clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Duke-Syracuse: One Man’s Favorite Games

Duke vs. Syracuse has become a pleasure we frankly didn’t expect

Duke v Syracuse
SYRACUSE, NY - FEBRUARY 23: (L-R) Head coach Jim Boeheim of the Syracuse Orange and head coach Mike Krzyzewski of the Duke Blue Devils embrace following the game at the Carrier Dome on February 23, 2019 in Syracuse, New York. Duke defeated Syracuse 75-65
Photo by Rich Barnes/Getty Images

When Syracuse came into the ACC there was a sense that the Natural Order - Duke and UNC running things - might be challenged.

Well not exactly. That ended up being Tony Bennett at Virginia, not Jim Boeheim, and as much as Bennett has mastered the rest of the ACC, he hasn’t mastered Duke yet.

As an ACC team, Syracuse has been middling. Part of this is probably because we’re in Late Boeheim and normal coaches tend to trail off at the end of their careers, assuming they stay around that long.

In the ACC, Syracuse has finished 2nd, 8th, 9th, 7th, 10th, 7th, 6th and 8th - pretty much the definition of middling although last year, as always in our opinion, there should be an asterisk due to Covid.

Still, the pattern is clear.

However, Boeheim does tend to get his team up to play Duke and as this article points out, there have been some classics, not least of all the Jacket Game and this writer runs down some of his favorites.

Clearly the Orange and its fans left something important behind when it left the Big East for the ACC and we’ve never discounted that. It’s important and we know they miss it. But they’ve also come to relish the Big Game when Duke comes to town and we appreciate the rivalry.

One last thought here: Boeheim has been at Syracuse so long it’s hard to imagine the program without him. It is in a state of slow decay though and we don’t say that to be mean. It just is. Who would you pick to take over when he finally leaves in the next, oh, 20-30 years?

Kidding, sort of, but he can’t go on too much longer. Where does Syracuse turn?