In its first year in the ACC, Syracuse will host perennial ACC powers Duke and North Carolina, and that has Jim Boeheim very excited.
“It’s great for our fans,” Boeheim, who led his team to the Final Four where they lost to Michigan, told SNY.tv Tuesday. “I think making this move to the ACC, the teams that they identify with — obviously, they’re all good teams — but the teams they identify with in the ACC are Duke and North Carolina. And we’ll get both those teams at home. It’s a huge thing for our fan base, to get those two teams.
“Obviously, it’s difficult but it’s a huge thing for the fan base.”
Syracuse will have home-and-home series with Miami and Duke, meaning they will also travel to Cameron Indoor, giving Boeheim a chance to match wits with close friend and Team USA colleague Mike Krzyzewski and Michael Gbinije a chance to return to his former school in his first year of eligibility at Syracuse.
“Duke’s got a great recruiting class and they’ve got arguably the best player in the country [Jabari Parker] and they got the kid sitting out from Mississippi State [Rodney Hood] who’s really good,” Boeheim said.
The Orange will play home-and-homes dates with its ACC “partners” Boston College and Pittsburgh, both former Big East members.
“I know Pittsburgh’s still gonna be good,” Boeheim said. “I know Boston College is much improved, they really got better at the end of the year, and those are teams that will we’ll play twice.”
Syracuse will also play home games against Georgia Tech, Clemson, N.C. State and Notre Dame.
The remaining road games include trips to Florida State, Wake Forest, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Maryland.
Actual game dates and times will be announced by the ACC office once television network designations are made and tip times are decided upon.
“It’s just a good schedule,” Boeheim said. “It’s a great league. It was a really good league and you added us and Notre Dame and Pittsburgh to the league, so it’s only going to get better.”
Boeheim repeatedly said this past year that he would coach next season when his loaded recruiting class includes Tyler Ennis, Tyler Roberson, B.J. Johnson, Ron Patterson and Chinonso Obokoh.
He also indicated that he would also coach in 2014-15 to coach incoming recruit Chris McCullough.
He sounded even more excited about his future on Wednesday.
“I’m excited anyway,” he said. “I’m excited about the whole challenge of playing in that league.”
“You look at that league, you realize a team like Miami nobody knew about was the best team in that league, so there’s gonna be a team this year coming up that will be from that league that will be a great team that people aren’t talking about right now.”
Photo: Syracuse Athletics