After upsetting Duke and taking down Pittsburgh and Miami, everything looked to be going Syracuse‚Äôs way. All it took was a blowout loss to Virginia Tech for fans to come back down to earth. Thanks to SU‚Äôs inconsistencies in non-conference play, the next four games are contests SU can‚Äôt let slip away.
On Wednesday, SU travels to take on a Boston College team that has some momentum after winning its last two games. Before taking down Florida State and Wake Forest, BC was the worst team in the ACC. Now, defeating a mediocre Demon Deacons team and a Seminoles team that‚Äôs fallen off the face of the earth isn‚Äôt anything to brag about. But it shows that Syracuse can‚Äôt take Boston College lightly.
After that the Orange travel to Pittsburgh to take on a Pitt team that put up a good fight in the Carrier Dome. The Panthers also have an extra day to prepare against the 2-3 zone. The squad‚Äôs led by a couple of freshman guards who went 8-24 against SU in the Dome. But that was their first time playing against the zone. With a little bit more experience, and the home crowd behind them, Pitt could pull off the upset.
Then SU hosts a Florida State squad that has stumbled after starting the year hot. FSU has lost four of its last six, but two of those losses were against Duke and Virginia. The Seminoles are a much better team at home, where they have just one loss, the two-point loss to the Blue Devils. The Orange must capitalize on FSU‚Äôs paltry play outside of Tallahassee, since it hasn‚Äôt won on the road since mid-November.
At the end of the four game stretch, Syracuse faces Boston College again, this time at the Carrier Dome. For Boston College to win, they need top scorer Ky Bowman to be electric. Unfortunately for the Orange, Bowman is the type of player who conquers the zone. He‚Äôs a guard who shoots over 36 percent from deep and averages over 20 points. He practically plays the whole game too, averaging just one minute on the pine. BC starts three guards who all shoot well from three so SU needs to use its size to its advantage to slow the Eagles.
Syracuse should win all four of these games. But, throughout the year it‚Äôs been unpredictable which team shows up. Will it be the team that beat Duke on the road or the squad that was steamrolled in the Dome by Georgia Tech. Syracuse‚Äôs next step is to consistently be the squad they were a couple games ago. Against lesser opponents coming up, the Orange need to take advantage.