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Baylor - Syracuse NCAA Tournament 1st Round Preview

Syracuse students agree: Now the season really starts.
Syracuse has played Baylor twice in the past, and have beaten them twice. Syracuse will take on the highlighter clad team from Texas in Salt Lake City in the First Round of the NCAAs. In a pretty interesting 8/9 matchup, Syracuse will look to advance to take on 1 Seed Gonzaga. This is obviously going to be the battle of the zones, with Baylor imploring a 1-3-1, and you know how SU is rolling. So obviously the team that has better Zone offense will win the game. Baylor is a tough rebounding team, but Syracuse is a taller team, so this could be an fairly even matchup on the boards. Baylor is lead by transfer Makai Mason, who averages 14.6ppg. He's had a nagging injury, but has come on strong the last couple of weeks again. If Syracuse can contain him, and really gain a rebounding advantage, Syracuse should be able to pull away in the 2nd half. Especially if any of the shooters for Syracuse get in rhythm. This game on paper will be close, but I actually think that Syracuse will have the defensive advantage with their length, but also should shoot the ball over the zone better. If Syracuse can box out, they should hold Baylor at bay. Either way, with or without Frank Howard, I'm taking the Orange in this game by eight. This game is available nation wide on TruTV / March Madness On Demand at approximately 9:57pm*. Both John and I will be watching. It's March, which means now the real games begin. LET'S GO ORANGE!

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Orange::44 Bracket Extravaganza 2019!

 Syracuse is in the Tournament again.
It's Tournament time again. So both John and I have filled out our brackets (yes, only one sheet). John is picking Virginia to finally get the monkey off Tony Bennett's back, while I've got Dang Gum Roy winning another title over K. We're probably both horribly wrong, so who knows! Full disclosure, John filled out his bracket before the Frank Howard news. I did not. Enjoy!

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Syracuse - Duke ACC Tournament Quarterfinal Preview

Syracuse students agree: Beating Duke would be very nice.
Syracuse beat Pittsburgh last night without Tyus Battle. Tonight they take on #3 Seed Duke in the late game without him again. The good news is, for the first time in a few years, there is no pressure on Syracuse to win the game tonight. Syracuse is firmly in the NCAAs and now they are playing for a higher seed. Which means the pressure is off, and only the desire to keep playing in Charlotte and to beat Duke remains. And Duke will seemingly be at full strength. The good news is that even if Syracuse loses it won't hurt them, especially with Battle out. The game plan remains the same as both other Duke games however. Syracuse has to pack the paint and try to make Duke either take contested 3s, or very hard shots in the lane, rebound the ball, and get as many easy buckets themselves as possible. Buddy and Hughes shooting lights out would also certainly help. But really, it will come down to which defense does more tonight. Syracuse obviously beat Duke at Duke with the defense getting enough stops in OT to pull it out. Syracuse was leading Duke, until Duke's defense caused a drought from Syracuse in the 2nd half, and that was that. Whichever defense does more damage tonight will win. And because Battle isn't on the floor, despite Syracuse playing very well last night without him, Pittsburgh isn't the offensively talented Duke team. Sadly I'm taking Duke in this one by 13. This game is available nationally on ESPN at 9:00pm (approximately 9:30), upon the conclusion of Louisville - UNC. Both John and I will be watching. Here's hoping Syracuse can pull off another upset of Duke and win the rubber match. LET'S GO ORANGE!

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Pittsburgh - Syracuse ACC Tournament 2nd Round Preview

Syracuse students agree: Syracuse should win this, but now I don't know.
Syracuse heads into the ACC Tournament as the #6 Seed. Syracuse is facing #14 seed Pittsburgh, after they finished off BC (and probably their coach) yesterday. As you are probably aware, Syracuse beat Pittsburgh home and away this season. Winners of three whole ACC games this season, Pittsburgh finished off BC 80 to 70. Battle was just announced that he is a game time decision, but he probably isn't playing. That being said, he had only six points against Pittsburgh on the road, and Syracuse still won by nine. But either way, the keys to the game remain the same against Pitt. Syracuse needs to play good defense and bang the offensive boards. Syracuse held Pittsburgh to 33.8% and 31.6% from the floor in the two earlier games this year. SU won both. Syracuse just has to be solid and force bad outside shooting. Syracuse will find ways to score without Battle, they just don't have the killer shooter that can take defenders attention. Meaning someone has to hit shots from the outside, so Syracuse can drive the ball in the game. But honestly, Syracuse can play good defense and get some quick points in transition and they should be fine. It would also help if either Howard, Boeheim, or Hughes gets a little warm from outside. Either way, not panicking against Pitt in this one. Syracuse over Pitt by 11. This game is available on ESPN 2 / WatchESPN at 9:00pm (actually probably like 9:25ish). Both John and I will be watching. LET'S GO ORANGE!

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Virginia - Syracuse Preview

Syracuse students agree: Tonight is for seeding.
Syracuse heads to the Carrier Dome for one last time this season as Syracuse takes on Virginia, the #2 team in the nation. Everyone knows UVA is a very good offensive and defensive team. UVA ranks 4th in the nation in three point field goal percentage. Additionally, they are the best defenders of the line in the country, only allowing 26.7% from three. Syracuse has a tall task, but the good news is that Syracuse can rebound well and get more possessions while limiting Virginia touching the ball. As we've seen, Syracuse can hang with the best teams in the nation, and they are coming off their most complete win of the season. Syracuse in trending in the right direction over March. However, sadly, Kyle Guy doesn't have a stupid haircut anymore so he's playing better this year. And while I think Syracuse can limit him, and the zone will disrupt Virginia's scoring a bit, Syracuse will probably just get outgunned in this one. Sadly taking the Cavs by 9. But I'm optimistic. This game is available nationally on ESPN Big Monday / WatchESPN at 7:00pm. John will definitely be in the Dome. I'll be in the home office. Thanks to the seniors playing their last game in the Dome tonight. We'll see you out there and GO ORANGE!

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Syracuse - Wake Forest Preview

Syracuse students agree: This should be a nice win today.
Syracuse heads down to Winston-Salem to take on Wake Forest, a team struggling in the league. They have 4 wins, and those include an OT win against Pitt, Miami, ND, and one fluke win against NC State. Wake isn't the best basketball team around, so it should stand to reason that Syracuse should be able to play a solid game and win a nice victory on the road in the league. Obviously winning doesn't do much for Syracuse, but it would give them 10 league wins and another road win. Losing would prove costly however, pushing Syracuse from solidly in the tournament, to a bubble team real quick.Either way, Wake Forest doesn't do much well. They aren't prolific scorers, don't particularly have a great defense, and don't shoot the ball from distance particularly well. About they only thing they are great at is rebounding and putting in buckets off those rebounds. If Syracuse doesn't turn the ball over, continue playing solid defense, and at least controlling a bit of the boards (better than UNC [which they should]), Syracuse should just steadily increase their lead and win the game. Syracuse should have a nice game today, and frankly even if they have a bit of trouble and let Wake go on a bit of a run in the 2nd half, they should still be able to have a big enough lead to weather the storm on the road. I'm taking Syracuse over Wake by 14. This game is available regionally for the last time probably ever on Raycom regional coverage at 12:00pm. Both John and I will be watching. It's on actual TV for me today HORRRRAAAY!. Go Orange!

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Syracuse - North Carolina Preview

Syracuse students agree: Winning this one would make Syracuse a lock.
Syracuse makes the trip down to Chapel Hill to take on #5 UNC in the Dean Dome. SU gave it a good shot, and played about 28 minutes of really winning basketball against Duke on Saturday, but faded at the end, missing shots and free throws. Syracuse now has a chance for another big win on the road like against Duke earlier this year. And UNC is probably the hottest team in the league, winning ten out of their last 11. Luke May is a double-double machine, and the veteran leader of this team in the front court. Syracuse is going to probably be murdered on the inside in every way imaginable. Syracuse will need big games from Chukwu and Dolezaj if they hope to stay in this one. Almost everyone on the floor can score for UNC. But they key to beating them is limiting their three point baskets. Challenging shooters will be the only way Syracuse can stop UNC. While I think they can give UNC a game, I just think they are probably the best team in the ACC right now with Zion Williams currently out at Duke. Syracuse has a tall order, and while I do think they make this game respectable like they did against Duke, they will fade in this one as well. I expect a big game from Battle, as he has been relatively quietly lately. But other than that, I just see Syracuse flounder against the talent of UNC. I'm taking the Tar Heels by 12. This game is available regionally at 9:00pm. Check your local listings, or watch online here. Of course you can watch on WatchESPN if you aren't blacked out as well. Both John and I will be in the home office. Go Orange!

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Louisville - Syracuse Preview

Syracuse students agree: Louisville is still very hateable.
Syracuse has had a week off after laying an egg at NC State. The team as a whole shot pretty poorly from the floor, with the exception of Frank Howard, and even he didn't have the best game from a point guard standpoint. But he seemed to be the only player in the 2nd half making shots. Tyus Battle wasn't much of a factor. Brissett and Hughes were not present at all. And Syracuse missed a bunch of shots, especially in the 2nd half. Every time the team got the game close, they failed to make several shots in a row. But now Syracuse returns home to take on Louisville under coach Chris Mack in his first year at Louisville. Syracuse knows what they're getting in Louisville. They are going up against a very solid defensive team. Syracuse will need to find ways to make easy shots. But the key part of that sentence is making shots. Syracuse will probably be fooled into taking a lot of early threes. That's fine if Hughes, Battle, Boeheim, or Howard are making them. If they aren't, Battle, Brissett, or somebody tall will have to make shots inside, or somehow create turnovers for runouts. Syracuse must also put on a solid defensive effort, battling Louisville C Steven Enoch and F Jordan Nwora. If Syracuse can force tough shots for these players, who aferage just over 50% from two, Syracuse will have a good chance of winning the game. Louisville is prone to turning over the ball, so if Syracuse can dig in, Syracuse has some shots to get points off turnovers against a coach that probably won't be as good as beating the 2-3 as Rick Pitino was. Despite what I think will be a close game, and despite having a restful week compared to Louisville, I think Syracuse is probably going to come up just short in this one. I don't think they're looking ahead. I think it's just Syracuse will just not be able to close out a close game with the shots not falling as of late. I'm taking the Cards by five. This game is available nationally on ESPN / WatchESPN at 7:00pm. John is in the Dome. I'm in the home office. GO ORANGE (and everyone stay healthy for Saturday)!

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