The Syracuse Orange have had an incredible year. You wouldn’t know that after they lost to Boston College last night, though. Apparently one loss is enough for people to forget the 25 wins that came before it. Sure, losing to the (now) 7-19 Eagles is like a streetwalker getting curb-stomped by upper-management, but teams are allowed to lose — I swear.
I will give you this. No team wants to lose. Losing is never a good thing. People who think getting a loss out-of-the-way is a good thing are probably the same people who don’t mind getting cheated on by their spouse as long as they don’t get divorced. I doubt Jim Boeheim went home after the game, looked a family member right in the eyes, and told that person how he was glad that Syracuse lost.
However, that doesn’t mean that losing to Boston College should raise all sorts of questions about the Orange. The team had plenty of questions about their abilities before last night. Starting to create new issues, though, seems a little silly. The only legitimate, new question might be if Syracuse actually peaked, but even with that it doesn’t mean it’s the end of the road for them. Peaking is different from plateauing. If the best Syracuse could do this year is win 25 in a row, somehow I think they will be okay with that if it means they can win a half a dozen in March.
But — because reactions I guess — fans, bloggers, and the like took to the mean streets of Twitter last night to jump all over Syracuse. Or in some cases, act as if an Orange loss in February signified that an alien (or preferably, zombie) invasion is looming.
Again. Everyone gets it. Syracuse losing is a big deal because they were one of the last two undefeated teams in the entire nation. But why does that mean we have to immediately jump to the negative instead of celebrating the accomplishment of winning 25 games in a row? Especially if you couple the 25 wins with the fact that the Orange play in a major conference, the ACC. We should marvel at the fact it took them so long to lose — not jump to wild conclusions because the loss was to Boston College instead of Duke.
Sometimes a loss is just a loss. I swear it. There are no super-secret meanings, “takeaways” or hot sports takes to be had. It could be as simple as the Orange having a hard time getting up for a game against a team that they beat a month earlier. Heck, it could just be that Syracuse found themselves having an off not while Boston College had an on-ish one.
If you think more or less about Syracuse’s chances in the NCAA Tournament because of this one game, well, you probably haven’t been paying attention. A lot of the questions that will be brought up today are issues the team always had, but were able to keep winning despite of. Just like box-scores not telling the whore truth, neither does a win-loss record. Supposedly, though, we were expected to believe Syracuse was perfect because their record was. Now that it is not, invasion time!
Check out your windows. Do it. I’ll wait.
What did you see? Any zombies, aliens or a group of streetwalkers looking for revenge? Probably not (if so, please get at me so I can prep or tell my bosses to stop curb-stomping our frontline employees).
Nothing that dramatically has changed overnight. Syracuse is still a good team, despite of the loss, and will probably still find themselves in a position to be a one-seed in the NCAA Tournament — pending what they do the rest of the regular season as well as the conference tournament.
Now, everyone take a deep breath and go drink their morning coffee. If I am reading correctly, we are all about to be saved by Doug McDermott.