2015-16 Syracuse basketball preview: Schedule analysis

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Syracuse plays St. John’s at MSG this year

If it appears that this season’s non-conference schedule is loaded, you are correct.

The Battle 4 Atlantis field is stacked: Gonzaga starts the year ranked #11, Connecticut is at #24, Michigan and Texas A&M just missed the pre-season top 25, and Texas received votes in the opening polls, as well. Only first round foe Charlotte and Washington joined SU in not garnering pre-season poll votes. The Orange drew Wisconsin as their ACC-Big Ten Challenge opponent and the Badgers come into the season ranked #17 in the nation. Georgetown also received votes in the preseason poll, adding another strong opponent to the ledger. In short, the five games spanning the last week of November and first week of December should speak volumes about how the Orange season will unfold.

The ACC schedule will be rough, as always. North Carolina starts the season in a tie atop the national poll, Duke is fourth, and Virginia holds the number six spot. Notre Dame enters the season at #18, while Louisville, NC State, Florida State, and Miami all garnered some votes. With home-and-home series with both the Tar Heels and Seminoles, Syracuse will get ten conference games against opponents talented enough to merit pre-season poll support.

Throw in that Jim Boeheim will be away from the team for the games from the December 30 matchup at Pitt through the Notre Dame tilt on January 28, which includes games with powerhouses North Carolina, Duke, and Virginia, and SU will be seriously tested throughout the season.

» Related: Overall outlook and roster analysis

Date Day Opponent
Nov. 2 Mon. LE MOYNE (exhibition)
Nov. 8 Sun. FLORIDA SOUTHERN (exhibition)
Nov. 13 Fri. LEHIGH
Nov. 17 Tues. ST. BONAVENTURE
Nov. 21 Sat. Battle for Atlantis vs. ELON
Nov. 25 Wed. Battle for Atlantis vs. Charlotte
Nov. 26 Thur. Battle for Atlantis vs. Connecticut/Michigan
Nov. 27 Fri. Battle for Atlantis vs. TBD
Dec. 2 Wed. ACC/Big10 Challenge vs. WISCONSIN
Dec. 5 Sat. at Georgetown
Dec. 8 Tues. COLGATE
Dec. 13 Sun. at St. John’s
Dec. 19 Sat. CORNELL
Dec. 22 Tues. MONTANA STATE
Dec. 27 Sun. TEXAS SOUTHERN
Dec. 30 Wed. at Pittsburgh
Jan. 2 Sat. at Miami
Jan. 5 Tues. CLEMSON
Jan. 9 Sat. NORTH CAROLINA
Jan. 13 Wed. BOSTON COLLEGE
Jan. 16 Sat. at Wake Forest
Jan. 18 Mon. at Duke
Jan. 23 Sat. at Virginia
Jan. 28 Thu. NOTRE DAME
Jan. 30 Sat. GEORGIA TECH
Feb. 2 Tues. VIRGINIA TECH
Feb. 11 Thu. FLORIDA STATE
Feb. 14 Sun. at Boston College
Feb. 17 Wed. at Louisville
Feb. 20 Sat. PITTSBURGH
Feb. 27 Sat. NC STATE
Feb. 29 Mon. at North Carolina
Mar. 5 Sat. at Florida State
Mar. 8-12 Tues.-Sat. ACC Tournament at Washington, D.C.

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Jim Stechschulte

About Jim Stechschulte

A 1996 graduate of Syracuse University, Jim has reported on Syracuse sports for the Syracuse University Alumni Club of Southern California on nearly a decade, where he currently resides. He has also written a fantasy basketball column published by NBA.com. Follow him on Twitter @DSafetyGuy.
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