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Looking ahead

Posted by Matt Gelb on December 6, 2008

How long can Jonny Flynn and the Orange stay undefeated? (Associated Press)

How long can Jonny Flynn and the Orange stay undefeated? (Associated Press)

It’s a fun game everyone plays: Schedule watching.

What do I mean? Well, Syracuse is 8-0 and now people are wondering, “What if?”

What if Syracuse is undefeated headed into Memphis?

What if Syracuse beats Memphis on the road and is undefeated going into Big East play?

What if Syracuse is 17-0 going into the Georgetown game?

It’s not as unreasonable to think that as it was a few weeks ago. Syracuse is off for a week for finals, but after that, the real fun starts.

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Dude, where’d the students go?

Posted by Matt Gelb on December 2, 2008

Yeah, not very excited.

Yeah, not very excited.

OK, OK, I know. It’s December. It’s Colgate. Finals are coming up.

But don’t you think the Syracuse students would have been out in full force to thank the Syracuse men’s basketball team for quite the Thanksgiving week? Not exactly.

The announced crowd for Monday night’s game was 18,422, but the student section wasn’t even half full. There was little excitement or noise coming from the students, and it definitely didn’t feel like Syracuse was the No. 16 team in the nation.

So we’re putting the Syracuse student section on notice.

The Orange played a game as a ranked team for the first time since Nov. 23, 2007 — over a year ago. Last week, SU beat Florida, Kansas and Virginia to improve to 6-0. What more do the students need to come out to a game?

Heck, it wasn’t even raining or snowing.

Syracuse’s No. 16 ranking in the AP poll is the highest since Dec. 2, 2006, when SU was No. 15 before losing to Wichita State. That’s reason alone to celebrate.

Not that Jim Boeheim was attacking the students, but on Friday, after Syracuse’s 73-70 win over Virginia — without the students in attendance — the head coach praised the crowd.

“The fans were tremendous tonight,” Boeheim said. “Best I’ve seen in a long time. They were great, absolutely great.”

So even the venerable Boeheim is noticing. Funny, considering the main criticisms of the SU student section in the past few years have been the court rushes against Georgetown. Some would say Syracuse fans should rarely (if ever) rush the court, but that’s another conversation.

Still, how about a little emotion right now?

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A Time to Reflect as the Orange Face the Jayhawks

Posted by Todd Kramer on November 25, 2008

Fans might remember the last time Syracuse and Kansas played each other.  Just in case you didn’t, or just want to feel happy, take a trip down memory lane with this video…

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About Boeheim’s scheduling

Posted by Matt Gelb on November 25, 2008

Boeheim has to be pleased with how his aggressive scheduling has worked so far. (AP)

Boeheim has to be pleased with how his aggressive scheduling has worked so far. (AP)

At Syracuse’s basketball media day, Jim Boeheim was asked about his schedule. After his response, a few snickers emanated from the media contingent.

“It’s basically the same schedule we always played, except those two intersectional games we played in January or February are now being played early because of the Big East playing 18 games,” Boeheim said. “We’ve always played the tournament.”

Of course, this hasn’t been true with Boeheim’s recent schedules. Last year, when Syracuse traveled to Virginia on Dec. 5, it was the first time Syracuse left the state of New York before January since the 2001-02 season.

Now, tonight, Syracuse has a chance to beat the last two NCAA national champions on consecutive nights. The Orange’s defeat of No. 17 Florida on Monday night was SU’s first non-conference win against a ranked team since it topped Memphis on Nov. 19, 2004. Even more amazing: The last time Syracuse beat a ranked non-conference team while outside of the state of New York was Nov. 23, 2000. On that night, SU beat No. 22 DePaul, 92-84, at the Great Alaskan Shootout.

So it’s a rematch of the most important game in Syracuse history tonight in Kansas City, where Kansas will have the crowd behind it, despite the game officially counting as being played at a neutral site.

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Remember, it can always be worse

Posted by Matt Gelb on November 19, 2008

So Syracuse slept walk through the first half of last night’s 76-71 victory over Richmond, but the Orange played a decent second half to win a game that, as Jonny Flynn told The Post-Standard, last year’s team wouldn’t have come back to win.

How about what happened late last night in Arizona? Alabama-Birmingham and Arizona played down to the wire…and what transpired is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever seen in college basketball.

Not once, but twice! Inconceivable.

Arizona is a program in turmoil following legendary head coach Lute Olson’s sudden retirement weeks before the season began. Last night was strike one for interim coach Russ Pennell, who last year, was a TV announcer for Arizona State men’s basketball games.

Maybe he should go back to his old gig.

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