Watching that Oklahoma State dud on Wednesday just felt like watching the same movie again.
Since winning the Battle 4 Atlantis in 2016 (no small feat), Syracuse has really struggled in the non-conference portion of the schedule. Honestly, they’ve struggled in every regular season since 2014 (the first year it entered the ACC and went 25-0 to start season).
Now they’ve made some tournament runs and a Final Four so it hasn’t been all bad.
Let the record show that’s what really matters. I’d take a bad regular season for a sweet 16 run or waiting it out on Selection Sunday if it meant multiple tourney wins. But, a solid respectable regular season would also be really fun right about now.
It starts with these puzzling early season struggles.
It feels like every recent year they’ve looked solid against the Bucknell’s, Colgates and Cornells of the world and then underperform at some early season tournament in or around NYC.
This next stretch is big for shaping the rest of the season. After losing the first game, four “coin flip” games are left. You have to win at least two to feel decent about yourself. Those are the projected KenPom scores for the four remaining.
After what we’ve seen from Syracuse in the early season recently, it feels like they won’t come through.
These next four games are huge. If you play well the rest of this stretch, you’re in a good spot for a decent regular season. If you lay an egg, it’s another uphill climb back inside the bubble. I don’t know about you guys, but I don’t want to watch that movie again.