No, the Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team hasn’t received some sort of last-minute waiver to the Sweet 16 (though if they’re offering any, we’re happy to take one). But the NCAA Tournament is still going on, so might as well talk about it... by talking about us nonetheless.
Syracuse has faced all 16 teams remaining in this year’s event at least once, and has played 12 of them in the postseason before (10 in the NCAAs).
Apropos of nothing, a quick rundown of the previous matchups with all of them (some going better than others):
The only meeting ever was a memorable one: Syracuse’s 79-78 victory in the 2003 Sweet 16 en route to winning the region and eventually the national title.
We’re plenty familiar with FSU overall, facing them 11 times, with seven of those meetings coming since the Orange joined the ACC. Their lone postseason meeting was in the 1997 NIT — an 82-67 loss for SU in the first round. Had Syracuse beaten Baylor and potentially upset Gonzaga, we could’ve seen the programs’ first NCAA Tournament matchup.
We’re all familiar with Duke, and the Syracuse program is too — going 6-9 against the Blue Devils since the first meeting in the 1966 NCAA Tournament (a 91-81 Orangemen loss in the East Regional Final). They also lost to Duke in the Sweet 16 back in 1998, plus the Sweet 16 last year. So, 0-3 all-time in the NCAAs, sadly.
As mentioned, Syracuse would’ve faced the Zags if they’d just managed to beat Baylor in round one. The Orange are 2-0 against the Bulldogs all-time, and both meetings were in the NCAAs over the last decade; an 87-65 win in the second round back in 2010, and a 63-60 victory in the 2016 Sweet 16.
The Orange are 1-0 against UH, scoring a 92-87 regular season win back in 1982.
Two of the three NCAA Tournament meetings between these programs have created aggravating results for Syracuse. Kentucky beat SU 95-79 in the 1975 Final Four, and 76-67 in the 1996 National Title Game. The Orange got “revenge” in the second round of the 2000 NCAA Tournament, but that’s not much of a consolation prize considering what was on the line in the other two games.
LSU and Syracuse have faced one another just once, and it was a regular season win for the Orangemen in 1985.
They’ve faced off a high number of times (15) for schools that aren’t both in New York and ever shared a conference. Three of those were in the postseason, including one NCAA Tournament matchup — a game you’re unfortunately familiar with in the 2013 Final Four. Let’s just move on...
Syracuse and Michigan State have faced one another even more times than SU and Michigan — 18 overall. Two of those were NCAA Tournament matchups. The first was a 75-58 loss to the Spartans in the 2000 Sweet 16. The one more of you are probably familiar with is last year’s 55-53 upset win for the Orange in the second round.
Syracuse has struggled against UNC historically, going just 4-12 (1-9 since joining the ACC). That said, they’re 2-2 in the NCAA Tournament against the Heels. The most recent postseason loss was an 83-66 defeat in the Final Four, and they also lost the East Regional Final to Carolina back in 1957. On the positive side, the Orange beat North Carolina in the 1975 East Regional semifinals (before winding up in the Final Four), and also upset them in the 1987 East Regional Final. No comment on how that tournament ended.
No postseason meetings here. Just one all-time: the 80-65 SU loss back in November of this season.
Surprising, these schools have only faced off three times — all between 1980 and 1981 (and Syracuse won them all). Among those, one was a 70-63 win in the 1981 NIT Semifinals.
While the Orange are 3-3 against the Vols, the most important of those games was a Mideast Regional quarterfinal matchup in the 1977 NCAA Tournament (Jim Boeheim’s first season). SU won 93-88 before a disappointing loss to Charlotte in that year’s Sweet 16. Syracuse hasn’t faced Tennessee since 2002, and hasn’t beaten them since 1993.
One of the two all-time meetings between these schools was a 69-56 Syracuse loss in the round of 32 back in 1976 — the last game Roy Danforth coached at SU before heading off to Tulane. So maybe we’re fine with this one, as it led the Orange(men) to hiring Boeheim for the following season.
The Hoos need no introduction to SU fans, clearly. Syracuse is 5-7 against them all-time (2-6 with both being members of the ACC), but the 2-1 NCAA Tournament record is what you’re more of a fan of. Along with the 1984 loss there, and the 1990 win, there’s the most important game: the 68-62 comeback victory that got the Orange to a shocking Final Four.
Despite 13 meetings (SU owns a 9-4 advantage) all-time, these squads have never faced off in the NCAAs.