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ACC Roundup: Syracuse Wins, Covid Rules Change

The more important action was probably off the court

Syracuse v Georgetown
 WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 11: Buddy Boeheim #35 of the Syracuse Orange looks on during warms of a college basketball game against the Georgetown Hoyas at the Capital One Arena on December 11, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

The only ACC game Monday was between Syracuse and Brown and let’s face it, even in Syracuse’s advanced state of desiccation, Brown wasn’t about to make the Orange blue.

So Syracuse won easily, 93-62, with the Boeheim Boys racking up 13 (Jimmy) and 28 (Buddy) respectively.

Side track: someone on Twitter who claimed to be from Syracuse, said he’d always been a big Orange fan but he wasn’t anymore since Boeheim was playing his own kids.

To which several SU fans replied, more or less in unison: and a good thing too because where would Syracuse be right now without dinner table recruiting?

We invite you, again, to consider a post-Boeheim Syracuse. What would it be like there with Nate Oats? Or Porter Moser? Or Todd Golden? What about Wes Miller? Bruce Pearl? Or, dare we suggest it: Brad Stevens? Surely he’s not done with coaching already.

Point is, Syracuse isn’t what it used to be. But it could be, and here’s why: NIL is eventually going to take off in Syracuse, a town that’s deeply loyal and passionate about its beloved Orange. With the right guy, with a blast of fresh energy, that program is going to roar back to life. With the win over Brown, it’s now 6-5 with losses to Colgate, VCU and an equally mediocre Georgetown. We don’t know how much longer Boeheim will hang around and he’s earned the right to leave on his own terms.

That said, we sincerely hope he doesn’t emulate the late Joe Paterno, who hung on far too long.

The real action took place off the court. With Omicron surging, the CDC reduced the quarantine time from 10 days to five, if you're asymptomatic.

A few hours later, the ACC adopted the new guidelines. Which changes things.

For Duke, at least theoretically, it may put Notre Dame back into play this weekend. When word got out that Duke had post-holiday Covid issues, Wednesday’s trip to Clemson was obviously out and Saturday’s to Notre Dame appeared to be too. But now it could be moved to Sunday with minimal disruption.

Of course we can’t know the severity of Duke’s outbreak. If it’s Omicron, as seems likely, it might not be that bad. Then again, none of us are the ones who are being asked to tax our bodies so heavily and when former Duke star Jayson Tatum was sick, he had to use an inhaler while he recovered. We don’t mean to make light of it at all. But there is some optimism now, for our interests here and overall as well.

In South Africa, all quarantines, testing and contact tracing has ended except for those showing symptoms. Francois Venter, a medical professor at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, thinks Omicron will be done in South Africa in a few weeks.

“It is an unprecedented infectious diseases event..Omicron cases have raced through the population — it has moved so quickly that contact tracing, isolation, quarantine or any traditional containment measures are a total waste of time.”

If that holds here, we won’t be far behind.

Therapeutics are also coming online which means that the worst problems of Covid could be controlled.

We obviously focus on basketball here but it’s impossible to live through this stupid pandemic without thinking about it constantly. Hopefully soon, we won’t have to spend as much energy on it as we’ve been required to for what seems forever.

And remember this when it is over. When the Black Plague ended, the survivors in Europe basically partied for a good, long time. And why wouldn’t they? We will too. You can count on that. When the fear is gone, a long, intense global party is going to start. If you’re the right age, it’s going to be the best time of your life.

And then life returned to normal. The Plague was never forgotten - it was far too nightmarish to ever forget - but life got back to normal.

So for all the people who say we’ll never get back to normal? If life got back to normal after the Black Plague, Covid doesn’t stand a chance. It won't be exactly the same as it was before, but human nature will win out in the end.

Only one game Tuesday, pandemic permitting, as former Duke assistants and friends Mike Brey and Jeff Capel lead Notre Dame and Pitt into competition. Watch the battle between very different big men Nate Laszewski and John Hugley because that could be really interesting. The game is at Pitt at 8:00 on The ACC Network.