This year’s schedule is a turnaround from last year. Only four teams that are on the slate open the season among the teams of the preseason AP Top 25 poll. Just one of those four appears on the non-conference portion of Syracuse’s schedule. Their ACC-Big Ten Challenge opponent, #23 Illinois, earned that honor after finishing 23-10 last season and making it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Illini, however, have lost six of their top seven scorers from last season.
The other “big name” non-ACC teams on the Orange slate are Richmond, St. John’s and Temple, the three squads making up the rest of the Empire Classic field, meaning SU will only play two of them. Richmond, who will meet Syracuse in the first game of that event, finished 7th among 15 teams in the Atlantic 10 preseason poll. St. John’s was named sixth in the Big East and Temple earned fifth place in the American, so this year’s early season tournament field is a far cry from last season’s trip to Atlantis.
There is also little to complain about when the Orange start conference play, either. There are only three teams in the ACC named in the preseason top 25 poll – North Carolina at #1, Duke at #7, and Virginia at #18. Carolina is the first of the two top ten opponents on the SU schedule and they do not appear until around the two-thirds mark.
Four other teams from the conference did pick up votes in the inaugural rankings. Miami, Florida State, Virginia Tech, and Notre Dame each got votes in the opening poll with the last two teams getting a single point each. As far as ACC teams being national powerhouses, that is a fairly slim list.
SU will see three of those seven teams twice this coming season, but those opponents are Virginia (3rd in the ACC preseason media poll), Notre Dame (6th), and Virginia Tech (7th). The other three home-and-home sets for the Orange are against the three schools picked at the bottom of the 15-team conference: Boston College, Pittsburgh, and Georgia Tech.
If Syracuse needs a strong finishing kick to improve their ACC Tournament seeding and their record for NCAA Tournament consideration, that has been made pretty easy, as well. The last four games on the slate are at Clemson and Pitt, then home for Georgia Tech and Wake Forest. All four of those teams are expected to finish behind SU in the conference standings.
When you spell it all out, this schedule is tailored to this year’s Orange squad, almost to the degree that Jim Boeheim had a lot of input in the whole thing and not just the non-conference portion. The non-conference schedule is very, very manageable, even for a freshman-heavy squad with two returning starters.
Ken Pomeroy’s pre-season projections like St. John’s more than the Big East media voters, posting them at #37, but the Orange can still miss them in the Empire Classic. Outside of Illinois and the Empire Classic field, the SU non-conference schedule is filled out by Georgetown (#102), Colgate (#115), and a list of teams who are not among KenPom’s top 200.
There are just four Saturday-Monday turnarounds on the entire schedule, one of which being the first game of the Empire Classic. That event causes the only compressed portion of the schedule with four games in two days.
|11/7/2022||Lehigh||Syracuse, NY||8:00 P.M.|
|11/15/2022||Colgate||Syracuse, NY||7:00 P.M.|
|11/21/2022||vs. Richmond||Brooklyn, N.Y.||7:00 P.M.|
|11/22/2022||vs. St. John’s or Temple||Brooklyn, N.Y.||TBA|
|11/26/2022||Bryant||Syracuse, NY||7:00 P.M.|
|11/29/2022||at Illinois||Champaign, IL||7:00 P.M.|
|12/3/2022||*||at Notre Dame||South Bend, Ind.||12:00 P.M.|
|12/6/2022||Oakland||Syracuse, N.Y.||6:00 P.M.|
|12/10/2022||Georgetown||Syracuse, NY||1:00 P.M.|
|12/12/2022||Monmouth||Syracuse, N.Y.||7:00 P.M.|
|12/17/2022||Cornell||Syracuse, N.Y.||3:00 P.M.|
|12/20/2022||*||Pitt||Syracuse, N.Y.||9:00 P.M.|
|12/31-30/2022||*||Boston College||Syracuse, N.Y.||TBA|
|1/3/2023||*||at Louisville||Louisville, KY||7:00 P.M.|
|1/7/2023||*||at Virginia||Charlottesville, VA||5:00 P.M.|
|1/11/2023||*||Virginia Tech||Syracuse, N.Y.||7:00 P.M.|
|1/14/2023||*||Notre Dame||Syracuse, N.Y.||7:00 P.M.|
|1/16/2023||*||at Miami||Coral Gables, FL||7:00 P.M.|
|1/21/2023||*||at Georgia Tech||Atlanta, GA||12:00 P.M.|
|1/24/2023||*||North Carolina||Syracuse, N.Y.||9:00 P.M.|
|1/28/2023||*||at Virginia Tech||Blacksburg, VA||7:00 P.M.|
|1/30/2023||*||Virginia||Syracuse, N.Y.||7:00 P.M.|
|2/4/2023||*||at Boston College||Chestnut Hill, MA||5:00 P.M.|
|2/8/2023||*||at Florida State||Tallahassee, FL||7:00 P.M.|
|2/14/2023||*||North Carolina State||Syracuse, N.Y.||7:00 P.M.|
|2/18/2023||*||Duke||Syracuse, N.Y.||6:00 P.M.|
|2/22/2023||*||at Clemson||Clemson, SC||7:00 P.M.|
|2/25/2023||*||at Pitt||Pittsburgh, PA||5:00 P.M.|
|2/28/2023||*||Georgia Tech||Syracuse, N.Y.||7:00 P.M.|
|3/4/2023||*||Wake Forest||Syracuse, NY||5:00 P.M.|