Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Syracuse Probably Won’t Go Undefeated in the ACC, But They’re Headed For a No. 1 Seed and ‘Homecourt’ Advantage
Syracuse probably won’t go undefeated in the ACC — although that still remains a theoretical possibility after Saturday’s dramatic 91-89 overtime win over Duke — but they appear to be an almost certain No. 1 seed in the East with a virtual homecourt advantage until the Final Four.
The No. 2 Orange (21-0, 8-0) remained unbeaten at after beating Duke before 35,446 at the Carrier Dome. They have now set a school record for consecutive wins to start a season.
Both Joe Lunardi and Jerry Palm have the Orange as the No. 1 seed in the East, with the first two games in Buffalo — 1 hour, 20 minutes from Tyler Ennis’ house — and the next two games at Madison Square Garden.
Homecourt advantage anyone?
“People say neutral court, but that’s nonsense,” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said earlier this year at the Garden. “If you can go to the Regional in your area it’s going to help you. We got there from New Jersey, we got there from Albany, we got there from Washington, D.C.
“So it’s easier to get there if you’re in your own area, there’s no question about that. But you just gotta play well and see what happens. Control your own destiny a little bit.”
Syracuse is 92-74 all-time at Madison Square Garden and enjoys a huge homecourt advantage thanks to all the Syracuse alums in the New York City area.
Could the Orange go undefeated in their first year in the ACC?
Possible, but unlikely.
Their toughest stretch looks to be later this month when they play at Pitt Nov. 12 and later play three straight road games — at Duke, at Maryland and at Virginia. They then host Georgia Tech before visiting Florida State.
They could well stumble in at least one of those games — making a perfect season in their inaugural campaign in the ACC unlikely.
But at this point it looks like you can book them for two games in Buffalo — and probably a couple more at the Garden.
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.