Virginia and Syracuse will face off on Sunday night in Chicago for a spot in the Final Four. It would be Virginia's third all-time and first since 1984, or the sixth in Syracuse's history. Today, we're taking a look at the all-time series history between the teams.
- All-time series record: 4-3, Virginia
- Current streak: Virginia, 3 straight
- NCAA tournament series record: 1-1
March 22, 1984: Virginia 63, Syracuse 55
At the Sweet 16 in Atlanta, No. 7 seed Virginia led 26-16 at halftime and beat No. 3 Syracuse behind 17 points from Othell Wilson and a 10-point, 12-rebound performance from Kenton Edelin. UVa went on to beat fourth-seeded Indiana in the Elite 8 to cap off a memorable run to the Final Four in Seattle in the program's first season after Ralph Sampson graduated.
March 18, 1990: Syracuse 63, Virginia 61
With the departure of Virginia coach Terry Holland for the athletic director role at his alma mater of Davidson pending, the Hoos were hoping to send their iconic coach into the sunset with one last deep run in the NCAAs. In the second round of the tourney at the Richmond Coliseum, Billy Owens had a chance to put the Orange up three at the free throw line with 14 seconds left. He missed, and Bryant Stith got the rebound. Stith attempted what would have been a game-tying layup with four seconds left, but Derrick Coleman etched his name onto a long list of Cavalier killers when he blocked Stith's miss. Holland and the Virginia bench erupted when no foul was called, but the season - and Holland's coaching career in Charlottesville - was done. Syracuse lost in the Sweet 16 to Minnesota, and Holland would return to UVa as AD four years later.
December 5, 2007: Syracuse 70, Virginia 68
In what was just the second loss out of the first 22 games played at John Paul Jones Arena, two Orange players put up double-doubles. A 19-point, 13-rebound outing from Adrian Joseph wasn't enough for the Cavaliers, who fell to 6-2 on the season.
November 28, 2008: Syracuse 73, Virginia 70
Leading by as much as 13 in the first half and holding a 40-29 halftime advantage, UVa was unable to put on a similar performance in the second half and fell at the Carrier Dome in the return game from a year earlier. Sylven Landesberg led all scorers with 16 points, but an 11-29 shooting performance in the second half proved fatal.
In what this writer sees as the greatest home triumph in Virginia basketball history, the No. 12 Cavaliers dominated No. 4 Syracuse in the second half en route to their first outright regular season conference title since 1981. Although the outcome remained in question into the second half, an early half-court alley-oop from London Perrantes to Akil Mitchell set the tone that it would not be a typical UVa letdown. Anthony Gill's reaction was nothing short of gif-worthy.
Soon after Syracuse guard Tyler Ennis picked up his fourth personal foul, London Perrantes drained a three from almost the tip of the V-sabre logo with just under nine minutes left. That backbreaker broke the game open, and starting with that play, UVa went on a 29-14 run to seal the deal. On his senior night, Joe Harris delivered a dagger three with 4:40 left to put the Wahoos up 13. Harris and fellow senior Akil Mitchell left the floor at JPJ one at a time to rousing ovations, and former walk-on Thomas Rogers, a senior himself, was put into the game. Because this was a new kind of Virginia basketball where storybook endings were actually a thing, Rogers knocked down a three, and the reaction of his teammates and the crowd could have sent the arena onto Route 29. As the buzzer sounded, Tony Bennett shed a couple of tears, hundreds of students and fans stormed onto the floor, and decades of frustration were relieved in an impromptu party and cutting of the nets at JPJ.
March 2, 2015: Virginia 59, Syracuse 47
Virginia overcame an early 13-2 deficit to outscore Syracuse 21-7 over the final six minutes of the first half, and pulled away in the second to win their second outright league title in a row. Anthony Gill had 17 points and was one rebound away from a double-double, Perrantes had 10 points and 10 assists, and Malcolm Brogdon and Mike Tobey each had 10 points as well.
Jan. 24, 2016: Virginia 75, Syracuse 63
Malcolm Brogdon went off for 12 points in the final 5:45, and UVa scored a much-needed win against the Orange after dropping three out of their previous five to the likes of Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, and Florida State. Michael Gbinije and Malachi Richardson combined for 11-19 from behind the arc, but as a team, the Orange went just 8-24 from two.