Happy Birthday, Jim! How many wins has Syracuse given Boeheim on his big day? A lot

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INDIANAPOLIS, IN – MARCH 19: Head coach Jim Boeheim of the Syracuse Orange reacts from the bench against the San Diego State Aztecs in the first round of the 2021 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament held at Hinkle Fieldhouse on March 19, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by C. Morgan Engel/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

(WSYR-TV) — Syracuse’s hall of fame head coach Jim Boeheim turned 77 Wednesday. This fall, Boeheim began his 46th season as the leader of the men’s basketball program. That’s not even counting his time as a player and an assistant coach on in the ‘Cuse. 

But it made me wonder. How many times has his team given him a win on his birthday? I scoured the record books to find out. 

The short answer is Jim has never lost on his birthday, but it is a short sample size. Syracuse has played three times on November 17. The first one came in 1998, a 53-point victory over Colgate. That was followed up by a 35-point win over Texas Tech seven years later inside Madison Square Garden. Boeheim’s last win on his day of birth came six years ago when Syracuse outlasted St. Bonaventure 79-66 inside the dome. 

You might be asking yourself why? Well, until the 1990s the college basketball season rarely started before December. Teams sometimes tipped-off During Thanksgiving, but more often than not the season began December 1. 

To increase the sample size, I incorporated games one day before and one day after November 17. And when you count those games, the results are pretty much the same with two exceptions. The only times Syracuse has lost on 11/16 and/or 11/18 have been when the Orange play away from the friendly confines.  

The first party-pooper happened November 16, 1994, during the preseason NIT. Syracuse hosted George Washington but played Colonials inside Manley Field House. GW took down SU in overtime 111-104. Maybe when John Thompson, Jr. “officially closed” Manley in February of 1980, it should have stayed closed. 

The last time Syracuse failed to give Jim the gift of a win for his big day was three years ago. And this was one was outside of the 315. After dropping their first game of the 2K Empire Classic at Madison Square Garden against UConn, SU fell to Oregon 80-65. It was a bad week for #OrangeNation. Those two basketball loses preceded the Orange’s blowout loss to Notre Dame at Yankee Stadium. 

But overall, the honorary Syracuse holiday is a good one for the Orange. Under Boeheim, Syracuse is 16-2 from November 16 to November 18. 

Happy birthday, Jim. 

Syracuse’s Record When Playing Around Jim Boeheim’s Birthday 

11/18/88 vs. La Salle 92-76 (Preseason NIT at MSG) 

11/16/94 vs. George Washington 104-111 OT (Manley Field House) 

11/17/98 vs. Colgate 93-40 

11/18/01 vs. Binghamton 103-56 

11/18/04 vs. Mississippi State 71-58 (Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at MSG) 

11/17/05 vs. Texas Tech 81-46 (2K Hoop Classic at MSG) 

11/16/07 vs. Fordham 80-63 

11/16/08 vs. Le Moyne 85-51 

11/18/08 vs. Richmond 76-71 

11/16/10 vs. Detroit 66-55 

11/18/12 vs. Wagner 88-57 

11/16/13 vs. Colgate 69-50 

11/18/13 vs. St. Francis-Brooklyn 56-50 

11/17/15 vs. St. Bonaventure 79-66 

11/18/16 vs. Monmouth 71-50 

11/18/17 vs. Texas Southern 80-67 

11/16/18 vs. Oregon 65-80 (2K Empire Classic at MSG) 

11/16/19 vs. Seattle 89-67 

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