There is something that just doesn't feel right about the Syracuse @ Seton Hall game this evening.
Regular season games don't usually do this to me. Let alone regular season games against second-tier Big East teams. Some of that has to do with the fact that I really don't value the regular season as anything more than a tuneup for the NCAA Tournament. Because truthfully that is all it really is.
But there is something about this game at Seton Hall that bothers me.
I don't think its that I want the Orange to go undefeated. Sure, deep down maybe I have these high hopes. But realistically I see something in the 28-3 or 27-4 range. That seems to make sense against a very good Big East schedule.
However, I guess where all my trepidation is coming from is the fact that on paper this game at Seton Hall is probably one of those three or four. Many may not feel that way. But seriously, which other games have a higher likelihood of the Orange losing. Certainly the road game at West Virginia. That makes sense. But after that which. @ Louisville (Western Carolina won there) @ Georgetown (Old Dominion just recently beat the Hoyas), Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, maybe home to Connecticut.
So I guess what I'm saying is I fully believe that if Syracuse played 10 times in New Jersey they'd beat the Pirates at least 7 times maybe 8. But it's those other two games that scare me. What if one of them pops up tonight. It could happen. I fear that it might. On the road after the Christmas Holiday is never a good thing. And the Hall got a game in on Saturday. So there break has long since been over.
Maybe I'm sweating something that doesn't needed to be sweated. If the Syracuse team we've seen in the first part of the season shows up tonight, it will not be beaten. But maybe they won't shoot 60+% on two-point buckets. Maybe the zone will look human against familiar Big East opponents.
I've gained confidence in this team as the season has worn on. Been impressed with their effort just about everytime out. And I can't remember a Syracuse team ever giving me this feeling that they really were That Good. Especially this early in the season. But this Syracuse team is That Good.
So you would think with that I'd enter tonight extremely confident. But I don't. Seton Hall is a good team, ready to beat a better team. Ready to make a mark. The Big East opener isn't supposed to matter, not in my mind at least. Games aren't supposed to get me juiced up until March. But for some reason this one is different.
Maybe that is what concerns me. Maybe that is why I seem to really care about the Big East opener for the first time in a long time. Because this team is now That Good.