Syracuse faces UConn in a former Big East battle tonight at Madison Square Garden, or in other words, the “mecca” of basketball. It’s safe to say the two squads are pretty fond of each other, having met a total of 94 times.
70 of those meetings were played as conference rivals in the Big East, with Syracuse holding a slight 36-34 advantage in that span. The Orange has also met the Huskies in the NCAA Tournament twice (1957 and 1979), and won both meetings.
Overall, Syracuse is 56-38 against the UConn.
The first time the two teams played was back in 1956, when the Orange came away with a 20-point home victory (102-82) at the Onondaga War Memorial Arena (SU’s home until 1962).
The first time Syracuse faced UConn at The Garden was that aforementioned 1957 tournament win. The Orange won 82-76 behind 26 points from Gary Clark and 24 from Vince Cohen.
As a senior in 1957, Cohen became the third Syracuse player in program history to record 1,000 points in a season. Shortly after, he was selected in the NBA draft, but turned down that job offer to go to law school… can’t say you see that too often nowadays.
Tonight’s matchup against the Huskies will make it 37 consecutive seasons with a game at MSG for SU.
15 of those 37 have been against UConn, where the Orange has gone 8-7.
It’s a narrow advantage overall, and recent history would also follow the trend. The two teams have met at The Garden four times since 2011, both notching two wins a piece.
Overall, however, Syracuse has met Connecticut ten times since the turn of the decade, and won seven of those games.
The current winning streak in the matchup belongs to the Orange at just one game. Through the last four matchups between these teams, the winner has alternated each time (just like their last four meetings at MSG as well).
Out to change that, Syracuse looks for its first multiple-game winning streak against the Huskies since notching three wins over UConn in one season back in 2012.
As 8-point favorites, that seems to be what is expected. Tipoff is at 7:00.