The Confidential

The ACC Sports Blog

Archive for the tag “orange”

Syracuse: A Flawed Team That Is And Deserves To Be 25-0

This author has been following basketball since well before Al Gore’s Internet became mainstream.  Well before.  Before cable TV even.  In fact, his first real memories of basketball just so happen to coincide with Jim Boeheim’s first season as coach.  Having watched 35+ seasons of Syracuse basketball, this author is nowhere near convinced that the current edition of Syracuse basketball is made of players that should be 25-0 at this point. Nah, this team is a team that should be a 22 or 23 win team right now… good enough to be a national title contender, but flawed enough to be vulnerable just about every night.  The sum of its parts, however, is that it is the first of those teams to go 25-0.  And it deserves to be 25-0.   Here is why.

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IMPORTANT GAME TIME CHANGE: #1 Syracuse vs. NC State

The game time has moved from 3pm to 7pm for weather-related reasons.  http://scores.espn.go.com/ncb/preview?gameId=400502855

Note this for your TV viewing pleasure (or lack thereof).   For television options, check here: http://www.theacc.com/#!/GameCenter/52685b9be4b0f86829b3c7f1

 

 

 

 

Syracuse Orange: Team of Destiny?

With the Syracuse Orange having recently ascended to their third #1 ranking in five years, a lot of the talk has been if Jim Boeheim’s squad is the team to beat.  The notion has been phrased different ways; “the national title Syracuse’s to lose”, “The title is there for the taking”, but all boil down to the idea that Syracuse is really, really good and deserve their share of time at #1.  The fact that Syracuse’s selection was the first unanimous one since  Duke in the 2010-11 season lends weight to that argument and, of course, a 23-0 record doesn’t hurt either.

Yet, looking back at that Orange this season, another phrase comes to mind when I think of this particular squad: a team of destiny.

Now, what do I mean when I say that?  Do I mean that I literally believe some cosmic entity has preordained the Orange to win a national title? Well…no, of course not.  What I mean is that whatever it’s taken for Syracuse to win, that’s exactly what has happened.

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The ACC School Mount Rushmores: Syracuse Final

Well, this was certainly a tough one.  Frankly, narrowing it down to four Syracuse icons is very difficult.  Too many deserving folks get left off.  Based on the comments, and upon further review, it has to come down to Ben Schwartzwalder and Ernie Davis.  For all the lacrosse accomplishments, lacrosse remains a non-revenue sport.  Although many basketball players made contributions, only a few won a national title–Anthony, McNamara, and Warrick.  Does it get won without either of the three?

Still, Ben Schwartzwalder created Syracuse football.  And Ernie Davis won a Heisman Trophy–the only Syracuse player to do so and the first African-American to ever do so.  While Ernie Davis is a hero, it is difficult to choose a player over a legendary coach.  This is especially true when the coach brought the player to campus.  Without Schwartzwalder, perhaps Davis goes elsewhere.  And maybe Davis ends up a linebacker.  Who knows?

The Ernie Davis story deserved to be a movie, but we’ll have to go with the hero here: Ben Schwartzwalder.  He was a military hero, receiving a Silver Star, a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart, four battle stars, a Presidential Unit Citation and his actions during the Normandy invasion led to a promotion to major.  He coached Syracuse for 24 years, winning 178 games and a national title in 1959.  He brought Jim Brown, Davis, John Mackey, Floyd Little, and Larry Csonka to Syracuse.

Upon further review, however, it is impossible to keep Ernie Davis off the Syracuse Mount Rushmore.  For all that Dave Bing accomplished on and off the court, there is a clear lack of notoriety.  Part of that is because Dave Bing is a very classy individual.  But Bing did not win an award equivalent to a Heisman Trophy.  Bing is certainly a top 5, but we are going to switch things up and give Davis the spot previously reserved for Bing.  Mea culpa.

The final Syracuse Mount Rushmore: Jim Boeheim, Jim Brown, Ben Schwartzwalder, and Ernie Davis.

The original article…

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The ACC School Mount Rushmores: Syracuse

The Confidential has been having some fun with league-wide coaches Mount Rushmores.  Football and Basketball, plus polls for each of football and basketball to share your thoughts.  In fact, it was so sufficiently fun and controversial that we are going to do school-wide Mount Rushmores now.  And we will only put three people on the list, leaving you–our readers–to comment as to who should be the fourth.  We will not do polls anymore.  For today, let’s go with the school that has been with the ACC a very short time: Syracuse.

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