Last year and through the first 21 games of this season, Cardiac ‘Cuse has come out often, just not in the way we want it. Time and time again, the Orange have put themselves in a position to pull off season-changing wins, but self-inflicted wounds have doomed Syracuse. There are plenty to choose from but after yet another one last night, it feels like a good time to go through the five worst.
5. BRYANT 73, SYRACUSE 72- 11/26/22
After losing to Colgate again a week and a half earlier (an honorable mention), another loss to a mid-major inside the Dome felt impossible. But there was a lot more to this game than a heartbreaking last-second loss.
When all was said and done, this incident was merely insult to injury. It was an embarrassing defeat on an embarrassing day for the program.
4. GEORGETOWN 79, SYRACUSE 75- 12/11/21
After they won this game, the Hoyas won their next contest against Howard then proceeded to go winless in Big East play. This Georgetown team may be the worst team Syracuse has lost to over the past two seasons, and the fact that it’s Georgetown adds salt to the wound. The Orange held a firm 10-point lead at the break, but as they did time and time again, they melted down defensively. The Hoyas nailed what felt like every open three they had, and SU fans were left in disarray.
3. #17 MIAMI 82, SYRACUSE 78- 1/16/23
Let’s be honest, the Hurricanes went into the game as a significantly better team than the Orange, so the fact that this was even a close game is a positive. But coughing up a double-digit lead and having your tying shot attempt blocked is tough. Additionally, this game had the potential to give SU a Quad 1 victory and reshape what had been (and still is) a lacking tournament resume. It was also the third straight contest against Miami in which Syracuse blew a double digit lead. Speaking of which…
2. MIAMI 75, SYRACUSE 72- 3/5/22
It’s hard to not shudder thinking about this one. The Orange held an 18 point lead over the Hurricanes a few minutes into the second half and were in a golden position to send the Boeheim brothers and Cole Swider off right… until they weren’t. Miami closed the game on a 15-2 run thanks to a series of awful shots as well as extremely carless ball-handling down the stretch. It was the most painful game in a season full of pain, and it sealed Jim Boeheim’s first losing season in his tenure.
1. NORTH CAROLINA 72, SYRACUSE 68- 1/24/23
Now we get to last night. It wasn’t so much the fact that it was another close loss, this one takes the cake because the game was quite literally handed to the Tar Heels. Joe Girard (and credit to him it was a great hustle) dived to save a loose ball, the only problem was it went right to UNC forward Pete Nance under the basket for an easy deuce. From there, the ship continued to sink. It was such a horrific loss that Boeheim ended his press conference like this.
That is about as disrespectful as you can be to the media. We’ve seen Boeheim get picky with the media in the past, but this is another level, and that’s what make it the most painful of the bunch. Heck, even the podium agrees.
The fact that there is a long list of worthy candidates that we did not include in this is very telling about the state of the program. The same mistakes keep happening, and as crazy as it sounds, Boeheim appears complacent. Losses like these are ruining the reputation of a once-proud program.