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Ranking recent basketball games we wish Syracuse opponents had boycotted

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There are certainly a few big losses we wish we could have back...

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Midwest Regional-Syracuse vs Duke Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Former Wisconsin Badgers star Nigel Hayes recently mentioned that the team discussed boycotting the 2016-17 game against the Syracuse Orange, as a way to bring attention to the issue of NCAA player compensation.

Given the fact that SU lost by double digits in that one, the Orange might not have been all that broken up about that game disappearing — and we wouldn’t mind it being erased from our collective memories as fans either. That was far from the only big loss in recent years we’d like to scrub away though.

Keeping things confined to the last four years, what are the outcomes we most wish Syracuse opponents had boycotted in advance? NCAA and ACC Tournament matchups won’t be included, since obviously every team wants those back, boycott or not.

10. St. John’s 69, Syracuse 57 (2014)

This is where SU’s recent string of struggles against St. John’s began. Seemingly loaded with veterans, the Red Storm pulled away late on the strength of quality three-point shooting and a whole lot of free throws. It wasn’t even a Chris Mullin team, either...

9. Boston College 85, Syracuse 70 (2018)

The latest round in a recent batch of struggles for Syracuse down at BC. At the time, we thought this double-digit defeat might have doomed the Orange’s NCAA Tournament hopes. Thankfully, it didn’t, and SU got to ruin everyone’s March Madness again by heading to the Sweet 16.

8. Pitt 66, Syracuse 52 (2016)

This one ends up on the list for being like every other damn loss to Pitt. ‘Nuff said.

7. Louisville 88, Syracuse 68 (2017)

Less than two weeks after Syracuse forced overtime with the Cards, they were smoked by 20 on the road. If we’d just won the damn game (or not lost it), an NCAA Tournament bid could’ve been ours to take from a “more deserving team” once again.

6. St. John’s 84, Syracuse 72 (2015)

A horrendous St. John’s team showed up to the Dome and Syracuse found themselves out-shot from three once again. St. John’s went 8-24 that season. This loss could’ve derailed the entire miracle postseason run to the Final Four. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case.

5. South Carolina 64, Syracuse 50 (2016)

Sure, the Gamecocks ended up being a Final Four team. No, that doesn’t excuse us no-showing in Brooklyn. Plus, a win — by boycott or otherwise — turns into the win we’d have needed to make the tournament.

4. Georgetown 78, Syracuse 71 (2016)

Not a blowout like these other games. Georgetown rolled into Pearl Washington Day at the Dome and upset the Orange. Any Hoyas win is unpleasant to watch, but it’s especially terrible when it’s against Syracuse.

3. Boston College 96, Syracuse 81 (2017)

This is when we knew that the 2016-17 season wasn’t going to end well, admittedly. BC shot the lights out and the Orange never really had a chance. It would be great to axe the annual home-and-home with the Eagles, just to avoid what’s become an ill-fated trip to Chestnut Hill many years.

2. Duke 60, Syracuse 44 (2018)

Including this specific Duke loss isn’t about the final margin of defeat as much as it’s about just how unwatchable this damn game was. Syracuse scored just 16 points in the first half, and shot 31.5 percent from the floor. The Blue Devils and Orange combined to hit 8-of-43 threes. It was hideous.

1. St. John’s 93, Syracuse 60 (2016)

All told, it was the 33-point loss to the Red Storm that kept SU out of the 2017 NCAA Tournament. Syracuse was out-scored 54-31 in the second half, as this one devolved into a laugher in no time at all. St. John’s hit every shot, or at least it felt like it. The Orange couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn (22-of-67 on the game). I’d prefer we never mention this game again.