By Ed Morgans @writered21 on June 13, 2014
In its first year in the ACC, the Syracuse Orange couldn't have started better, eventually reaching 25-0 overall and the number-one ranking in the country. Then, a shocking home loss to Boston College started a tailspin from which Syracuse never really recovered. The Orange went 3-6 the rest of the way. Out to improve in 2014-15, here are five must-see games for Orange fans.
Matchups haven't been set yet for this event, which runs Nov. 20-21. But assuming all the major teams get through their early games against lesser teams, a strong field will converge on NYC to battle the Orange, including California, Iowa and Texas. A Syracuse-Texas game would be a top battle, thanks to the Longhorns' recruiting class.
In last season's lone meeting between Syracuse and Virginia, the Orange were run out of the gym in the second half as the Cavaliers clinched the outright regular-season title. Syracuse wouldn't stick around long enough to get a rematch in the ACC Tournament (which UVA also won), and the lone meeting next season is at the Carrier Dome.
Another ACC team Syracuse will see only once and at home is conference rookies Louisville. The Cardinals make the same journey from the Big East to the ACC that Syracuse did, albeit with one year in the AAC along the way. The coaching matchup between Syracuse's Jim Boeheim and Louisville's Rick Pitino makes this a must-see game. UL won the last meeting, in the 2013 Big East Tournament final.
Syracuse's test in the ACC/Big 10 Challenge finds the Orange at the Michigan Wolverines. The Orange will be looking for revenge for a loss in the 2013 national semifinals, which cost Syracuse a chance to battle aforementioned Louisville for its second national championship in 10 years. Michigan won at home over SU in both 1987 and 1997.
Perhaps hastily dubbed and newly minted by some as the ACC's best rivalry, Syracuse and Duke played two tremendous games last season, with each team winning on its home court and each team perhaps benefiting from a call or two in its own arena. There was no neutral site rematch at the ACC Tournament, so while Duke/North Carolina is still a better rivalry, these rematches should be great, too.
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