Syracuse men’s basketball has scheduled a makeup game against Brown University for December 27th at 6 pm. This game is in lieu of the games that were postponed due to COVID protocols against Lehigh and Cornell on the 18th and 21st respectively.
This is huge for SU. It would have been massively difficult for the Orange to come out of 18 straight days of not playing and roll right into conference play. Now, instead of having to face Georgia Tech as the first team out of the pause, they get a supposed layup in Brown. Will this make a sizeable difference? Maybe. We all know that the Orange have underperformed all season long, but regardless, a game against a lesser opponent will help to get them back on their feet, or perhaps further destroy the tournament resume.
Brown is in a similar spot to Syracuse in terms of COVID protocol. The Bears haven’t played a game since a loss to Vermont on December 10th. Before scheduling this game against the Orange, they weren’t supposed to play until December 30th when they will be on the road to face Maryland.
Brown isn’t a horrible team as you may think. In fact, the Bears are tied for 2nd among Ivy League teams in terms of wins and are ranked 166th by KenPom, just 20 spots behind Colgate and 51 spots behind Georgetown. They’ve played really good competition this season as well, including a 7-point loss to North Carolina on November 12th, and losses to both Creighton and Colorado at Paradise Jam in St. Thomas back in late November. I other words, Syracuse will not be the best team Brown has faced coming in.
For the Orange, the major things to look for are if the guys can bounce back after a long break in which according to ‘Cuse Sports Talk on Twitter 14 of them had COVID-19:
Last year, we saw SU struggle after a COVID break of similar length, can they come out strong on December 27th?
This is the kind of game if Brown performs well down the stretch this season, some SU fans might try to flex as a solid win. Though it would be another colossal loss if Syracuse can’t show up.