College basketball ACC season heats up for Syracuse with North Carolina game

(From accbasketballrx.com)

(From accbasketballrx.com)

The Syracuse University men’s basketball team’s first season in the Atlantic Coast Conference really starts a little past noon today.

The Orange will tip off against the North Carolina Tar Heels in the Carrier Dome. It’s the kind of game folks around Syracuse have been anticipating since it was announced 2 1/2 years ago that the Orange was leaving the Big East for te ACC.

Syracuse is undefeated. North Carolina is one of the ACC’s legendary programs.

Sure, officially, the Orange already carries a league mark of 2-0 to go with that undefeated record of 15-0 as they get ready to face North Carolina today. But those first two ACC wins were at home against Miami, which used to be a Big East rival, and on the road against Virginia Tech, also a former member of the Big East. But wait, the Hokies were a football member of the Orange’s old league for the first 10 years. So these two were far less familiar in basketball until Syracuse’s victory down in Blacksburg.

You know this if you’ve already purchased your copy of “The Syracuse Fan’s Survival Guide to the ACC,” co-written by Mike Waters and myself.

Published in June by Reedy Press of St. Louis, this handy soft-cover includes a segment examining the relationship between Syracuse and the other ACC schools, in football and basketball.

Each school gets a chapter. Each chapter includes statistics.

For instance: Syracuse’s all-time record in basketball vs. the Hurricanes was 14-5 heading into this year’s league opener. Now it’s 15-5.

For instance: Syracuse has played Virginia Tech hardly at all on the hardwood. After this season’s win, the Orange leads the all-time series 5-2.

A juicy stat about Syracuse and North Carolina?

Well, it’s too late to click the link and get your book for this meeting, but Central New Yorkers on the way to today’s game can still stop at Barnes & Noble on Erie Boulevard in DeWitt or the Syracuse University Book Store in Schine Student Center and purchase a copy. I believe each of those spots still has several copies signed by Waters and I available, too.

I will remind all that while Syracuse is 15-0 and ranked No. 2 in the country heading into the game, the Tar Heels are in the unenviable spot of trying to avoid their third straight loss to start the ACC campaign. Roy Williams’s squad is a pedestrian-by-UNC-standard 10-5 overall.

A crowd of around 31,000 is expected for the first ACC meeting between these two mighty programs. Oh, OK, I’ll give you this one: The Tar Heels are 4-3 overall against the Orange, but Syracuse one the last meeting, 87-71, in 2009.

Besides, the book is full of traditions, legends and sightseeing tips, too.

Just saying.

I’m going to watch today’s game on my flatscreen. This has the chance to be the kind of ACC pressure-cooker contest that fans have been longing for since the departure from the once-beloved Big East.

Are you enjoying this college basketball season so far? Who’s your favorite team? Who do you think is going to win the national championship come April?

15 thoughts on “College basketball ACC season heats up for Syracuse with North Carolina game

  1. that’s very cool, that you published that. i do enjoy college bball, don’t have much tolerance for pro ball in this game though, and of course i’m all in for the wolverines. best of luck! ps – i think our recently outgoing mayor of detroit, dave bing, a former piston, and a good guy, used to play for syracuse?

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    • Yes, Beth, I love college basketball more than pro, too. Next year, my Terps are in your Wolverines’ league, as you may recall. Let’s get the trash-talking ready … And you are so right about Mayor Bing’s Syracuse tie. In fact, Dave Bing was a teammate and roommate of Syracuse’s now-legendary coach, Jim Boeheim!

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      • i think the pros are just to diva-ish and have so many dramas going on, both on and off the court, so i usually stick with the college games. yes, next year it is, mark, and it is on! great, i thought i was remembering right, he was such a great guy and good to the city of detroit. after the pistons he built up a group of businesses in the city, employed a lot of people, was well respected and always gave back to the community.last give back was being mayor, with no salary taken, just to try to help.

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      • that’s so cool, it shows his character was always a good one over the years, with how revered he is both here and there. and he wasn’t a bad b-baller either )

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  2. I haven’t paid attention much this year, unfortunately. I live in UVA country but have always been a Duke fan…even though I do pretend the tournament a few years ago never happened. (first round? Really!?)

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    • Duke fan living in UVA country must be tough every now and again, my friend! I went to Maryland and lived in Prince George’s County for six years. All it took was a drive over the bridge for me to be in UVA country.

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      • Yes, and if they aren’t UVA fans, they are VA Tech fans LOL. I will just keep rooting for the non-hometeams.

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