Well, that did not take long. When realignment was in full effect, many critics said traditional rivalries were going to be destroyed and conferences like the Big East were bound to end their basketball glory. Although the move to the ACC did diminish the rivalries between Syracuse and teams such as Villanova and Georgetown, new rivalries have emerged quicker than expected.
The obvious rivalry that has formed quickest is Duke. We all knew Syracuse and Duke would develop a rivalry over time based on plenty of factors. Both programs have two Hall of Fame coaches, storied traditions and passionate fan bases. Jim Boeheim and Mike Krzyzewski have developed a strong friendship coaching Team USA in the Olympics, but they seem to be coaching just a little bit harder when they face each other. They also play in two very different but tough venues in the country: the Carrier Dome and Cameron Indoor Stadium.
However I do not think anyone thought it would develop this fast. The first two ACC contests have brought controversy, ejections, and some of the highest level of play in college basketball. Both fan bases have started a growing hate for one another, which can only lead to better buildup and hype in future games. Unfortunately, both coaches do not have much left in the tank in terms of future years. Boeheim is 69 years old, while Coach K celebrated his 67th birthday a few weeks ago. Though Boeheim did show he still has some fight in him in his tirade on the court this past weekend.
As for future rivalries, fans will have to wait and see what develops. Some big names that come up are North Carolina and N.C. State. Unfortunately, UNC has had quite a few ups and downs the past few seasons, leading to unranked matchups. The Tar Heels have not skipped a beat in recruiting, however, which should set up some big games in the upcoming seasons for the Orange and the Tar Heels. Louisville will also be entering the ACC next season. Syracuse fans all remember some good and bad memories with the Cardinals in the Big East. It does not hurt that Louisville has another Hall of Fame coach, Rick Pitino.
Time will tell how Syracuse’s rivalries will play out. We knew there was going to be a lot of potential for the Orange in the ACC. Yes, basketball was not the reason why SU decided to switch conferences, but basketball sure can reap the benefits.
Posted by: Zephan Mayell