Breaking Down Syracuse’s 80-75 Upset Loss to Boston College

Syracuse University recently experienced a tough loss that left fans and basketball enthusiasts scratching their heads. The Orange suffered an 80-75 upset defeat at the hands of Boston College.

This unexpected turn of events has sparked a conversation about what went wrong for Syracuse and how Boston College managed to pull off the upset. Let's dive into the details of this game to understand the factors that contributed to this surprising outcome.

J.J. Starling Took A Hard Fall

One of the game's more heart-stopping moments came late in the first half. J.J. Starling took a rough fall. The Syracuse guard, known for his agility and defensive prowess, faced a challenging moment against Boston College's Mason Madsen. As Madsen positioned himself for a shot in the corner, Starling, fully committed to his defensive leap, collided mid-air with Madsen.

The impact was such that Starling flipped over in a heart-stopping tumble, landing with a worrying thud on his head. The time stood still for a few tense moments as the crowd's cheers turned into a collective hush, with fans and players alike holding their breaths.

But then, something amazing happened. Starling got up, smiled, and talked with the team's trainer. It was impressive to see him shake off such a hard fall.

The best part? Starling was back in the game when the second half started. His quick return showed how strong and dedicated he is. It was a challenging moment, but Starling handled it like a pro, which lifted his team's spirits and FanDuel NCAAB odds.

Rough Stretch

Boston College's incredible scoring streak was a significant turning point. Right before the first half ended and into the start of the second, they scored 21 points in a row without Syracuse scoring any. It was a massive moment in the game.

Boston College was on fire during this time. They kept scoring, and Syracuse couldn't find a way to stop them or score themselves. This run was significant because it changed the mood of the game. Boston College got a big lead and a lot of confidence while Syracuse was trying to figure out what to do.

Even though Syracuse did better for most of the game, this short time when Boston College scored a lot made the difference. It showed how a few minutes can change everything in basketball. Syracuse played well overall, but this stretch where Boston College took over decided the game.

Struggles at the Free-Throw Line

Syracuse didn't do well with free throws, which was a big problem. Usually, they make about 72.3 percent of their free throws, but this time, they missed a lot more than usual.

The missed shots by Maliq Brown were especially tough. He had chances to score extra points but couldn't make them. These missed shots could have helped the team catch up. Judah Mintz also missed some critical free throws later in the game. These misses were frustrating because they happened when Syracuse was trying to come back and win.

Missing these free throws was a big deal in such a close game. It's not just about the points they didn't get; it's also about the lost chance to get ahead. These misses were one of the main reasons Syracuse lost the game.

Inconsistencies in Defense

Syracuse's defense in the game had some good and not-so-good parts. First, the good: they made Boston College lose the ball 21 times. It shows they were good at interrupting Boston College's plays and stealing the ball.

But there were problems, too. Syracuse let Boston College score a lot. The Eagles made 60% of their shots from all over the court and 50% from three-point distance. It means Syracuse wasn't doing a great job stopping them from scoring, especially from far away.

Claudell Harris from Boston College took advantage of this. He scored four three-pointers in just three and a half minutes in the second half. That was a big problem for Syracuse because it quickly helped Boston College get many points.

Syracuse also struggled to stop Boston College from scoring close to the basket. Hence, this made scoring easy for Boston College and made things challenging for Syracuse.

The Two-Foul Conundrum

Coach Adrian Autry benched Mintz and Brown when they got two fouls in the first half. However, this was not what Syracuse usually does. Autry probably wanted to ensure these key players didn’t get a third foul too soon, meaning they couldn't play much later.

But this choice had a significant downside. With Mintz and Brown not playing, Syracuse lost some of their best skills, both in attacking and defending. It gave Boston College a chance to get ahead. They took the lead and got a lot of energy from this change, while Syracuse struggled without two of their leading players.


Syracuse’s loss to Boston College comprised missed opportunities and defensive lapses. The game's outcome serves as a learning curve for the team, highlighting areas of improvement in strategy and execution. For the fans, players, and coaching staff, this game will linger as a reminder of how quickly fortunes can change in college basketball.