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Ole Miss - Syracuse NIT Second Round Preview

Syracuse students agree: We're still probably not back on campus.
Syracuse dispatched UNC Greensboro on Wednesday after having a snow delay for 24 hours. And now Syracuse takes on the 5 Seed Ole Miss. They beat Monmouth on the road and now look to advance past Syracuse and into the Quarterfinals. Ole Miss will not be easy as UNCG was though. For starters, they are a Power 5 team. So they will be tough to handle on the bards. They are the leading rebounders in the SEC. Syracuse, and specifically Tyler Lydon, will have to be big on the boards for the Orange. Lydon has been excellent at rebounding as of late, achieving double digit rebounding totals in his last few games. Andrew White has been on fire lately, and Tyus Battle has also been excellent. Syracuse's offense has really been good lately. If Syracuse plays solid defense against Ole Miss, especially shutting down leading scorer Sebastian Saiz, and rebounds, Syracuse should be in great shape to advance. If Syracuse keeps the rebounding margin close, they should have no trouble advancing. But as a side note, how bad does Andy Kennedy want to beat Syracuse after Gerry McNamara knocked out Cincinnati in the 2006 BET? Andy Kennedy will be ready. Will his team be? They should be, but I think Syracuse, playing at home, will have the edge. If Syracuse keeps the rebounding within 5, I think they win this. Syracuse over Ole Miss by 8. This game is available nationally on ESPN / WatchESPN at 11:00am. Both John and I will see you on the Tweets. Catch you early. A rare pre-nooner tip.

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UNC Greensboro - Syracuse NIT First Round Preview

Syracuse students agree: It's cold outside, but the Dome is warm during post-season action.
Syracuse didn't make the Big Dance, but they're making the best of it, with an opening round game in the NIT at home in the Dome. And of course, the committee had a little fun with Jimmy B, matching them up against UNC Greensboro. I'll let that nonsense play out on Twitter. We're here to talk basketball. And I'll say this, despite being the Southern Conference regular season Champions, sweeping Wofford, beating Mercer, and Furman doesn't impress me much. And maybe if Syracuse were playing on a neutral court with an upset hungry supporting UNC Greensboro they could be an upset brewing. But I just don't see how Syracuse could go out and lay an egg against a team that is 186th in the nation in rebounding. I think Syracuse is just too long, fast, big, and talented to get beat by the Spartans. Syracuse should be able to rebound their misses, get some easy looks inside, and be able to run and score in transition off of turnovers. Something we haven't seen Syracuse excel in since perhaps early December. Not much of an X's and O's preview needed here. If Syracuse plays halfway decent defense, and makes some of their shots, they should be in good shape to advance to play Ole Miss in the Carrier Dome in the next round. I'm taking Syracuse by 22. The game will now be on ESPN 2 / WatchESPN at 7:00pm on Wednesday the 15th. Both John and I will be watching from home, so we'll see you on the Interwebs.

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Orange::44 Bracket Extravaganza 2017!

 It's a happy time of year. Unless your team didn't make it.
Whelp. Syracuse didn't make the Big Dance. It's a little disappointing. Syracuse needed to probably win one more game. Or more accurately, not lose to either Louisville at home, @ BC, St. John's, Georgetown, or UConn. But that is in the past. Now it's time to look forward to the best week of College Basketball of the year. As usual, the staff here at Orange::44 have provided our full brackets for public consumption. Sheets of Integrity. One sheet. Everybody should know the rules. John and I are pretty similar for the NCAA. A little different for our NIT brackets. Either way, take a look. No funny commentary this year. Syracuse isn't in the Big Dance, so my bracket is by the book. Below is John's NCAA Bracket, followed by both of our NIT brackets. Enjoy. No NCAA Coverage this year sadly, but we'll follow the Orange through the NIT, hopefully to MSG. Stay warm, and we'll catch you soon.

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Miami - Syracuse ACC Tournament Second Round Preview

Syracuse students agree: One more and you can feel comfortable.
Syracuse is in familiar territory.  Firmly on the proverbial bubble. So now we head to the postseason, where Syracuse will take on Miami in the ACC Tournament's second round, for the right to take on #1 seed Miami. Syracuse beat Miami in the Dome on January 4th 70-55. Now Syracuse moves to Brooklyn. It's not MSG, but at least we're back in the north. Syracuse beat Miami through a good shooting performance, but really it was Syracuse's work on defense and on the boards that carried the day. Syracuse outrebounded Miami 41-26. Miami is the 4th best rebounding team in the league. But somehow Syracuse played really sound fundamental basketball. This game is not being played in the Carrier Dome. But that being said, Syracuse is playing really well right now (despite the 20 point loss to Louisville [Louisville is really, really good]). Andrew White couldn't miss the other night. And while I think he will miss a few in Brooklyn, I expect he keeps up the great effort. And Tyus Battle is also playing a lot better. Gillon has settled into his role as point guard. I expect Syracuse to come out strong in this one. They are hungry and motivated. I like the Orange in this one, over the U by 12. This game is available nationwide on ESPN / WatchESPN at 12:00pm. I'm attempting to take a long lunch. John will be watching. He also may be sneaking his way into the arena. Stay tuned. Either way, GO ORANGE!

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Georgia Tech - Syracuse Preview

Syracuse students agree: Winning on Senior Day is always great.
Syracuse dropped a winable game at Georgia Tech, getting behind, then being robbed of a possible great comeback by a call that never should have been made. But that was on the road. Now Syracuse is at home and can finish their season and send the seniors off with a final regular season home win today. And Syracuse needs it. This is a winable game and Syracuse needs to get that win total up. Can they keep GTech at bay? Well they need to score. Syracuse had a problem getting their top scorers going in that game. GTech boasts the 2nd best field goal defense in the ACC. Syracuse beat Virginia. They can beat GTech. But Tyler Lydon and Andrew White can't disappear like they did in Atlanta. If Syracuse can get consistent scoring from two out of three of Thompson, Lydon, and White, they will be in good position to win the game. Syracuse's defense should be able to do just enough, and the crowd will be on their side, but if White isn't making shots, Battle and Gillon will have a lot of work carrying the team on their own. Thompson has been brilliant the last few games on offense when he's actually on the floor due to not being in foul trouble. I expect him to have a great game today, but I also expect White to have a good shooting day on his final game in Orange. I like Syracuse at home in this one. I picked them to beat GTech on the road (and they may have but didn't). I'm definitely picking them at home. Syracuse over GTech by 8 to stay on the right side of the bubble. This game is available regionally on the ACC Network at 4:00pm. Check your local listings here. WatchESPN for everyone else. John is in the Dome. I'm at home. GO ORANGE!

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Syracuse- Louisville Preview

Syracuse students agree: Another Top Ten win, and on the road, should make them a lock.
Syracuse almost did it. They got the game to overtime, but just couldn't outlast the Cardinals. Syracuse now has a shot to beat #7 on the road. Can they do it? Well it definitely is possible the way Syracuse has slayed Top Ten teams this season. Not to mention taking Louisville to OT. But can Syracuse put together two haves of great basketball on the road? They really haven't done it this season yet. Syracuse again got down to Louisville and managed to hit shots down the stretch, like they did with Duke. But Syracuse needs to actually play well all the way though. The L'ville game was close at the half, because Syracuse played good defense for long stretches and managed to prevent scoring but also caused turnovers. Syracuse will have to again play smart defense and GUARD THE BASELINE FROM THE START OF THE GAME. Additionally, L'ville will try and get the ball to the foul line. Syracuse will have to be smarter in the choices they make in who to cover. Anas Mahmoud torched SU off the bench in the last one, making a couple big time plays down the stretch. Syracuse will have to find him, as well as Donovan Mitchell if they want to be successful. Andrew White disappeared against Duke, but he had a stellar game against Louisville. My guess is he will also be a bit more covered in this one, which means Tyler Lydon, and Tyus Battle will have to score. Additionally if Tauren Thompson stays out of foul trouble like he did against Duke, Syracuse will likely benefit from him being on the floor, at least taking defender's attention. I think Syracuse sure could get another upset win, and more importantly a road win, but it seems unlikely against L'ville in the Yum Center. I'll take the Cards at home by 13. This game is available nationally on CBS at 2:00pm. I'll be watching with some friends and John will be in the home office. Enjoy and Go Orange!

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Duke - Syracuse Preview

Syracuse students agree: Gotta beat Duke then head to Flip Night.
Syracuse blew a chance for a road win on Sunday against a vulnerable GTech team (horrible offensive foul call not withstanding). Now Duke heads into the Carrier Dome for a mid-week match. Syracuse has everything to gain by beating Duke. You defend your home court, you get another impressive win, and you... beat Duke. Syracuse needs this one, because despite what that idiot Lunardi says, I think this team is currently NIT bound. Syracuse needs another resume win and preferably around 20 wins after the ACC Tourney to make it in. Syracuse has word to do. And Duke will be a problem. Almost everyone on Duke can shoot, and Syracuse will have to break out of its scoring slump. Lydon was gone last game and Gillon probably had one of his worst games of the season. Syracuse must score and play almost perfect defense. It's possible. Duke got smoked last year by Syracuse at Duke. This Duke team is great but not unbeatable. Syracuse almost had Louisville. Syracuse can get Duke. It's simple. If Syracuse plays well, guards the line, and makes shots, they'll win like they did against UVA. If they don't, Duke will win and basically relegate Syracuse to the NIT pending a miraculous ACC run. I just don't like the way Syracuse has been playing lately though. They aren't executing. I'll take Duke by 9. This game is available on ESPN / WatchESPN at 7:00pm. John is in the Dome. I'm at home. Giddy up. Let's Go Orange!

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Syracuse - Pittsburgh Preview

Syracuse students agree: Double the wins against Pitt, double the fun.
Syracuse heads to Pittsburgh to take on the Panthers in one of the toughest places to play in College Basketball. At least that used to be the case. Pittsburgh is now in 14th place in the toughest league in America. They're 2-9 in conference play. Their only wins in conference are their last game against Boston College and their only home conference win against then #11 Virginia. That win was impressive, but that was all the way back on January 5th. Between their two wins, they rattled off 8 losses, including to Clemson, NC State, and getting SMOKED by Miami. Syracuse has a chance to win 6 in a row, and beat a rival twice in one season, something they haven't managed to do with Pittsburgh in a while. But can Syracuse do it? Syracuse had a huge lead against Pittsburgh in the first half of their last game in Syracuse, but Pitt stormed back and made it at least more interesting in the end. Closer than it should have been. However, Syracuse is playing much better ball as of late. And I'm not confident Kevin Stallings has found a remedy has found a magic potion to make him better at coaching offense against the 2-3 Zone. On top of that, Gillon is playing much better and has become the clear full time point guard, which was not quite the case when Syracuse played Pittsburgh the last time. As a matter of fact, the Pittsburgh game was really Gillon's coming out party. If he, Andrew White, and Battle continue to play well, they can earn another win at the Pete. Syracuse, after all, was the first team to do so, and the first #1 team to win at the Pete. If you're keeping track at home. I like the Orange in this matchup again. I think the game will be a lot closer being at Pittsburgh. But I have to think the way this team is playing, the let down won't happen against Pittsburgh. I'll take the Orange by 6. This game is available regionally on The ACC Network at 1:00pm. Check your local listings here. John is in the home office, and I'm at home too but only watching via internet because apparently The ACC hates Massachusetts. We'll see you out there.

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