wasn’t enough due to the low possession game the Hoos pulled them into. (take notes, Syracuse)
”Fear Me, I’ve Killed Hundreds of Timelords”: It’s definitely Kyle Guy, who leads Virginia with 15.5 points per game and shoots over 40 percent from the floor and from three. Last time out vs. Syracuse he scored 22 points and was 5-of-11 from beyond the arc. Even without the man bun, he’s super annoying.
Jack Ferguson Memorial Random Three-Point Performance: Personally think Guy’s going to agitate the Orange from three. But if we’re going to a less obvious choice of frustration, Marco Anthony could be the winner. He’s 5-of-12 from three on the year, and has only played in 11 games. That said, he scored 10 points in 18 minutes vs. Louisville, including a 2-of-3 effort from outside.
If Syracuse Wins: Virginia fans believe we’re Satan incarnate, the Orange position themselves for an at-large bid, and the “rivalry” earns another chapter to the growing story between these teams. We probably get a new joke to add to the list when razzing the Hoos. It’s all pretty awesome.
If Syracuse Loses: It wouldn’t really shock us, since Virginia’s one of the one or two best teams in the country right now, and the Orange don’t really have the shooters or depth to counter their (lack of) pace the way we have in the past. At this point, we’re running out of room for “quality losses” but this would be close to one, I suppose, if we’re not blown out.
Fun Fact No. 1: No team’s ever scored more than 75 points in a single game in this series’ entire run. That honor goes to 2013-14 Virginia, who beat us by 19 in Charlottesville that season to earn their first ACC regular season title in forever. That’s not a fun fact. Just focus on the 75-point fact.
Fun Fact No. 2: The last four games in the series have all been decided by eight points or fewer. And just once (UVA in the 2016 regular season) has either team topped 70 points. The two teams have split the last four, though Syracuse won the two important ones in the middle.
Fun Fact No. 3: Just because...