Syracuse Takes to the Road

13 Feb

If Syracuse enters the ACC Tournament undefeated they will have earned it by doing something they are unaccustomed to, playing and winning on the road outside of the New York metropolitan area.

The Orange are a really good team but for years it has been almost a running joke how little Jim Boeheim likes to travel outside the NY area if he doesn’t have to.  For example prior to last season from 2004-2012 Syracuse played a total of five true road games outside the state of NY during non-conference play.  Last season they traveled to San Diego to take on San Diego State on the USS Midway and to Arkansas.  This season aside from a trip to Maui in November the Orange didn’t leave NY until January 7th when they played at Virginia Tech.

The Big East was a good basketball conference but there weren’t many arenas you would consider tough environments to play in.  In addition the travel was relatively easy geographically for the team and its fans.  Now as a part of the ACC road trips are a little bit longer and more difficult for fans to travel.  Add to that the fact that the ACC has a few more raucous barns; Duke’s Cameron Indoor where the Orange play on Feb. 22, the Dean Dome at North Carolina, Clemson’s Littlejohn Colesium, a familiar venue Pitt’s Petersen Events Center and Virginia’s John Paul Jones Arena where Syracuse visits on March 1st and the Orange will be in unchartered waters in their new conference.

In a scheduling quirk Boeheim’s crew will play four of their last five on the road including three straight at Duke, Maryland and Virginia.  Syracuse has a relatively young team but one of the all-time greats on the bench, it will be interesting to see how this team handles the growing target of being #1 and undefeated on the road in hostile environments the likes of which they rarely saw in the Big East.

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