Cast Your Vote: Will Syracuse Go Undefeated in the Regular Season? | Zagsblog
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Friday / July 12.
  • Cast Your Vote: Will Syracuse Go Undefeated in the Regular Season?

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    No team in the history of the Big East has gone unbeaten during the regular season, but No. 1 Syracuse (20-0) could be the first.

    At least Dickie V thinks so.

    “No one is going to beat Syracuse in the regular season,” Vitale, a New Jersey native, said Monday during the first half of the Kansas-Baylor basketball game, which followed the Syracuse-Pitt game on ESPN.

    Syracuse visits Notre Dame Saturday but its biggest tests figure to be a pair of games with UConn Feb. 11 and 25.

    Still, the way the Orange are playing anything seems possible.

    “That’s tough to say because everyone gets injuries, everybody gets up to play these games,” Providence’s Ed Cooley said Thursday on the Big East conference call when asked about the chance of the Orange going unscathed. “They definitely have the capability of doing it, but to say they will do it, that’s difficult to do.”

    Marquette coach Buzz Williams said, “It’s the best team I’ve ever coached against.

    “I can’t speak to how it will all play out,” he added. “That’s for the pundits. Last year when we played North Carolina in the Sweet 16, I thought it was the most talented group I’d ever coached against. But after having played Syracuse last year and this year I think they’re even better.”

    The way Dion Waiters is playing, he could be the Big East Player of the Year and the Sixth Man of the Year.

    Fab Melo is enjoying a terrific bounce-back season after underperforming as a hyped frosh.

    “We are a better team because these two guys have improved tremendously,” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim told 1260 The Score in Syracuse.

    And veterans Scoop Jardine, Brandon Triche and Kris Joseph make up perhaps the most experienced team in college hoops.

    “Syracuse’s whole back line is going to play in the NBA and they’re all shot-blockers,” Cincinnati’s Mick Cronin said. “If guys in the Big East are missing layups there’s a reason: They’re being rushed by one of the most formidable front lines in college basketball. I don’t know if there’s an answer to that.”

    Meantime, Boeheim on Monday tied Adolph Rupp for fourth on the all-time wins list at 876.

    Next up: Dean Smith at 879.

    Considering how the team has responded in the wake of the Bernie Fine sex scandal, and the way Boeheim has gotten the most from his team, he will get more than a few votes for National Coach of the Year, a notion that would’ve seemed almost impossible just a few months ago when he appeared on the verge of potentially losing his job.

    Said Brey: “He’s got my vote for National Coach of the Year right now.”

    Imagine how many votes he gets if the ‘Cuse does go unbeaten through the regular season.

    **

    Here’s Syracuse’s remaining schedule courtesy The Post-Standard:

    Sat, Jan 21: at Notre Dame (6 p.m., ESPN)
    Mon, Jan 23: at Cincinnati (7 p.m., ESPN)
    Sat, Jan 28: vs. West Virginia (1 p.m., ESPNU)
    Sat, Feb 4: at St. John’s (12 p.m., ESPN/ESPN2)
    Wed, Feb 8: vs. Georgetown (7 p.m., ESPN)
    Sat, Feb 11: vs. Connecticut (1 p.m., CBS)
    Mon, Feb 13: at Louisville (7 p.m., ESPN)
    Sun, Feb 19: at Rutgers (1 p.m., ESPN/ESPN2)
    Wed, Feb 22: vs. South Florida (7 p.m., BIG EAST Network/SNY/TWCS)
    Sat, Feb 25: at Connecticut (9 p.m., ESPN)
    Sat, Mar 3: vs. Louisville (4 p.m., CBS)

    [poll id=”9″]

    Photo: The Post-Standard

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.

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