The official announcement of the ACC Network was not a surprise at ACC football media days on Thursday. Some basketball news that was somewhat buried within that announcement was, however.
Starting in 2019, ACC basketball is moving to a 20 game schedule. That is an increase of two games from the previous 18 game slate.
What does this mean for Syracuse? It means fewer non-conference games and the potential to drop two of the "bigger" games from the schedule. With the addition of conference games, coaches may be more likely to drop marquee matchups with powerhouse programs as opposed to those viewed as "cupcakes."
The additional games also likely pushes the start of conference play back a bit, likely one week. That means ACC play could start as early as mid-December potentially.
It also could mean the addition of more guaranteed home and away games with conference foes. Currently, Syracuse plays Pittsburgh and Boston College twice every season, with the other two home and away in-conference series rotated. With the addition of two more conference games, the number of home and away dual matchups could move to six.
Four guaranteed home and away opponents every year with two remaining in a rotation seems like the most logical step. Syracuse fans would certainly hope Duke would be one of the two additional guarantees, should the ACC choose to go in that direction.null