Another day, another blowout Syracuse win.
That‚Äôs been the mantra for SU, especially after its latest beatdown of South Carolina State. The Orange has been extremely impressive through its opening four games, but its wins are nothing to write home about. SU has won its four games by an average margin of nearly 34 points, all against mid-major opponents.
But that is exactly what these early games are designed to do: ease yourself into the swing of full speed basketball before a grueling ACC slate. Before that tough conference schedule kicks in, there are a handful of games that will give the Orange a reality check.
The Orange‚Äôs next game comes against a hot Gamecocks team that is fresh off a win over #25 Michigan. South Carolina can shoot the deep ball very well, 40 percent on the season, and is Syracuse‚Äôs first test against a Power Five opponent.
The Orange takes on the 16th ranked Badgers for the second year in a row in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge. It also comes as SU‚Äôs first game against a Top 25 opponent. Wisconsin is once again amongst the Big Ten‚Äôs elite and return almost everyone from last year‚Äôs Sweet Sixteen team. A win could heavily elevate the Orange in the rankings.
Although the Huskies are off to a rough start, don‚Äôt sleep on Connecticut who entered this year as the number 18 team in the country. The atmosphere for this game is nostalgic. SU and UConn will play in Madison Square Garden like they did back in 2009‚Äôs six overtime Big East Tournament thriller. Even though Jim Boeheim is the only major remaining piece from that epic quarterfinal, the rivalry is still there.
There is certainly a longing for revenge in this one after the Hoyas spoiled Mike Hopkins coaching debut last year. This is the Orange‚Äôs last test before opening up ACC play. While Georgetown sits at a measly 2-4, it has beaten a ranked opponent. The old Big East rivalry games always wake teams up, so Syracuse can‚Äôt snooze through this one.