The trend Syracuse hasn’t been able to shake is not putting together a complete game. It seems in every game they have one good half and one awful half. Well, they broke that trend last night but not in a good way. Instead of one good half, they played half of one good half. But their defense played just good enough in the final few minutes to pull out another victory against a mediocre opponent. Syracuse improves to 8-0 by beating North Carolina State, 65-59.
In a word? Yes. The Orange are overrated and have been on the verge of being exposed all season long. After just the second game of the season, Jim Boeheim called this team the “most overrated team that I’ve ever had.” That means something when it comes from Boeheim, who is in his 35th season coaching the Orange. He’s not going to get an argument from me.
This was what was expected out of Syracuse from the outset. They shot 50%, Rick Jackson and Kris Joseph led the way, they got contributions from rookies off the bench, and Fab Melo is slowly coming into form. Unfortunately, it took them seven games to get to this point and still couldn’t string together two good halves of basketball. But the end result was the same with Syracuse improving to 7-0 after beating Cornell, 78-58.
At the beginning of each college basketball season, fans and critics get a taste of tournament basketball in November. For most teams, this opportunity provides an early checkpoint to see not only how far a team has progressed since the dog days of summer lifting, but more importantly, in what areas they need to improve before conference play commences.