On Monday we found out Syracuse would play Wisconsin in its third ACC-Big Ten Challenge game. And that’s… fine.
I’d normally be perfectly content with the Orange playing the Badgers, and I’m sure it will be a good game, but Syracuse just played them. Six months ago, actually. The ACC-Big Ten Challenge is supposed to be a chance for basketball schools (and Penn State) to play other basketball schools they wouldn’t normally have the chance to play, so it’s a little hard for me to get excited about seeing Wisconsin again. Bo Ryan won’t even be there. I could list at least three different schools I’d rather see Syracuse play than Wisconsin, and that’s exactly what I plan to do.
Before we get into this, Orange fans need to realize something. Right now, Syracuse is a second-tier ACC team. These matchups are put together so the biggest and best teams are playing each other, and right now Syracuse isn’t one of them. Would I love to see SU play Indiana or Michigan State? Of course I would, but they’re the most prestigious teams in the Big Ten and they’re playing North Carolina and Duke for a reason. This list only includes the realistic options.
Plain and simple, the Boilermakers are going to be good next year. They’re half of one of the greatest rivalries in college basketball, and after years of misery it looks like Purdue is back on the upswing. If for no other reason it’s Indiana basketball, and Indiana basketball is fun to watch.
Melo Trimble or not, Maryland will still have a good team this year. And if Syracuse was going to play on the road in this year’s Challenge either way, it might as well play at the Xfinity Center in College Park. It’s still in the Northeast, and the SU and Maryland fans combined would easily fill the 20,000 seat arena. It would be “bumping” as the kids say.
This (hopefully) wouldn’t be a very good game at all, but the storyline is just too good to pass up. The Syracuse Orange go into the house of the athletic director who left overnight and pick up a vengeful win on the road. I might just write a story about it anyways.
Who would you rather see the Orange play in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge? Let us know in the comments below.
Posted: Nathan Dickinson