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Syracuse Basketball Adds to Difficult Non-Conference Slate

Syracuse basketball

Syracuse basketball just added another Power 5 opponent for its 2024-2025 non-conference schedule. To be fair, the Orange didn’t have much of a choice. The slate for the second annual ACC/SEC Challenge was just announced, and Syracuse will be taking a trip down to Knoxville to battle with Tennessee on Tuesday, December 3rd.

The Orange and the Volunteers actually just played last season as a part of the Maui Invitational. Tennessee, the number 7 team in the country at the time, handled SU 73-56. Before that contest, however, it’s been a while since these two teams have played. The most recent matchup before 2023 was back in 2002. Overall, Tennessee leads the series 4-3, and owns a 2-1 home record against the ‘Cuse.

The Vols are coming off one of the best seasons in program history, making it all the way to the Elite Eight, before falling to the eventual national runner-up in Purdue. However, Tennessee lost its star player in Dalton Knecht to the NBA Draft, plus lost four players in the transfer portal. While the Volunteers added four players in the portal too, this is still a team poised to take a step back from last season.

Despite a slightly depleted roster, Tennessee is still a good team that would be a solid non-conference win for Syracuse basketball. The Orange already have quite the slate of opponents before conference play. Here’s how the list looks so far.

Nov. 12: vs. Colgate

Nov. 21-22: Legends Classic in Brooklyn, NY. Will play two of Texas, Texas Tech and St. Joseph’s.

Nov. 27: vs. Cornell

Dec. 3: at Tennessee

Dec. 14: vs. Georgetown

Dec. 21: vs. Maryland in Brooklyn, NY

TBD: vs. UAlbany

That’s eight games. Depending on how the Legends Classic goes, Syracuse could play five Power 5 opponents across that span. Plus, Colgate is a perennial NCAA Tournament participant. Cornell is also usually a solid team. UAlbany is the only game that sticks out as one that should be a walk in the park. 

Considering SU played New Hampshire, Canisius, Chaminade, and Niagara last year, this season looks like it will be harder earlier on. That could be good, as having more good wins is key when the NCAA Tournament field is being decided.

Expect one or two more games for Syracuse basketball to be announced before the season starts.

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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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