Now that we know Syracuse’s opponents, it’s time to rate just how hyped up they’ll be.
Syracuse basketball to the ACC should now truly be sinking it after the release of the opponents and sites for next season. The Orange will host Pittsburgh, Boston College, Miami, Duke, Georgia Tech, Clemson, UNC, N.C. State, and Notre Dame at the Carrier Dome. SU will play nine ACC road games against Boston College, Pittsburgh, Miami, Duke, Florida State, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech, Maryland and Virginia.
It’s a new world for the Orange. No more UConn, Georgetown, Villanova, and other long-time rivals. The move will hopefully create new rivalries, maybe with the likes of Duke and UNC. The Fizz breaks down the top five games for the Orange this season.
This will be the only time the two will tango as conference rivals. It’s a shame too. The Terps will leave for the Big 10 after the season, but Syracuse-Maryland has always been close enough to make it a great rivalry. Carmelo and plenty of other top SU recruits have come out of the Maryland/Baltimore area. The Terps won the national title the year before Syracuse in ’02. The Comcast Center will be rocking for this matchup. Would be nice to send Maryland off to the B1G with a loss.
#4. Boston College
B.C. hasn’t been a top national program since the days of Jared Dudley and Tyrese Rice. But the Eagles and Orange had a special rivalry when both were part of the Big East. B.C. is trying to build back its program, and showed signs of life last year. On Jan. 16, Miami only beat BC 60-59 in Chestnut Hill. Feb. 10. Duke won 62-61 at Boston College. Remember, B.C.’s head coach Steve Donohue also knows upstate New York a little. He’s the former coach of Cornell. The New York-Boston rivalry is back, and Boston College becomes SU’s closest geographic conference foe.
This is another throwback to the Big East pre-2004. The Canes were a conference foe back in the day, and South Florida is home to plenty of Syracuse grads. The game at BankUnited Center will surely have Orange in the house, but last year it actually became a tough place to play for opponents. Miami was the regular season and conference tourney winners in the ACC. If SU wants to win the league, beating UM will be key. While Duke and UNC may be the two games everyone wants to see, don’t sleep on the Hurricanes as one of the best teams in the conference.
It was a disappointing season for the Tar Heels, but an NCAA tournament team nonetheless. Roy Williams’ squad lost games to the best in the league (Duke and Miami), and tough non-con foes (Butler, Indiana, Texas). UNC’s potential as a rival for the Orange is huge. Both have Hall of Fame coaches. Both land McDonald’s All-Americans. UNC has 18 Final Four appearances, and a ton of history. The Dean Dome and Carrier Dome are two of the largest venues in college hoops. Expect record attendance for this game. There’s also something cool about the color matchup: Orange vs. Carolina Blue.
Syracuse-Georgetown will always be special. But SU-Duke could grow to be just as hyped a matchup in a few years. Again, two HOF coaches. Two annual Final Four contenders. Otto’s Army and the Cameron Crazies are two of the loudest and most passionate student sections in the country. It’ll be transfer Mike Gbinije’s first game against his old team, while Syracuse will get to see one of the most talked about recruits in recent years, Jabari Parker. This is another matchup where Syracuse may have to think long and hard about putting the floor in the middle of the Dome, because they could fill 40,000+ for this game.
Posted: Austin Pollack