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Syracuse - Connecticut Preview

Syracuse students agree: Losing to UConn sucks!
Syracuse makes their way to Storrs to take on the Huskies on campus in Gampel Pavilion. Sadly, Jim Calhoun will still not be coaching. Syracuse has locked up the BET #1 seed before even taking the floor, so does that mean Syracuse will relax?
Syracuse may relax, but only in terms of thinking there is that extra undue pressure on them to finish first. Syracuse clearly wants to win. UConn NEEDS to win. While they are probably just on the right side of the bubble, this game will probably lock them into an NCAA tournament trip. This game should be close like the last game was. But I see this game going just like the last game in the Carrier Dome in that Syracuse will pull away at the end. It will not be as extreme as it was there though. I think it will be almost exactly like the Syracuse-Rutgers game we saw last weekend. Obviously Jeremy Lamb is shooting better lately, and Shabazz Napier virtually saved UConn's season with a ridiculous shot in overtime against Villanova earlier this week. But Syracuse, for being such a bad rebounding team, outrebounded the Huskies a mere two weeks ago. Additionally, Syracuse caused double digit turnovers in UConn, but kept their turnover total to under 10. Alex Oriakhi had no answer for Fab Melo inside. If Syracuse makes even some outside shots in this game, they should pull away. UConn will be chucking 3s and if they make a few in a row the loud Pavilion crowd will help the Huskies. But Syracuse will again be able to slice inside. If Syracuse makes free throws again as well this game is over. There will be several pick and rolls and lobs in the Syracuse offense in the half court. Obviously everyone says that half court offense is the way to beat Syracuse, but I think their half court offense has been underrated. Syracuse has demonstrated they can win close games on the road or anywhere. Syracuse will go on a run and if UConn can't answer they will be dead in the water. I like Syracuse but in a close game. I'm picking the Orange by 5.
This game is nationally televised on ESPN at 9:00pm. Don't worry Grandpa, tomorrow is Sunday. I'll be on the laptop giving snark. If you haven't checked it out already, I have again written a guest post over at The UConn Blog which you can read here. Enjoy your evening and hopefully SU will earn their first win in Gampel.

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