The ACC has finally released the 2022-23 conference schedule for each team this coming season. With opening night in the Dome under two months away, it‚Äôs time to start ramping up for basketball season. The Orange don‚Äôt start conference play until early December, but it‚Äôs never too early to analyze a schedule.
SU plays three games before New Year’s Day this year, including opening the conference slate on Dec. 3 on the road against Notre Dame. The Irish are one of four teams, outside of the usual Pittsburgh and Boston College, that SU will have a home-and-home with this season. Those other three are Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Georgia Tech.
Syracuse takes on its two ‚Äúrivals‚Äù, Pitt and BC, before Jan. 1 as well with a Dec. 20 home date with the Panthers and a nice Christmas break before hosting the Eagles on either Dec. 30 or 31, that is to be announced. It‚Äôs unusual to see a TBD date listed on a conference schedule, but the Orange now have some flexibility as to when they want to play that game against Boston College.
Moving into January, Syracuse opens the month with a couple of tough road games, at Louisville and Virginia on a two-game swing in the first week of 2023. It‚Äôll be the first game against SU for new UL head coach Kenny Payne, who got hired in the offseason after Chris Mack was fired last year.
Then, the Orange play three games in a six-day span from Jan. 11 – Jan. 16 (MLK Day), hosting Virginia Tech and Notre Dame, and then a trip to Miami. After the game against the Hurricanes, the Orange start a five-game stretch where they alternate home and road games, where they travel to Georgia Tech, host UNC, visit Blacksburg to face Virginia Tech, host Virginia and take on BC in Chestnut Hill. That stretch will tell everyone a lot about who the Orange are in the heat of conference play.
Moving into February, SU has a tough road test at FSU early in the month, but then plays four of its final six games at home including hosting Duke on Feb. 18. The Dome should be rocking in that one. Syracuse has a two-game road trip to Clemson and Pitt before hosting Georgia Tech and Wake Forest in a couple of winnable games to end the regular reason.
Overall, it’s a 20-game, well-balanced conference schedule. January will be the make-or-break month for this team. With a lot of road games and some challenging home games, how this team deals with adversity over the course of the first month of 2023 will tell a lot about whether this team has a year that ended as 2022 did, or like 2021 did.¬†
There are plenty of games to watch, but starting strong in December, along with fighting through a tough January with a lot of road games before defending home court in February will be the story of the Orange‚Äôs season. Basketball season can‚Äôt come soon enough. Nov. 7 versus Lehigh is right around the corner.