Three things have become certain since the Duke-Syracuse yearly matchup opened in 2014; 30,000+ fans will attend the games at the Carrier Dome, highly-explicit drawings will preview it and furious debates will break out over whether it’s actually a rivalry.
Those trends will play out again twice again next year. For the first time since 2015, the Blue Devils and Orange are slated for home-and-home matchups.
The Orange imposed two low-scoring games on the nation last season when it willed itself through Selection Sunday, the play-in game, TCU and then fouled away the final seconds against Michigan State while running out of players. They may have entered in wheelchairs while panhandling for points, but SU forced a second matchup against Duke in the Sweet 16.
In addition, Syracuse will travel to and host Clemson, off their record 25-10 campaign and run to the Sweet 16, and return to traditional double doses of Boston College and Pittsburgh.
Dates for the eight games, the first released toward next year’s ACC slate, are unannounced at this time.
Since joining the ACC Syracuse is 3-5 vs. Duke, 3-2 against Clemson, 8-3 over BC and 5-6 against Pitt
Zion Williamson, R.J. Barrett and Cam Reddish will attend Duke in the fall, so save for any Darius Bazley inspiration, they’ll likely draw the largest crowd in Syracuse basketball history next winter.
Syracuse broke its attendance record on Feb. 1, 2014 in a classic 91-89 win over Duke, a win that propelled the Orange to 22-0 and No. 1 in the nation. 35,446 attended, then a NCAA record that would be broken by Duke and Syracuse again on Feb. 14, 2015. The meeting between the two will likely be the first since their 2014 debut that both teams will be ranked for.
But even in a year where Syracuse missed the NCAA Tournament and finished 19-15, in front of 30,331, John Gillon produced one of the most Youtube-able moments in program history in chilling reminiscence of Pearl Washington’s legendary shot less than a year after the latter tragically died from cancer.
Not to be denied, Clemson and Syracuse produced one of the best games of the season to cap the regular season slate, a defensive stalemate sealed by two consecutive blocks and a clutch pair of free throws from Paschal Chukwu. The win likely sealed the Orange’s unlikely appearance in March Madness.
For the single-games; Virginia, Miami, Louisville, Georgia Tech and Florida State will visit the Dome. The Orange will travel to North Carolina State, Notre Dame, North Carolina, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.