We know this year has been frustrating for even the most optimistic of Syracuse fans. The rough non-conference schedule, combined with the tease of the ACC season, only to end in probable non-tourney fashion. Now with fans not in attendance because of the Coronavirus, perhaps SU fans feel a little better about missing the Big Dance. They wouldn’t have been able to go even if they did make it, and how big will the event feel if there’s no fans?
But the season in a pure basketball sense is going to be forever remembered as frustrating. That is, unless the Orange go on a deep ACC run in Greensboro. It starts tonight with the Tar Heels.
This was not the matchup SU wanted. Even though UNC slid to its worst season in decades, they still dumped the Orange in their regular season matchup. While Jim Boeheim got the best of Roy Williams in the ’03 title game, Roy has owned Jim in the ACC.
Despite the odds favoring the Tar Heels by 3 points, SBD’s predicted score has Syracuse winning this match by 2 points in what could be a very tight game. The Heels have been 10-9 when favored this season. It would be an ignominious end to the SU season if they lose again to the Heels. The Orange finished with a better record and higher seed than the Heels. They earned a bye where UNC didn’t. But a season sweep by Roy would leave SU fans burning.
The season would be extended with a win tonight, but not saved. A matchup against Louisville awaits, and then perhaps the defending national champs in Virginia. But first things first. Beating the Heels at least allows another night for SU fans to enjoy hoops before the inevitable.