Syracuse Basketball: Jim Boeheim could be headed to first losing season

Syracuse basketball (Photo by Bryan Bennett/Getty Images)
Syracuse basketball (Photo by Bryan Bennett/Getty Images) /

Despite some Syracuse basketball fans opining that it’s time for head coach Jim Boeheim to retire, his list of accomplishments at the helm of the Orange is pretty remarkable.

Obviously, there is that one national championship in 2003. Five trips to the Final Four. Seven journeys to the Elite Eight. An astounding 20 runs to the Sweet 16. And more than 1,000 career victories at his alma mater, regardless of what the NCAA says.

For me, though, as Boeheim goes through his 46th season as the ‘Cuse head coach, what I find the most stellar out of all his achievements is that Coach B has never endured a losing campaign in Central New York.

During the present 2021-22 stanza, Syracuse basketball is 5-5, having dropped its past two contests to long-time Big East Conference rivals. So that begs the question – could Boeheim suffer his first losing season in 2021-22?

Syracuse basketball has a lot of work to do if Jim Boeheim wants to finish with a winning record.

Now, in all fairness, there are still 21 regular-season games left on the 2021-22 docket. The ‘Cuse has non-conference battles at home with Lehigh and Cornell, along with 19 Atlantic Coast Conference clashes remaining.

Let’s assume that Syracuse basketball will defeat Lehigh and Cornell, giving the Orange a sub-par 6-5 mark in a really challenging non-conference calendar.

By the way, the only other time that I can recall Boeheim having five setbacks during a non-conference slate came back in 2016-17, when the Orange didn’t make the Big Dance and fell in the NIT’s second round to Ole Miss.

At 6-5 in the non-conference, Syracuse basketball would need to have a 10-10 record in ACC play to end up at 16-15 before the league’s post-season tournament.

If the ‘Cuse then lost its first game in the ACC Tournament, then the team would be 16-16. Not a losing record, although not a winning record, either.

Since Syracuse basketball joined the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2013-14, the Orange has finished around .500 in league games on numerous occasions.

So it’s certainly conceivable that the ‘Cuse can go 10-10 in the ACC during 2021-22, particularly because a lot of the conference’s squads are struggling these days.

If Syracuse basketball goes at least 11-9 in the ACC and 6-5 in the non-conference, it will have a winning mark this season.

However, should the Orange be 6-5 in the non-conference but end up at 9-11 in league encounters, the pressure would certainly arrive for the team to win multiple contests in the ACC Tournament to preserve the unparalleled streak by Jim Boeheim.

I hope it doesn’t come to that.

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