Syracuse University, ranked No. 7 in the AP and Coaches polls, will open its 34th and final season in the Big East Conference on Wednesday, against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at the Carrier Dome.
Following this season, the Orange (12-1,0-0) will flee the Big East for the less tumultuous courts of the ACC. With the mass exodus of teams leaving the Big East, this final season won’t go down as a farewell party for the Orange, as many schools look at Syracuse as one of the main reasons the conference is crumbling.
But being an enemy of the state is nothing new for Syracuse.
For most schools in the Big East, this will likely be a good-riddance party for Syracuse. With its 10 regular-season titles and five conference tournament titles, the team with the most wins in Big East history is poised to make its final season a memorable one.
Syracuse lost four key players last year with three going to the NBA, but has reloaded with some very talented, albeit raw, young players. Michael Carter-Williams has blossomed from bench contributor to one of the best point guards in the nation. Brandon Triche has assumed the role of team leader and southpaw C.J. Fair has become Mr. Consistency.
So, with a great mix of veteran leadership and high-octane youth, we explore what’s in store for the Orange in its swan song in Big East play.
Here are five predictions for the upcoming season.