Schedule overview, analysis — 2014-15 Syracuse basketball preview

Syracuse will play a tough non-conference schedule
Syracuse will play a tough non-conference schedule

The Orange may have a sense of déjà vu when looking at this season’s non-conference schedule. Just like last year, it has an ACC/Big Ten Challenge game, matchups with former Big East foes St. John’s and Villanova, and a big early tournament, only this year substituting in SU’s home away from home, Madison Square Garden, for a trip to Hawaii.

That non-conference schedule features matchups with three teams ranked in the pre-season polls. The 2K Classic puts the Orange in the thick of things quickly, as it guarantees one game with a ranked foe, as Syracuse will face either #10 Texas or #25 Iowa in the title or consolation game, pending the outcome of their game with California. A couple weeks later, SU visits #23 Michigan in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, then they return last year’s game with #13 Villanova, heading down to Philadelphia for that reunion.

The ACC portion of the schedule features four teams ranked in the preseason top ten and four other teams that earned votes in the initial polls. The good news for SU is that they get a relatively easy start to conference play, as ten of their first 11 ACC games, including their first seven, are against teams who failed to make the top 25 (a trip to #6 North Carolina is the outlier). Of course, that soft start is countered by Syracuse closing with a seven-game span featuring four games against ranked teams (#3 Duke in a home-and-home and #8 Virginia and #9 Louisville visiting the Carrier Dome). Oh, and two of the other three of contests against teams who received votes for the pre-season poll. It is safe to say Syracuse will be ready for the NCAA Tournament… if they survive their closing stretch.

» Related: Syracuse basketball preview, roster analysis

Date Opponent Time
Nov. 14 Kennesaw St 7:00 PM
Nov. 16 Hampton 4:00 PM
Nov. 20 at California 9:00 PM
Nov. 25 Loyola (MD) 7:00 PM
Nov. 28 Holy Cross 7:00 PM
Dec. 2 at Michigan 7:30 PM
Dec. 6 St. John’s 5:15 PM
Dec. 14 Louisiana Tech 4:00 PM
Dec. 20 at Villanova 1:00 PM
Dec. 22 Colgate 7:00 PM
Dec. 28 Long Beach St 2:00 PM
Dec. 31 Cornell 6:00 PM
Jan. 3 at Virginia Tech 12:00 PM
Jan. 7 at Georgia Tech 7:00 PM
Jan. 11 Florida St 8:00 PM
Jan. 13 Wake Forest 8:00 PM
Jan. 17 at Clemson 4:00 PM
Jan. 20 Boston College 7:00 PM
Jan. 24 Miami (FL) 4:00 PM
Jan. 26 at North Carolina 7:00 PM
Feb. 3 Virginia Tech 9:00 PM
Feb. 7 at Pittsburgh 4:00 PM
Feb. 11 at Boston College 7:00 PM
Feb. 14 Duke 6:00 PM
Feb. 18 Louisville 7:00 PM
Feb. 21 Pittsburgh 12:00 PM
Feb. 24 at Notre Dame 8:00 PM
Feb. 28 at Duke TBD
Mar. 2 Virginia 7:00 PM
Mar. 7 at NC State 12:00 PM

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About Jim Stechschulte 894 Articles
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. He has also written a fantasy basketball column published by He currently resides in Syracuse.