Top-ranked Syracuse was tottering long before it fell from the ranks of unbeaten squads on Feb. 19. Several teams had the Orange on the ropes, notably Pitt and N.C. State, before Boston College surprisingly delivered the knockout blow, ending Syracuse's 25-game winning streak to open the 2013-14 season.
The shocker against the Eagles was followed by a loss at Durham that was not unexpected, if no less a disappointment. Syracuse and Duke, both top-five teams in the Associated Press poll, basically battled to a draw until the final 10.4 seconds, only to have coach Jim Boeheim lose his cool in a manner he surely teaches players to avoid.
Boeheim's two technical fouls and automatic ejection while protesting a call placed him with Maryland's Gary Williams and Virginia Tech's Seth Greenberg (on hand for Duke-Syracuse as a TV analyst) as coaches who recently got the boot at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The four free throws that resulted from Boeheim's ejection, all but one made by Quinn Cook, sealed the 66-60 outcome.
And so the myth/reality of officials favoring Duke at Cameron lives on.
Regardless of details, the bumps in Syracuse's path last week resembled those encountered by other recent No. 1 ACC squads.
Of particular note was that BC, near the bottom of the conference standings when it defeated the Orange, was far from the only unranked squad to knock off the nation's top dog in ACC play over the past decade.
Since the 2005 season the league has had 17 teams that were defeated while holding the No. 1 spot in the poll. A dozen of the 17 were bounced by unranked opponents. BC has done it twice, Florida State and Virginia Tech three times each over the past 10 years.
Five of the losses by ACC No. 1's took place later in the season than Syracuse's stumble against the Eagles. The most recent was Duke's defeat at Virginia Tech on Feb. 26, 2011.
|WHEN ONE IS UNDONE
Losses By ACC Teams While No. 1 In Associated Press Poll,
|Season||Team at No.1||W-L||Date||Foe/Site/Rank||Result|
|2014||Syracuse||25-0||Feb. 19||BC||59-62 OT|
|2013||Duke||15-0||Jan. 12||at NCS#20||76-84|
|Duke||16-1||Jan. 23||at Miami||63-90|
|2012||North Carolina||5-0||Nov. 26||at UNLV||80-90|
|2011||Duke||15-0||Jan. 12||at FSU||61-66|
|Duke||26-2||Feb. 26||at Va. Tech||60-64|
|2009||North Carolina||13-0||Jan. 4||BC||78-85|
|Wake Forest||16-0||Jan. 21||Va. Tech||71-78|
|Duke||18-1||Jan. 28||at Wake||68-70|
|North Carolina||28-3||Mar. 14||FSU#22/ACCTourn.||70-73|
|2008||North Carolina||18-0||Jan. 19||Maryland||80-82|
|North Carolina||31-6||April 5||Kansas#4/NCAA-FF||66-84|
|2007||North Carolina||15-1||Jan. 13||at Va. Tech||88-94|
|2006||Duke||17-0||Jan. 21||at Georgetown||84-87|
|Duke||27-1||March 1||at FSU||74-79|
|Duke||27-2||March 4||North Carolina#13||76-83|
|2005||Wake Forest||5-0||Dec. 1||Illinois#5||73-91|