Syracuse begins ACC play Saturday, looking to join Arkansas as second team to win power conference in first year
Jim Boeheim has accomplished and experienced virtually everything a college basketball head coach can feasibly do throughout a career. Saturday, when Syracuse hosts Miami (FL), he will do something he’s never done before -- coach the Orange in an ACC conference game, rather than the Big East.
The objective remains the same: to win a conference championship.
If Boeheim and the Orange accomplish this feat -- yeah, I know, way too early to even begin to think about winning the ACC, but go with me here -- they will be just the second team to win a power conference in their first season. The only other team to do it: Arkansas in 1991-92. This is when the Razorbacks were in their heyday under Nolan Richardson.
Jay Bilas told Mike Waters of Syracuse.com of why the Orange are better positioned to excel in their new home:
Boston College, formerly of the Big East and current member of the ACC, found success in their first season in the league. Farther west, Colorado did well for themselves in the Pac-12, after moving over from the Big 12:
Bilas makes a good point in that the routine of Syracuse has been broken. Trips up and down the East Coast are different than traveling primarily around the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. Athletes and coaches are creatures of habit.
One road trip that should be circled on all of college hoop fan’s calendars: February 22nd at Duke. Watching the Orange in Cameron Indoor will be a treat.
Will Syracuse be able to join Arkansas in elite company? Time will tell.