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.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Inevitable Win

The Orange were destined to beat a top 25 team this season; it simply was a question of when it would occur. The team has a lot of talent, streaks of playing well, and it was just a matter of time before it all came together for the right game.  Florida State, ranked #6 in the country, happened to be that opponent as the Orange took them down 82-72.

Jim Boeheim has been coaching Syracuse for 41 seasons now.  Over that time span, only twice have the Orange failed to beat a top 25 team in the season.  The first time that occurred was way back in 1977-1978, and the reason they did not beat any top 25 teams was that they did not play any.  Hard to fathom isn’t it.  The Orangemen were not in a conference, and none of their traditional rivals were ranked that year, at least not when the Orangemen played them.  The Orange could have played some ranked teams in the NCAA tournament, but they were upset in the first round by Western Kentucky.

The last time Syracuse did not beat a top 25 team was the 1980-1981 season, when the Orangemen went 0-2.  Those were the early years of the Big East, and the conference was only on the rise.  The Orangemen lost to #4 Maryland 83-73, and #3 DePaul 91-69.  The Orangemen would win the Big East Tournament that year, but because the conference had not yet earned an automatic NCAA berth, the team did not get invited to the tournament. They would go on a strong NIT run, and would lose to Tulsa in the NIT Final in overtime 86-84. 

The Orange have also beaten a top 10 team every season since 2006-2007.  The win against the Seminoles yesterday gives the Orange ten consecutive seasons where they have beaten a top 10 team. In 32 of Boeheim’s 41 seasons, Syracuse has beaten at least one top 10 team.  Three times they failed to play a top 10 team, and six times they did but failed to beat one.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Playing With Numbers

The Orange have struggled in the 2016-2017 season, losing their first six games against Power Five Conference (P5) schools, before beating Miami the other other night. The Orange are 9-6 on the season, with Tyler Lydon and Andrew White leading the scoring.

The team win/loss breaks down as follows:
P5 Teams (1-6)
Non-P5 Teams (8-0)
Against Former Big East schools (1-4)

By Day of the Week:
Sundays 0-1
Mondays 1-1
Tuesdays 3-1
Wednesdays 1-1
Thursdays 0-0
Fridays 2-0
Saturdays 2-2

By Month
November 4-2
December 4-3
January 1-1

When Tyler Lydon and Andrew White start the team is 9-6 (they've both started every game)
When starts by:
Frank Howard 8-6
DaJuan Coleman 8-5
Tyler Roberson 4-2
John Gillon 2-2
Taurean Thompson 1-1
Tyus Battle 4-2

When lead in scoring by:
Tyler Lydon  1-3
Andrew White 5-3
Tyler Roberson 1-0
John Gillon 1-0
Tyus Battle 1-0

When Tyler Roberson has 10+ rebounds:  1-1
When Tyler Lydon has 10+ rebounds: 1-2
When DaJuan Coleman has 10+ rebounds: 0-2
When Frank Howard has 10+ assists: 4-0
When Lydon or White score 20+ points: 3-2

Of course none of this really means anything. Just something to muse over.