Orange Watch: Road win against North Carolina proving to be challenge for Syracuse

Having never won at North Carolina or Clemson, Syracuse is also winless away from the Carrier Dome this season
Having never won at North Carolina or Clemson, Syracuse is also winless away from the Carrier Dome this season

Item: Syracuse has won at game at the Dean E. Smith Center on the UNC campus in Chapel Hill. But that victory came against North Carolina A & T in the first round of the 1988 NCAA East Regional. Two days later, the No. 3 seed Orangemen were upset by 11th seeded Rhode Island in the same building, a season after making the championship game. Since joining the ACC in the summer of 2013, SU is now 0-3 against the “Dean Dome’s” primary tenant after falling by 17 points to the Heels this past Monday night, staying winless in eight games away from Syracuse this season.

At least Syracuse’s record traveling on the road versus North Carolina isn’t as bad as Clemson’s. The Tigers have never won in 58 meetings against UNC at Chapel Hill dating back to 1926, the ongoing NCAA record for most consecutive home wins against a single opponent (the teams met at Clemson this regular season with North Carolina winning).

There’s only one other conference venue in which the Orange have not won a game either before (under Jim Boeheim) or after joining the ACC, and ironically that’s Clemson’s Littlejohn Coliseum which reopened this season after being renovated during parts of the last two years. SU dropped an NIT game there in 2007 and lost in the regular season in 2015, but will get another opportunity to notch a victory at CU on Feb. 7.

While it’s not a large sample size only in year four of ACC play, and acknowledging Syracuse always plays at BC and Pitt each season, with North Carolina the toughest place for the Orange to win, because they haven’t yet, and ditto, Clemson right behind, here’s a look at the rest of the road history of the Orange playing in the landscape of the 12 other ACC venues from easiest to hardest based on the record against the opposing school:

Wake Forest-Syracuse is 4-0 all-time against the Demon Deacons, winning both ACC games at Joel Memorial Coliseum.

Boston College-Whether it was in the Big East (12-9) or now the ACC (3-1), SU historically enjoys its trips to Boston and playing at Conte Forum.

Georgia Tech-Only one game and one win at the relatively newly renovated McCamish Pavilion, although Tech beat the Orange at the downtown Phillips Arena in 2001.
Notre Dame-The next road opponent on this year’s schedule Saturday afternoon, SU is 12-5 under Boeheim in games played at South Bend in both non-conference, the Big East, and ACC play.

» Related: Syracuse 68, North Carolina 85

Virginia Tech-Despite this season’s loss in Blacksburg, SU won its two previous ACC games at Cassell Coliseum, after never playing the Hokies there during the Big East days.

Miami-SU is just 1-1 in ACC Games played at the Watsco Center in Coral Gables, but was 7-3 against UM in games at the old Miami Arena from 1992-2003.

Florida State-Similarly to playing in south Florida, the ‘Cuse is also 1-1 at Florida State’s Tucker Center in ACC games, but also won at Tallahassee in 1990 in the old ACC-Big East challenge series.

N.C. State-The Orange has had better success in Raleigh before joining the ACC, beating the Wolfpack twice at PNC Arena, and dropping the only ACC game there in 2015.

Louisville-Syracuse has only won three times ever at Louisville dating back to 1964 at the old Freedom Hall. At the Yum Center, the ACC’s nicest venue, SU is a respectable 2-2.

Duke-In just four ACC seasons, there has already been three wild games played between the schools at fabled Cameron Indoor Stadium. First the Boeheim sport jacket maneuver in 2014, followed by a Blue Devils blowout a year later, then a nail-biting, two point win for Syracuse last season that Mike Krzyzewski labeled, “amazing” in a sarcastic manner, criticizing the officiating late in the game.

Pittsburgh-The team the Orange has faced the most in its conference era post-1979, SU is 14-11 against the Panthers under Boeheim, but 1-2 at Petersen Events Center in the ACC.

Virginia-Despite the monumental Elite Eight win over the Cavaliers last season in Chicago, SU is 0-2 in ACC games at Charlottesville, but did beat UVA in the first season of John Paul Jones Arena in 2007.

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About Brad Bierman 848 Articles
Now in his sixth decade of covering SU sports, Brad was sports director of WSYR radio for eight years into the early 1990s, then wrote the Orange Watch column for The Big Orange/The Juice print publication for 18 years. A Syracuse University graduate, Brad currently runs his own media consulting business in the Philadelphia suburbs. Follow him on Twitter @BradBierman.