I wrote last week that the Orange needed to win two out of three on a tough road trip to get their season back on track and after the first two games, Syracuse has done just that. The Orange are coming off of a massive road win at Cameron Indoor, which despite Duke’s recent struggles, is one of the toughest places to win in the nation.
After dropping the first four conference games, Syracuse needed to start winning games they were not expected to win. Syracuse has 11 conference games remaining and to get to that magic 9-9 number, the Orange need to go 6-5 the rest of the way. Certainly doable, especially as the Orange have gotten some of its toughest games out of the way early in the season.
Syracuse fans will, understandably, be hoping and maybe even expecting the Orange to continue its hot streak against Virginia on Saturday. Syracuse maybe catching Virginia, like Duke, at the best time. The Cavaliers have dropped two out of three and face a tough home game tonight against the red-hot Clemson. Syracuse is riding a three game winning streak and playing its best basketball since Thanksgiving.
A win against Virginia, like the Duke victory, will do wonders for the Orange going forward in terms of momentum and in the minds of those who decide who goes to the big dance and who doesn’t.
However, if the Orange drop the UVA game, it is far from devastating. The Orange are playing some great basketball and head home for four winnable games against Notre Dame, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and Florida State. If the Orange lose to UVA and take three out of four at home, they will be back to .500 in the conference, which would be a tremendous accomplishment based on how conference play began.
The importance of the upcoming game as much in how the Orange play than the final result. Every win in the ACC is huge but if the Orange play well again and continue to shoot and rebound well, then Syracuse fans should still feel well about Syracuse as the road trip ends.
Syracuse set out on the road to put themselves right back in the mix and they have done that. A fourth straight win would be the cherry on top.