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Syracuse and Buffalo should embrace regional rivalry

Clinton Cup anyone?

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

Tonight’s TBT game between Boeheim’s Army and Blue Collar U (9:00 on ESPN+) should remind fans of the intensity that built during the Syracuse Orange and Buffalo Bulls basketball game in 2020.

If you forgot, let Jim Boeheim help refresh your memory.

“Buffalo trash-talked the whole game,” Boeheim said. “They were trash-talking after the game. So there’s no way they’re ever going to play here again. We don’t need that and it’s not very representative of what you should do. They’re up there, ‘Well, we should have won.’ No. You play 40 minutes. Then you play an overtime. Who is ahead at end of the game is the team that should win. That’s the team that should have won. Period.

Those comments threw some coal on that December fire and angered fans in Western New York. but is it time for the two schools to look to revisit the series? What if we told you that not only should the schools play basketball again, but they should expand the series?

The two schools have only met three times in football and haven’t played since 2007 and while the Orange are looking to continue “New York’s College Team” why not look to head West every few years.

The Buffalo Bills are building a brand-new, publicly funded stadium that will want to “give back” to the state by hosting other events, like say a SUNY football program. Syracuse is looking to play games in new places to help with exposure and recruiting. Everyone loves fancy, new NFL stadiums so someone produce a Dewitt Clinton Cup and let’s get a September series going.

Orange fans have begged to be able to enjoy a fall afternoon outdoors. Playing at Army will help those closer to NYC get that opportunity, so let’s also hit the other end of the state. This would be a more appealing trip for players and fans than any other MAC opponent can offer.

Wouldn’t it be fun to have a men’s and women’s basketball double-header alternate between the Dome and the KeyBank Center? We still have the Boeheim comments and the Felisha Legette-Jack connection to make these games a bit more juice than a typical non-conference game.

This doesn’t need to be an annual game, but as the Orange look to balance their non-conference schedules, it could help grow the fanbase by providing Syracuse fans in Rochester/Buffalo/Toronto an opportunity to see their team in close proximity.