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Syracuse men’s basketball: One last year to break attendance record

Can SU pack the Dome again before seats are removed?

Duke v Syracuse Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

The Syracuse Orange have been known to pile in over 30k fans with regularity for men’s basketball. And while that should continue after the Dome gets new seats, this upcoming season will most likely be the last chance to break the single game on campus attendance record that’s been set many times over at Syracuse. (Unless someday we finally get the center court setup that was teased years ago?)

Looking at SU’s schedule, we know that Duke will once again head to the 315 in 2023. Last year’s matchup against them drew the largest NCAA crowd of the season: 31,803. It’s impressive considering COVID masking requirements and the poor on-court product, but it doesn’t even crack the Top 20 all time.

The Blue Devils were the opponent the last two times the Orange broke the attendance record. First, 35,446 entered the Dome in both their 2014 and 2015 matchups. In 2019, that total was topped with the current record of 35,642. So even without Coach K on the opposing sideline, Duke probably presents the best chance to top that mark one more time.

Then there’s the off-chance North Carolina could be the one to draw the biggest crowd. They were just the National Runners Up and continue to be a steady rival as well. Their highest total so far was only a tick over 32,000 so there’s definitely work to be done to reach a record-breaking crowd size.

What about a classic Big East rival in Georgetown? Although it’s not confirmed, the Hoyas are expected to travel to CNY to face the Orange, who will hopefully avenge last year’s debacle in D.C. The most 30K+ crowds Syracuse has ever hosted have come against Georgetown: 17 total, dating back to the very first one in 1983. They also have the next highest crowd behind the Duke matchups with 35,012 in March of 2013.

One final option is something that all depends on Head Coach Jim Boeheim - what if the man who has helmed the program for so long finally hangs it up after the upcoming season? If he were to announce it ahead of time, it’s possible that regardless of the opponent, enough people flock to see him off in the final regular season game that he’ll go out with one more record. To this point, Boeheim has repeatedly said nothing beyond he is returning next season and there is a plan to eventually replace him, so there’s no guarantee this is it for him.

Do you think there’s a chance to break the record again?