Syracuse students agree: A top 10 matchup in December is AWESOME!
#4/3 Syracuse and #10/9 Florida have met before. In the 2008-2009 Season they played in the CBE classic in Kansas (winning 89-83), and again in Tampa in the 2009-2010 sesaon (winning 85-73). Syracuse shot the ball extremely well in the last few games, both in the paint, but especially behind the arc. While Eastern Michigan was playing a lot of zone defense, that should not be the case with Florida. Look for Syracuse to run a lot of their usual sets to get the ball inside or an open shot. Both sets of guards are pretty even in their abilities to score. The difference in this game will be what happens inside the paint. Obviously Rick Jackson is not on the team anymore, but Fab Melo has improved as of late, along with Rakeem Christmas. Florida's starting power forward Erik Murphy is out with an injury. If Florida finds it easy to get the ball in the paint and score they will be in a good position for the upset. Syracuse should have the rebounding advantage which will help Syracuse pull away in the second half of this game however. Syracuse is just too talented and far deeper than Florida. I'm picking the Orange by 9.
This game is on ESPN at 7pm. Sadly I'll be in Pittsburgh so I'll either be trying to watch this on my phone, or I'll be in a bar in the Steel City. I wish we were in the Carrier Dome, but for the last football game, we'll manage. And hopefully Syracuse will do their part to win the Big East / SEC Challenge.