The non-conference schedule for the Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team is nearly complete. After announcing a December 4 game against the Northeastern Huskies last week, SU adds a more familiar foe this time around.
Orange & Bonnies to meet in the Dome on 12/29— Syracuse Basketball (@Cuse_MBB) July 30, 2018
➡️ https://t.co/601wvpO5HS pic.twitter.com/FNWoshdyJx
As indicated in the tweet, Syracuse will host the St. Bonaventure Bonnies at the Carrier Dome on December 29. The two teams faced one another last season in a rekindling of the regional “rivalry,” with the Bonnies upsetting SU 60-57 in overtime. It broke a 14-game losing streak in the series for St. Bonaventure, though Syracuse still leads overall, 24-4.
The game last year might have been one of the main reasons why both teams made the 2018 NCAA Tournament field, too. Syracuse and St. Bonaventure both played in the First Four thanks to some quality strength of schedule numbers. While the Orange made it all the way to the Sweet 16, the Bonnies were eliminated by Florida in the round of 64 (after beating UCLA in Dayton).
There’s upside to St. Bonaventure’s program right now, however this year they’ll be hitting a bit of a reset. The Bonnies lose three of last year’s top six scorers, including Jaylen Adams (19.1 points per game) and Matt Mobley (18.1 ppg). It’s not impossible to replace that production given what’s on the roster. But it certainly makes it tougher to contend with a Syracuse team that brings back virtually everyone from last year (including leading scorer Tyus Battle).
With the Bonnies locked up, that now makes 12 of Syracuse’s 13 non-conference opponents confirmed. I’d bet the other one is Eastern Michigan, given the frequency with which those programs have played since former Orange assistant Rob Murphy took over there (they’ve played five of the last seven years).
Here’s a look at the schedule, as it currently stands:
- November 6: Eastern Washington Eagles (2K Classic)
- November 10: Morehead State Eagles (2K Classic)
- November 15: UConn Huskies (at MSG)
- November 16: Oregon Ducks/Iowa Hawkeyes (at MSG)
- November 21: Colgate Raiders
- November 28: at Ohio State Buckeyes (ACC/B1G Challenge)
- December 1: Cornell Big Red
- December 4: Northeastern Huskies
- December 8: Georgetown Hoyas
- December 15: Old Dominion Monarchs
- December 18: Buffalo Bulls
- December 29: St. Bonaventure Bonnies