Syracuse students agree: Always tough to head to the Pete.
I'll state right off the bat that Syracuse could win this game. This is a winnable game for Syracuse. Pittsburgh is not the hot dumpster fire they were last year in the Big East, but they are not the premier team in the league right now either. And the idea that The Pete is some unwinnable basketball Mecca for opposing teams has certainly been shattered, despite what Pitt fans may tell you. That notion was definitely shattered last year at the very least. But that being said, Syracuse is now down to seven scholarship players, and particularly thing at the four and the five spots with both James Southerland being ineligible still, and DaJuan Coleman being out for at least a month with a knee injury and surgery. Syracuse is going to basically play the starting five, and put Trevor Cooney in for the three guard lineup you saw at Villanova. Baye Moussa Keita will start at center, but if he gets even three fouls in the first half Syracuse is going to be in trouble. Pittsburgh doesn't have the dead eye shooters they have had over the last decade on a regular basis, so shooting over the Zone won't be the cure for Pittsburgh this season as it has been. Pittsburgh will have to make some smart passes and get into the zone and make some post moves. By now, you know that MCW will make some good passes, but cough the ball up a few times, CJ Fair will be dependable, and Brandon Triche will be able to score plenty. But Syracuse has been inconsistent in scoring and especially at free throws. This game will start slow for Syracuse, but it should be tight at the half. Then I think Pittsburgh will just outlast Syracuse in the end, but not by much. I'm picking Pittsburgh in the home upset, but only by five. This game will be available on ESPN at 12:00pm.