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Syracuse - Notre Dame Preview

Syracuse students agree: Harangody looks a bit "touched" in pictures.
Syracuse is on one of those tough three game road stands in the toughest league in America. #5 Syracuse, after beating #9/10 West Virginia gets to rest a day and then play Notre Dame in South Bend on BIG MONDAY. This is what the Big East is all about. I, much like most people, said that going 2-1 on this road trip, with an obvious win at Rutgers, would be good enough for this team. Now it is time to get greedy. Syracuse could win this game and solidify them as still the team to beat in the league. C Luke Harangody is obviously the best player on this Irish team. He is averaging just under 25ppg and 9.6rpg. He dropped 25 on Syracuse last year in the Carrier Dome in a loss to the Orange. It will be up to Arinze Onuaku to guard him, and Harangody has added better shooting to his game. Onuaku has been lazy on defense the past few games and has not played outstandingly so look for him to have a short leash and Jackson to come in to try to defend against the big man. Syracuse is the best shooting team in the nation, hitting 53.4% from the floor. Conversely, Notre Dame has one of the worst defenses, allowing opponents to shoot 43.3%. However, much like every Notre Dame team, they have some pretty good shooters, and Notre Dame has averaged 45% against Syracuse from three in the last five games. That is what has doomed Syracuse in the past. While most teams shoot themselves right out of a game in the second half, Notre Dame has consistently kept making threes against the SU zone. This zone is a little better than Notre Dame has faced however, and with Triche and Rautins playing so well as of late, this should be a shoot out in South Bend, with the difference being rebounding and the ability to limit Harangody and good looks from long range. The referees and how tight they call the game will be a huge factor as well, as both teams are aggressive in the paint. Syracuse needs to limit turnovers and play a solid game, getting not only the guards involved, but Johnson again as well, who has mostly recovered from his flu like symptoms. While Syracuse has not played outstandingly in the Joyce Center as of late, I do see this tough and talented Syracuse team pulling off another win despite Notre Dame coming off a loss. Syracuse over Notre Dame by 13.

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