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Syracuse basketball aims to continue run of (relative) success against Duke

It’s not a glowing resume, but it’s better than most.

NCAA Basketball: Duke at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

When the Syracuse Orange arrived in the ACC, we knew that the Duke Blue Devils were the team we had to compete with at the top of the league most years. Granted, Syracuse hasn’t really held up its end of the bargain in terms of competing for conference championships. But in terms of actually besting Duke, they’ve been better than nearly everyone else.

Since SU arrived for the 2013-14 season, the men’s basketball team is 4-5 against Duke — with two wins at Cameron Indoor Stadium. That doesn’t sound impressive, necessarily, because it isn’t in the big scheme. But looking at the entire ACC, they’re actually in rare company.

UNC is the only team with more wins and a better winning percentage against the Blue Devils in that stretch, winning 6 of 13 (46.2 percent) of their matchups. They also have just two wins at Cameron in that time, and they only tie SU there because of last night’s victory.

Notre Dame is the only other club with four wins over Duke, which they’ve accomplished in 10 tries. Miami and NC State have three apiece. Everyone else has two or fewer. Georgia Tech is 0-for-7. Wake Forest is just 1-10.

Syracuse v Duke Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

This isn’t another lackluster effort to stoke the flames of rivalry/Rivalry/RIVALRY, but rather just a note that Syracuse hasn’t fared all that poorly against the conference’s top team. Nevermind our record against UNC and Virginia (though at least we’ll always have the double-digit comebacks against the latter). Those aren’t relevant to what I’m talking about here.

If Syracuse pulls off a win on Saturday, it’ll give the Orange five in 10 tries plus a single-season sweep of the Blue Devils; something the Heels haven’t accomplished since 2009. They’ll be the only team in the ACC with a .500 record against Duke since 2013-14. And if you take out the NCAA Tournament loss from last year, they’ll actually have a winning regular season record over Duke in that timeframe.

Add in how pesky we’ve become for Clemson football too (one of just four ACC teams to beat the Tigers since 2013) and it seems we’ve managed to fit right in around here after nearly six full seasons.