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Hoops

Five Syracuse Games to Circle on Your Calendar

Even in the heart of a sparkling start to the football season, the anticipation for hoops remains high. The ACC released its schedule last week, and there are intriguing matchups aplenty. Of course there’s reason to be excited for every game, but here are five in particular SU fans should circle on their calendars.

#5- VS Georgetown, December 10

It’s Syracuse-Georgetown. What more could you ask for? While this rivalry has seen a bit of a decline since the Orange departed the Big East, the two teams have met each of the last seven years. All of those games have been decided by ten or fewer points. Also, the last time the Hoyas visited the 315 was January 2021, a game in which zero fans were in attendance at the formerly Carrier Dome due to COVID-19 restrictions. Central New Yorkers haven’t had a Syracuse-Georgetown game since December 2018. It’ll have been four years come this season’s showdown. It’s always intense when these two renew acquaintances, it should be even more so this year with what should be a very raucous Dome crowd.

#4- VS North Carolina, January 24

Similarly to Georgetown, it’s been a while since UNC has had to deal with the Dome crowd. The Tar Heels’ last trip to Syracuse had zero fans. Also, Hubert Davis’ squad is looking like a serious threat to make another deep run. Following its national championship loss to Kansas, North Carolina is near the top of most preseason polls as nearly their entire core is coming back. As of right now, this could be the most difficult game on the Orange’s schedule.

#3- VS Colgate, November 15

Imagine thinking that a game against the Raiders would be considered such a big one at this time last year. Well, considering the butt-kicking Colgate gave Syracuse last November, this game takes on a little more meaning than normal this season. Now imagine the scene if the Raiders beat the Orange again this year. Central New Yorkers are going to have a field day dunking on both Jim Boeheim and his team. That will be the last thing the large number of freshmen in this class need on their minds. Simply put, Syracuse cannot under any circumstances lose to Colgate again.

#2- VS Duke, February 18

This matchup with the Blue Devils is going to feel weird, given that Jon Scheyer, not Coach K, will be the man in charge for Duke. Perhaps that is what SU needs to finally flip the script against the Blue Devils. Duke hasn’t lost at the Dome since John Gillon’s buzzer-beater, and we’re coming up on the sixth year anniversary of that shot. This game will probably draw the biggest crowd of the season, and given the humiliation of last year’s matchup in Central New York, the veterans on this team should be coming for blood. Oh, this could also be quite the resume builder come tournament time.

#1- VS Pittsburgh, December 20

This game became marquee in June when Dior Johnson flipped his commitment again, this time picking Pitt. He also took to Twitter to emphasize his excitement for this matchup.

This kid is looking for all of the smoke, and it shouldn’t be a surprise if Central New York fans give it to him. There was already plenty of bad blood between Pitt and Syracuse (the Orange have only faced Colgate and Cornell more often). Johnson inserting himself into the equation with his commitment and his Twitter trolling have only added more animosity. Johnson is set to play the Grinch in this holiday-season matchup with Orange fans hoping he doesn’t steal Christmas.

Orange Tip-Off is less than a month away. The season draws closer by the minute, and these are the games to get ready for here and now. After last season’s big step back, Boeheim and his brass need to get Central New York believing again, and winning these games could do just that.

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The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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