Much has been said and written about these obviously massive games in Syracuse’s upcoming 2021-2022 basketball schedule.
The duke games.
But if you look a little deeper, there are other HUGE sneaky clashes coming up at key times this season.
Can Syracuse’s basketball program finally deliver in the Big Apple?
December 7 vs. Villanova (Jimmy V Classic, NYC)
Syracuse University advertised itself as “the New York College team,” and frankly, there’s a huge concentration of Syracuse alumni in the New York metro area… so it makes sense. The brand image had merit. To that end, Syracuse basketball has long been criticized by national thinkers for playing “neutral, but not really neutral” New York games, with many even de facto viewing them as “home” games. Orange.
Home games? Are they really? Someone has to tell the Syracuse basketball players. And maybe also to opposing players.
In back-to-back seasons (excluding last year’s COVID-affected campaign) in which the Orange played in New York-based tournaments, they’ve gone 0-2 in each of them. them. In 2018-19 they lost to Connecticut (I was there – it was ugly) then to Oregon at MSG then in 2019-20 they fell to Oklahoma state (I was there too – it was worse) then at Penn State at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. And honestly, none of those losses were really that close, with three of four losses in double digits, and one, the UConn game, sort of ending in a 7-point loss when the team did not get there. never really felt.
Now enter Villanova, who will face Syracuse in this season’s Jimmy V. Classic on December 7. Once again, a top-level opponent takes on Syracuse in his supposed “home away from home.”
December 29 against Georgia Tech (Syracuse, NY)
This game is important for several reasons. First, it marks the kick-off for most of the ACC season (there will be an isolated game against the Florida State conference opponent earlier in December).
But I also think his special place in the calendar offers a fabulous opportunity for a rare mid-season course correction.
This game against the Yellow Jackets follows an 8-day period off between games, by far the longest period of time off once the season begins in earnest. This appears to be a golden opportunity to make the necessary adjustments based on performance to date, just as the Conference program is about to begin.
Indeed, the coaching staff will have ample time to review recordings of recent games against a range of quality opponents, and it will be a great opportunity to make plans, game calls and rotational adjustments. based on what they see… what worked….who work. This Georgia Tech match will be the first chance to see what these 8 days of adjustments have led to.
This could be a major indicator of things to come.
February 28 @ University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill, North Carolina)
There is no excuse for a game against the University of North Carolina to ever be considered “huge sneaky” but, alas, there it is … in the Carrier Dome should be. This Duke game has the makings of an all-time classic as these two coaches face off one last time, and one would have to think that both teams will make maximum effort to leave this match on February 26 with a victory.
Which will make it, win or lose, really hard to come back, 48 hours later, for a game at UNC – with a day of travel stuck in between nonetheless.
Indeed, this programming is almost comical. It will take an exceptional effort for this team to come back so quickly after such an important event. I have no doubt that Coach Boeheim and the rest of the staff will take the team to where they need to be mentally. But will their body have time to bounce back?
It’s a little consolation, I guess, that UNC is also playing a game on the 26th, just two days earlier. And it’s a road game too, so they have to get back to Chapel Hill as well.
28 whole miles from Raleigh.