Cuse slump reaches new lows

ESPN Stats & Information

With its loss to Georgia Tech on Tuesday, Syracuse has dropped four of its last five games.

Despite getting a career-high 28 points from C.J. Fair, the Syracuse Orange have dropped four out of five games after starting the season 25-0. Georgia Tech delivered the 67-62 upset in a game in which the Yellow Jackets never trailed after taking a 10-9 lead early in the first half.

It hasn’t just been the sudden frequency of losses, but the quality of some of Syracuse’s opponents that has been surprising. Tuesday’s loss to Georgia Tech gave the Orange back-to-back home losses against teams that entered the game under .500 for the first time since January 1968, when they lost to Connecticut (5-7) and Niagara (7-8).

To put that in perspective, Hall of Famer Calvin Murphy scored 50 points for Niagara in that win and Jim Boeheim was playing for Scranton in the Eastern League that year.

Among teams currently in the top 10 in ESPN’s Basketball Power Index, two of the three worst losses (when ranked by BPI rank differential) have been by Syracuse: Tuesday’s loss to Georgia Tech had a BPI rank differential of 123, and their first loss of the season to Boston College on February 19 had a BPI rank differential of 138.

Syracuse This Season

Offensive efficiency has been an issue of late for Syracuse. They have scored one point per possession or fewer in six straight games. That happened just twice over the Orange’s first 24 games.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Syracuse is just the second team in the last 20 years to lose four or more games in a season in which they started 20-0 or better. The only other team to do that in that span was Boston College in 2004-05.

The silver lining for the Orange is that last year they were able to rebound from a 1-4 finish to their regular season, reaching the final of the Big East Tournament before making a Final Four run in the NCAA tournament.

Syracuse finishes up its regular-season schedule Sunday at Florida State.