CHARLOTTE — Remember when Jim Boeheim was unhappy Syracuse was leaving the Big East?
Thats all in the past now.
Its not that hard of a transition to come here," Boeheim said Wednesday at the ACCs media day in Charlotte. "If we would have left 20 years ago, I would have had trouble with it."
The Orange were founding members of the Big East in 1979, but Boeheims time in Syracuse stretches back to 1962. There were rivalries before the Big East, and there will certainly be rivalries now, after its demise.
"Before the Big East, St. Johns was our rival," Boeheim said. "We got in the Big East, and Georgetown became our rival, and St. Johns still, and then Connecticut popped up, and then Pittsburgh popped up and then Louisville popped up. So, its who is good in those years, thats your rival. It doesnt take 10 years.
"A rivalry can happen like that," he said, snapping his fingers. "One game, you can have a rivalry, and thats what will happen. Our fans already think Dukes a rival, they sold it out faster than they sold out Georgetown. So they must think thats going to be a rival game. And if its a good game, then it will be. Thats the way those things work. New rivalries will be created instantly. Overnight, there will be rivalries."
Tickets to the Feb. 1 Duke at Syracuse game did sell out in record time, and the Orange have sold about 5,000 more season ticket packages this year compared to years past (about 20,000 this year, Boeheim said). Why?
"The fans are excited about it. Theyre looking forward to it," he said. "Our fans think theyre in a better league. The only thing theyre unhappy about is not going to New York City. Theyre not unhappy about the league at all. Theyd just rather go to New York City to play in the tournament. Thats all."
And its certainly a possibility that the ACC Tournament could find its way to the Big Apple in a few years.
Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski, who has been at Duke since 1980 (four years fewer than Boeheim has been at the helm of Syracuse) echoed his new rivals excitement.
"We love to play in lively places because that means it means something more," Krzyzewski said about going to the 35,012-seat Carrier Dome. "It will be an honor to play there and have a capacity crowd."