With the arrival of June, #OrangeNation is a solid five months away from the start of basketball season. That means at least 150 days until Jim Boeheim verbally jousts with the Knights of the Keyboard (as Ted Williams used to refer to the media) or questions whether a referee (or 20) is long overdue for an eye exam. But we here at The Juice Online are always up for talkin’ hoops. So as we do the slow crawl towards Midnight Madness, let’s take a look at what teams we know Syracuse will encounter during the upcoming season, though the entire schedule has yet to be finalized for release.
Colgate pays a visit to the Carrier Dome on November 11. The Orange has beaten Colgate 49 straight times having last lost to the Raiders in the 1961-62 season. So why mess with a good thing? After all, 50 is a nice round number for a win streak.
Four days later on November 15, Holy Cross makes the five hour trek west (Mass Pike to the NY State Thruway for those New Englanders up for a road trip). And we’ll all be saying a lot worse than Holy Moly if the Sons of Bob Cousy win that one.
On Friday, November 18, Syracuse welcomes Monmouth to the Dome in what might be billed as the Snub Revenge Game. If you don’t remember, Orange-hating Bracketologists everywhere had one colossal hissy when Monmouth was left out of last year’s tournament at the expense of Final Four participant, I mean, hanging-by-a-thread-on-the-bubble Syracuse. Maybe Pat Forde will buy a ticket for this one?
The next two contests have a Palmetto flavor to them. Syracuse hosts South Carolina State on November 22. The most exciting part of that one should be charting how many walk-ons can score during the last few minutes. A mere four sleeps later, the Orange ventures to one of the five Burroughs for a tussle with South Carolina at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Having an SEC scalp in the W column is always a good thing come Selection Sunday.
Over a 16-day span in December, Syracuse plays its annual Big East Reunion part of the schedule. First up on December 5 is UConn at Madison Square Garden. *Cue the “they never leave the state of New York to play anyone!!!” belly aching* But seriously, it’s very considerate of the Huskies to not ask Syracuse to go out of the country in order to drub them as was the case at last season’s Battle 4 Atlantis.
December 17 marks the long-awaited return of the hated Hoyas to the Carrier Dome. As you might recall, Georgetown put a pretty good thumping on the Orange last season in what was the debut of Hop’s 9-game head coaching audition when JB took an extended winter recess care of those fine (and fair) folks at the NCAA.
Syracuse then welcomes the return of St. Johns to the 315 area code on December 21. No doubt the staff will put extra emphasis on this game since we were reminded a time or 50 this past March by SU homer Doug Gottlieb that if you can’t beat the Johnnies, you don’t deserve to dance. *Eye roll*
Though dates and times for the ACC games have yet to be announced, teams know who they’ll be playing. Syracuse has home and away games with Boston College (two layups), Georgia Tech and new coach Josh Pastner, Louisville and Pittsburgh (mercifully, Jamie Dixon and his brand of football-defense-on-the-hardwood is off to TCU).
The Orange’s five home-only opponents consist of Duke, Florida State, Miami, Virginia, and Wake Forest. Having lone games against Duke and UVA in the Dome is good fortune since both squads will have something to say about the regular season championship. For its five road-only games, Syracuse will earn frequent flyer miles on trips to Clemson, Notre Dame, North Carolina, N.C. State, and Virginia Tech.
Is it November yet?