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Syracuse Basketball: Ranking the top-10 games for the Orange in 2021-22

Syracuse basketball (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Syracuse basketball (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /
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VCU

We start things off with an intriguing non-conference encounter in paradise. Syracuse basketball will participate in the 2021 Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis, which has a loaded field for this year’s event.

Besides the Orange, others competing in this annual pre-season tournament are Arizona State, Auburn, Loyola Chicago, Michigan State, Connecticut, VCU and Baylor, which captured the 2021 national title.

The 12-game, three-day event will take place over the Thanksgiving holiday from November 24 to November 26 at the Atlantis resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. I so wish that I could attend this year’s Battle 4 Atlantis, as it should prove a ton of fun.

Up first for the ‘Cuse in the 2021 Battle 4 Atlantis is a date with VCU on Wednesday, Nov. 24. It’s an opportunity for the Orange to notch a solid neutral-site conquest, which is always good for the team’s NET rating and overall Big Dance resume.

The Rams, out of the Atlantic 10 Conference, are often one of the premier squads in their league, and they’ve reached the NCAA Tournament a bunch of times in recent stanzas, including a glorious run from the First Four to the Final Four as a double-digit seed in 2011.

All-time in their short series together, Syracuse basketball is 3-0 versus VCU, according to orangehoops.org. But these two squads haven’t played one another in nearly 30 years, with the Orange most recently beating the Rams, 94-81, at home on Dec. 5, 1992.

Given that, it will be cool to see these teams go toe to toe in the Bahamas. In the last campaign, VCU managed a 19-7 overall mark and was 10-4 in the Atlantic 10, good for second place.

The Rams qualified for the 2021 March Madness, but Covid-19 protocols kept them from actually playing a game. They were a No. 10 seed and would have faced No. 7 seed Oregon in the round of 64.