Monday, January 30, 2017

Limited Opportunities for the Big Upset

The unranked Syracuse Orange pulled a big home upset on Saturday, beating #6 Florida State 82-72.  This was the first time since February 2008 that Syracuse pulled an upset and beat a Top 10 team in the Carrier Dome. 

That seems like a long time and it is; nearly nine seasons.  However, it is not due to multiple failures.  There just are not that many opportunities against Top 10 teams at home during that time span, and even fewer where Syracuse was the underdog.

Sophomore Orange Paul Harris
Paul Harris
Since February 2008, there were nine occasions where a Top 10 team came to the Carrier Dome.  
Syracuse was the underdog in only three of them.  So really, only three opportunities in the past nine seasons, before Saturday, to pull the big upset at home.  Those are rare opportunities.

Syracuse has in part been a victim of their own success.  Six times they met a Top 10 team at home and the Orange were higher ranked.  The Orange went 4-2 in those six games.

Here are the nine games:

January 2016: Unranked SU lost to #6 North Carolina
March 2015: Unranked SU lost to #2 Virginia
February 2015: Unranked SU lost # 4 Duke
December 2013: #2 SU beat #8 Villanova
December 2011: #4 SU beat #10 Florida
January 2011: #3 SU lost # 7 Villanova
February 2010: #4 SU beat # 8 Villanova
January 2010: #4 SU beat #7 Georgetown
January 2009: #8 SU lost to #9 Louisville

So we had to go back to February 2008 to see the Orange upset #8 Georgetown in the Carrier Dome by a score of 77-70. Sophomore Paul Harris led the way for the Orange with 22 points that day.

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