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Georgetown - Syracuse Preview

Syracuse students agree: Georgetown still sucks!
Besides UConn, no other non-conference game moves the meter for Syracuse fans like Georgetown. And for good reason. If you're reading this preview, you know the history. And now Patrick Ewing is the coach at Georgetown, making his first trip back to the Carrier Dome. Syracuse has been steadily improving on offense with the return of Frank Howard. Tyus Battle has quietly decided to score and score again. And while the center position has been lackluster on offense, Syracuse's defense has been very solid the last few games. And now Syracuse takes on a Georgetown team that finished 15-15 last season, and this year has lost to Loyola Marymount, along with squeaking by USF and several other teams. Georgetown does have a very good senior player in Jessie Govan, who is averaging 19.5ppg. Syracuse will have to battle in the low post and guard the line to cover Govan, who can score from almost anywhere on the floor. Syracuse will need some stiff defense and very active hands. Any steals that translate to points will obviously only help. But despite coming down to the wire and having Tyus Battle have to will Syracuse to win in DC last season, Syracuse is a deeper team who should have more scoring opportunities and be able to get a lead on Georgetown and hold them to a decent margin in the 2nd half. I'm taking Syracuse to win one at home and put away Georgetown for the 2nd year in a row, and the last year of the current non-conference deal. Syracuse by 12. This game is available at 3:30pm on ESPN / WatchESPN. Have a 2nd TV for Army/Navy. Both John and I will be in the Dome and will hopefully be celebrating by tomorrow evening. Go Army, beat Navy, and GO ORANGE! And Georgetown still sucks!

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Northeastern - Syracuse Preview

Syracuse students agree: We're probably studying for finals.
Northeastern heads from Boston down I-90 to Syracuse to take on the Orange. The other Huskies had an impressive early win against Alabama. But since then, they have lost two starters, including th Colonial's Defensive PoY and their senior guard Vasa Pusica, who was averaging 14.2ppg. While this game may have been a tough early test for Syracuse, this game should be an easy go. Even easier than Cornell. Tyus Battle should continue to get offensive buckets. Maybe even Chukwu will finally get a dunk?!?!? Either way, Syracuse should be able to have a great day on defense and pull away probably within the first 20 minutes of this one. I expect a lot of bench players to get extended minutes in this one. I'm taking Syracuse by 27. This game is available on WatchESPN in an internet only affair at 7:00pm. John is in the Dome. I'm in the home office. This is Syracuse's final tune up before Georgetown this Saturday. Let's hope they don't overlook Northeastern tonight. GO ORANGE!

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Cornell - Syracuse Preview

Syracuse students agree: At least one Boeheim is winning.
This game will feature a Boeheim on each team, and of course, the elder statesman Jim coaching the Syracuse sideline. And while it's a fun story, it really will have little impact on what should be the ultimate conclusion. Syracuse is going to beat Cornell again. Also some good news, that the officials that were in Columbus on Wednesday won't be on the game tonight. But Syracuse will need to have an equally solid defensive outing. Cornell's best player, guard Matt Morgan, is shooting just under 50% from 3 on the season. He's going to try and let it rip over the Zone to try and keep Cornell in this one. But Syracuse should dominate the boards both on height and athletic ability. And with Frank Howard back, Syracuse should get into a nice flow on offense and be able to pull away in the 2nd half. Cornell will probably stay in the game with their shooting. But they will fade. I'm taking Syracuse by 22. This game is available at 8:00pm on ESPN U / WatchESPN. John will be in the Dome. I'm in the home office. GO ORANGE!

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Syracuse - Ohio State ACC / Big Ten Challenge Preview

Syracuse students agree: Syracuse needs a big non-conference win.
Syracuse travels to Columbus to take on THE Ohio State at home in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. In desperate (not really, but yeah) need of a marque non-conference win, Syracuse has a great opportunity in #16 OSU. Syracuse will have Frank Howard at full force on the floor, with a week to prepare for OSU. By now I know that Howard can facilitate, and Brissett and Battle can score. The question after the Colgate game is clearly can the big men hold up their end? Chukwu suffered a groin strain and sat most of Colgate, and Sidibe isn't still isn't 100%. If Syracuse is able to protect the low post, and rebound, they should win this one. If they aren't, well SU is going to get smoked on the boards and head home with a fat L. I think Chukwu should be ready and will do just enough, and while they didn't look great in MSG, Syracuse now has their actual starting point guard and should be ready to be the floor general Syracuse was desperately needing. OSU is a 4.5 point favorite which seems low, but I'll take a flyer and say the Orange come out like they should have against UConn, light it up, and get a lot of points off turnovers because the 2-3 is working it. I'll take Syracuse by 8. This game is available on ESPN 2 / WatchESPN at 7:15pm. We'll see you out there. GO ORANGE!

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Boston College Quick Predictions

The last regular season game of the season. Time to show up.
Syracuse got smacked up by a very good Notre Dame team. There is a reason they are undefeated and also #3 in the nation. They may be a little underrated frankly. Either way, now Syracuse heads into their last game with rival Boston College in Chestnut Hill (not Boston). Can Syracuse finish the season strong and finish with their highest win total in a very long time?
Syracuse takes on Boston College with a big question hanging over them. Will Eric Dungey play? While Eric was apparently able to get in and out of a hot tub to chat with Dino Babers and Tommy DeVito, he has stopped short and said he was unsure if Dungey would start. Either way Tommy DeVito has prepared as if he is starting so I'm actually not worried about the QB position. Unlike last week, the Defensive Line of Boston College isn't as talented as Notre Dame, so even DeVito will have much more time to be able to make plays. Similarly, the secondary will not cover the SU receivers like ND. Honestly, Syracuse will be able to score against Boston College. The question will be, can they score more than BC? Or more accurately, can the Syracuse defense stop AJ Dillon from breaking off big runs? If Syracuse's defense can make some plays and win the turnover battle on the day, more importantly if Syracuse can avoid interceptions, Syracuse should be able to win the game. The weather should be clear and low to mid-40's, so it shouldn't be a factor in the game, save for the wind. But that being said, this game should be close. Syracuse needs to make timely plays on 3rd down. The good news is that the top Special Teams will be a factor in this one, unlike last week. Field position will help Syracuse to hold Boston College from running up the game. I'm taking Syracuse to finish the regular season and head into a Bowl Game with a win. 34 to 31.
This game is available on the flagship ESPN at 12:00pm. This is also available on WatchESPN. Both John (ugh) and I will be in Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill. It should be a fun one. While Diamond Ferri isn't showing up, it should be a good display for a very good finish in the ACC Atlantic Division. BC sucks and always will... and GO ORANGE!

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Colgate - Syracuse Preview

Syracuse students agree: Colgate isn't winning.
Syracuse took it on the chin over the weekend in New York. Now the have time to regroup against an Upstate Rival, that hasn't won against the Orange since 1962. Guess what, that isn't changing tonight either. Syracuse may or may not have Frank Howard back tonight, although he has practiced this week. Either way, in or out, Syracuse is going to handle Colgate, even if they get hot and hit a bunch of 3s like UConn did. Colgate has a couple of nice players, mainly Northwestern transfer Rapolas Ivanauskas, who leads the Raiders in scoring. Either way, Syracuse will have the size, and should own the boards and the paint. If they don't jack up a bunch of 3s themselves, they should pull away early. I'm taking the Orange by 24. This game will be available internet only on WatchESPN at 7:00pm. John is in the Dome. I'm at home, but won't be watching tonight due to the impending holiday. Happy Thanksgiving and go Orange!

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Notre Dame Quick Predictions

The biggest game for SU Football in 18 years is here.
Syracuse is 8-2, ranked #12 in the nation. Notre Dame is 10-0 and #3. Syracuse has a chance to get a bid to a NY6 Bowl if they keep winning. And while Syracuse is probably overrated in terms of being #12 in the nation, they are, despite some FS1 analysts, a very good football team. So can Syracuse pull the upset, and head into their final game in the top ten?
Syracuse heads to Yankee Stadium to take on Notre Dame. I am frankly astounded if we're putting things into perspective that Syracuse is heading into week 12 with Syracuse very much in the running for a NY6 Bowl. They're ranked in the top 15. I mean... what world are we in? It honestly doesn't even seem real. Syracuse has literally had a winning record 3 times after 2001. But here we are, sitting at a guaranteed Bowl Game, and a guaranteed winning season. And now unbeaten Notre Dame heads to NY to take on the Orange. The key matchup lies with the Notre Dame defense. If they can stop the Orange attack, they'll win the game. Because as we all know, Notre Dame will break the Syracuse defense, just enough to score a few times. Syracuse will need to score more points (duh!), but Eric Dungey and the running backs will need to advance the ball and keep the Notre Dame offense off the field if SU hopes to pull the upset. The good news is Syracuse is bringing the #1 Special Teams unit in the country. With an average starting position better than their opponents, as well as their opponents starting farther back, Syracuse has a real shot in limiting Notre Dame from putting points on the board by the simple fact that thee have to move the ball more to score than Syracuse. Couple that with Szmyt being able to drill almost any field goal, and Syracuse has a real shot in putting points on the board. Notre Dame is a very good team, and may bury Syracuse early. But somehow this team is different. It isn't the regular Syracuse team that finds themselves a decent team, and able to pull an upset, but just don't show up. Syracuse actually has skill position players that can compete with Notre Dame (or Clemson for that matter). I say this often, but if Syracuse can limit the amount of big plays (or more accurately catastrophic plays), Syracuse has the chance of coming away the victor. But really, Special Teams and the offense should carry the day. How can I pick against Syracuse at this point in the year. I'm taking the Orange 37 to 35.
This game is available on NBC and the NBC Sports App (with cable login) at 2:30pm. Both John and I will be in Yankee Stadium and will probably be excited but cold. Syracuse has the potential to earn their best win in at least two decades. LET'S GO ORANGE!

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Connecticut - Syracuse 2K Classic Preview

Syracuse students agree: Beating UConn is almost as sweet as a Sweet 16.
Syracuse heads to the world's most famous arena this week, for the 2K Classic. They already knocked of Eastern Washington and Morehead State in this "tournament", which is really a few games and the four big boys head to New York. Syracuse takes on UConn and Iowa plays Oregon. Winners and losers match up Friday. But Syracuse, and Orange fans are obviously first focused on UConn, one of the biggest games on the early schedule. Obviously. UConn still moves the needle with the fan base and obviously matching up in MSG takes it to the next level.  The two biggest game questions are will the Syracuse scorers show up, and can the 2-3 Zone stop Jalen Adams (or any other random player that wants to try and get hot)? The answer to the 2nd question is probably easier. Syracuse will play some of their best defense of the season in New York. The 2-3 will be working, firing on all cylinders, and Chukwu will look to block a ton of shots from the middle of that Zone. Jalen Adams will have trouble getting to that 18 points he averages. The issue still remains that Syracuse needs to score more points than UConn. Brissett had a brilliant first half. Battle had a brilliant second half in the last game. That's the thing about the makeup of this team. There is someone that can score that is on the floor at all times. Syracuse, with their tough defense, will be able to get turnovers off of UConn, which should lead to some easy buckets. And so far this year, Syracuse has found it easier to get to the rim than last season which helps. What helps is that Syracuse now has a credible outside shooting threat, from Boeheim and others. This game is the biggest early test Syracuse will face (until Friday night), but even freshmen on Syracuse know this game is very important. UConn will have their runs, but this should be a nice Syracuse win. I'm taking the Orange by 13. This game is available nationally on ESPN 2 / WatchESPN at 7:00pm. John will be in the Garden. I'll be in the home office. UConn... U SUCK and GO ORANGE!

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