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Classic, Old School New York Funk: Syracuse-St. John’s Rivalry Lives On

Here’s all the benefits of the Orange and Storm continuing its historic series post-Big East.

Tomorrow marks the final time St. John’s will visit the Carrier Dome as a conference foe. The longtime, in-state rivals have engaged in some epic affairs over their three decades together in the Big East.

Luckily, Sunday doesn’t mark the end of a colorful and emotional chapter of Northeast hoops. With the agreement to play a home-and-home series against St. John’s the next two seasons, Syracuse basketball has taken the first step toward continuing its storied Big East rivalries into the future. And playing at Madison Square Garden regularly means a chance for the Big Apple alumni to see the Orange in person.

It’s the logical choice given the school’s impending departure for the ACC. Why close the book on some of the greatest rivalries in history, when you have the ability to write new chapters?

Continuing to play SU’s longtime in-state rivals has a major added bonus, as well. It’ll also alleviate some of the same old tired scrutiny of Syracuse’s non-conference schedule. And that’s not because Jim Boeheim has had a major change of heart on the matter. He still doesn’t like to overwhelm his team in non-conference play. But clearly in recent years SU has increased its degree of difficulty before league play.

Leaving the Big East behind and still keeping rivalries in tact will only help the non-con. You’d imagine St. John’s and Georgetown will have a presence on the schedule for years to come. Possibly even a school like Villanova. (Screw UConn.)

It makes sense because the St. John’s and Georgetown rivalries are too valuable to let go. It’s important for the Orange to maintain a strong presence in major Northeast cities. If you want to recruit Philly, DC/Baltimore, and NYC it’s mighty useful to play games in those areas regularly.

While in the Big East, playing quality non-conference opponents usually means travelling long distances. The ACC means longer road trips for conference play, but it creates an opportunity for some exciting early-season games that don’t necessitate difficult travel.

Playing St. John’s at MSG is enormous to keep the Big Apple presence for both recruiting and alumni. Finding ways to work in Georgetown and Villanova will attract national TV audiences. And playing all three of these schools will help out SU’s tourney resume. Losing Big East basketball is tough to swallow, but Syracuse’s non-conference schedule will have a chance to benefit from the switch.

Posted: Andrew Kanell

8 Comments on this Post

  1. The rivalry tat is described is as dead as the old Big East Conference with its distinct basketball overload.The direction has changed as well as new rivalries coming soon. As soon as we begin to win or lose against the bigger schools in the ACC the new fun begins. Lets see what happens if we knock off N Cor NCS and the mighty Dukesters

  2. I for one am all for continuing the series with St Johns. I would like them to schedule games with UCONN,Georgetown and Villanova also.

    I don’t believe that playing these schools in the future will have any significant value to them because of being non-conference games. But keeping these schools on your schedule will enhance our SOS rankings and help decide where we’re seeded come NCAA Tournament time and help Syracuse keep the tradition alive that’s been built over the last 35 years.

    GO CUSE;

  3. Let me correct myself;playing these games will help Syracuse keep on recruiting the major cities from NYC to Washington DC and everything in between. Significant value is gained by keeping these cities intact and keeping our current relationships with the high schools open. Playing the games is not going to enhance the rivalries that once was.

  4. Love it. ‘Cuse need to setup a preseason tourney at msg an rotate old BE foes. That be cool

  5. Can’t do it Carlton. If they did that, It would probably count as a home game literally and figuratively. Just wait till you here all the homers complain that we are shipping home games to the city and it doesn’t help recruiting, or losses the program money, or upsets the entire fan base. That one tourney will be the reason for any fall off in performance, recruiting, or attendance/season ticket sales.
    (please note my sarcasm, I am all for the idea).

  6. Non-league games are usually set as a homre and away type of deal. We play St. Johns at the Garden one year and home in the dome the following year. We play those teams every year in the Garden anyways,I really don’t see a problem with setting up a tournament,but if I had my choice I would stay with the home and away scenario for all of the old Big East Teams that get asked to play us. I really don’t think the new league that the “C7″ schools are forming in 2014 will be as good as what they have now. Going to have to wait and see what develops.

    When your talking about the new teams from the ACC coming North,your talking something completely different. I don’t see Syracuse willing to accept a change of venue to play the likes of Duke and North Carolina. I think if Dr. Gross were to force that on us after he forced the football games to New Jersey the fans would bring so much pressure on him that he would resign his position and move back to where ever it was he came from.

  7. On a side note, is Steve Lavin not the sexiest coach ever! If I was gay, I would totally do him.

  8. Get over it SU is in the ACC for the better!! The BE is only a memory now!! Best move SU can make=ACC!!

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