Syracuse students agree: A win on senior day is always great.
Syracuse has little to play for in this game except to give the seniors on the team a nice send off in their last game at the Carrier Dome. That is strong motivation. While Syracuse already hoists the Big East regular season title, this game will affect nothing in terms of standings or seedings. Therefore, what will we see on the floor?
Louisville has struggled as of late. Fresh off a lose to USF, L'ville has lost three out of their last five, including the one point loss to Syracuse in Louisville half a month ago. Louisville is not on the bubble, but fully into the NCAA Tournament so they are also playing for price more or less. Plus Pitino loves to try and beat his former boss. Pitino has stated there will be a couple lineup changes for this game, including Kyle Kuric coming in off the bench and Gorgui Dieng sitting to start as well. Once Syracuse stopped guarding Dieng at Louisville he made some bad jump shots from the foul line area that Syracuse capitalized on by earning rebounds. Therefore Pitino will try and flash other players to the middle of the floor that can actually knock down that jumper to put more pressure on the Syracuse defense. A wise coaching adjustment. Peyton Siva will be ready to redeem himself after a less than great, foul filled performance against Syracuse earlier this year. But Louisville will do what they do best. They will find ways to score from Kuric and Siva, and they do scrap for rebounds well. Syracuse, however, found offensive spurts by creating turnovers and earning runouts. If Louisville can limit bad threes taken, and limit their turnovers this will be a close game. Syracuse just finds ways to beat you this season however. Louisville can't be sure it will come from Melo, Fair, Waiters, Joseph, or even Scoop. That makes them dangerous. Look for fair to be the key man in this game again, hitting mid-range jumpers and pulling down rebounds. Fab's foul trouble will also be a factor. I do think Syracuse manages to create some separation at home this time around though. While Louisville will surely play better than in the game against Syracuse in KY, Syracuse is sure to shoot better at home as well. I'm taking the Orange to finish a fantastic regular season perfect at home by beating the Cardinals by 9.
This game will be broadcast nationally on CBS at 4:00pm. Be sure to tune in with the hopes that Raftery will be courtside. Either way John and I will be in the building for all the fun so check the Tweets as usual. And here's hoping we all have a pleasant weekend to rest up and recharge before the Big East Tournament in Madison Square Garden next week. It's a magical time of year.