Tomorrow's game against Louisville is the regular season finale for the Orange, so naturally there must be a lot to play for, right? Well, sort of.
What IS NOT At Stake:
1. Syracuse's Big East #1 Seed - Syracuse has already wrapped up the regular season conference title, which obviously implies the #1 seed in the tournament next week. SU will be looking for its sixth Big East Tournament championship, and should be the overwhelming favorites to win it.
2. Syracuse's NCAA Tournament #1 Seed - Other than Kentucky, all of the other teams vying for a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament have at least four losses. The Orange (29-1) would have to lose badly to both Louisville and whoever its first opponent is in the Big East tournament for there to be any chance of a #2 seed. If you remember, in 2010, Syracuse lost to Louisville on the final day of the regular season, lost to Georgetown in its first game of the Big East Tournament, and lost Arinze Onuaku to an ugly knee injury - and was still awarded a #1 seed. This is as close to a lock as it gets.
What IS At Stake
1. An Undefeated Home Campaign - SU is currently 18-0 at home this season, and if the book store wants to sell more T-Shirts rhyming home and dome, capping off the season with a win is essential.
2. Senior Day at the Dome - Everyone wants to win their last home game, and this is the final time a lot of these players will put on an SU jersey in front of the Orange faithful. Starters Scoop Jardine and Kris Joseph are joined by reserves Brandon Reese, Nick Resavy and Matt Tomaszewski in their last home game at the Carrier Dome. Louisville recently lost to South Florida during its Senior Night, so there may be some extra motivation for the Cardinals.
3. Bragging Rights for Jim Boeheim - Ever since the Cardinals joined the Big East, Rick Pitino has had Jim Boeheim's number. It speaks volumes that even in a season in which Syracuse is 29-1, they were only barely able to squeak by Louisville 52-51 in mid-February. Boeheim would surely love a season sweep of his rival.