If the reports are true, Syracuse playing Villanova in a Dome-Philly-NYC trifecta is the best of all worlds. The Juice reported yesterday that SU will have the Wildcats on the Hill this winter, then travel to the Wells Fargo Center next year, while playing at Madison Square Garden in ’15-’16 as part of a double header. This is terrific because it keeps the hated Wildcats on the schedule, helps the RPI, and places Syracuse in Philly (where there’s alumni and SU recruits). Plus it helps the Orange secure another slot at MSG in a few years.
This has been something The Fizz has stumped for ever since the announcement of the ACC defection. In order of significance, Orange Nation will miss A) Big East Tourney B) Big East hoops schedule C) Rutgers football game. And let’s face it, the RU rivalry is really a distant third.
There will never be anything that touches the magic of the Big East tourney inside MSG, but hopefully one day the ACC Championship is held in New York City. While it won’t have the same old school, rough n’ tumble, northeastern feel, at least we could all file into the thumping, beating, basketball heart of the Big Apple and watch games all week.
But the Big East regular season, it’s treacherous, emotional, history-soaked minefield every week can still be saved in some ways. Swapping out DePaul and USF is no problem. Picking up Boston College and Virginia Tech again is cool. Bringing with us Notre Dame and Pitt helps. Adding Duke and UNC is awesome.
But losing UConn, Villanova and Georgetown hurts. Luckily, this problem has a solution. While it won’t be in conference, and there wouldn’t be an in-season home and home, adding these three schools to SU’s non-con is brilliant on all fronts. Syracuse will still regularly recruit in Philly, NYC and D.C., so it’s imperative to stay in those areas at least once a year. The Orange has already signed up to play St. John’s at MSG next season. Keeping those emotional ties are important.
Hopefully, SU and UConn and Georgetown can work out the same type of series. Home/home/neutral. Syracuse would benefit from playing in D.C. at the Verizon Center. There’s plenty of alumni in the Beltway, and Maryland will leave the ACC after this season. The next chapter of the rivalry would garner significant national attention, just like an SU-UConn series would. Play at the Dome, in Hartford, and then a game at MSG. My guess is the Garden would love to have either Syracuse vs. ‘Nova/Georgetown/UConn once a year for a holiday showcase. CBS or ESPN would jump all over that game.
All it takes is some creative efforts, and putting the egos aside. Work together to keep the ties that bound us all together for years. And in doing so, everyone’s a winner. Hopefully this Nova news is the next step.