With the pending move to the Atlantic Coast Conference on next season’s horizon, big changes are in store for Jim Boeheim and the Syracuse Orange.
New league, new rivalries, new coaching matchups, and new road trips lie ahead.
But before the curtain falls on Syracuse’s final Big East act, some unfinished business remains.
If the Orange want to extend their 36-game home win streak—currently the longest in Division I—into their inaugural ACC run, they need to focus on the five remaining games.
Here’s a look at their chances of winning each game.
The Orange and the Johnnies are one of the great rivalries that helped launch the Big East. Syracuse has dominated this series for some time, though, having won 11 of 12. The last time the Red Storm emerged victorious at the Carrier Dome dates all the way back to January 27, 1999.
Having won six of their last seven, including wins over Notre Dame and UConn, the Red Storm come into the game hot. Head coach Steve Lavin will rely on his two-headed monster of D’Angelo Harrison and Jakarr Sampson to take down the Orange.
Syracuse will be ready for this one since the Johnnies have shown that they aren’t the pushover they have been in the past.
Chances of extending the home win streak: 75 percent
This will be the second meeting of the season between these two schools. Syracuse won a tightly contested road game the first time around, 72-66, thanks to C.J. Fair’s 23 points and 11 boards, six of which came on the offensive glass.
The Friars connected on half of their three-point shots that night, 9-of-18, and will look to repeat their red-hot shooting.
Syracuse will have to contend with Bryce Cotton, who scored 24 points in the first meeting, on the perimeter, and forwards Kadeem Batts and LaDontae Henton, who combine to average 15 rebounds per game.
This game sets up as a classic “trap game” based on who Syracuse plays three days later, but Jim Boeheim will be certain to remind his team what Providence is capable of, given how tough it was to win the first time around.
Chances of extending the home win streak: 60 percent
Does it get any bigger than the last Big East home game against their fiercest rival, the hated Hoyas?
Hard to see how it could.
To make the occasion even larger, Syracuse will be retiring Carmelo Anthony’s jersey that day. Wouldn’t Georgetown just love to rain on that parade?
The Hoyas defense follows them like shadows. As in, it goes wherever they go.
This will be as intense of a 40 minutes as the Orange play all year. With the stakes so high, and with Carmelo watching from a front-row seat, Syracuse will bring its "A" game.
Chances of extending the home win streak: 70 percent
The Cardinals will have payback on their minds to avenge the home loss (while ranked No. 1) they suffered at the hands of the Orange earlier this season.
Syracuse has won the last three regular-season games against Louisville after dropping six straight. Both teams will be battling for not only the league title but also Big East tournament seeding.
Louisville’s pressure defense will again test the Orange’s depth, especially if James Southerland isn’t reinstated and if DaJuan Coleman isn’t back from knee surgery.
Expect a loud, raucous crowd for this one. Syracuse will need all the help it can get to pull off the season sweep.
Chances of extending the home win streak: 45 percent
The Blue Demons occupy the unenviable slot of Senior Night opponent for the Orange.
Since joining the league, DePaul has been to hoops what Rutgers and Temple used to be to football. That is, the conference punching bag.
Even if Syracuse stays in the locker room for the first half, there is no way Brandon Triche and James Southerland are taking a loss in their last home game.
Put this one in the “W” column.
Chances of extending the home win streak: 95 percent