Syracuse students agree: You have to start league play off right.
These teams are not too unfamiliar. It was not that long ago that this was a conference game in the Big East. But those days are gone and Miami left for the ACC close to a decade ago. But now Syracuse is playing in their first ACC Conference game. And they are taking on defending ACC regular season and tournament champions Miami.
However this is not the Miami team of last season. They lost all five starters and their top six scorers. And let's cover history really quick. Syracuse leads the series 14-5, Syracuse has won 41 consecutive games against unranked opponents in the Dome, and Miami has lost their last ten road games against top five opponents. Now that that's out of the way, if Miami is shooting more consistently than Syracuse, the Orange's defense will have to turn up the intensity. Miami is very tough to beat when they are out-shooting opponents. However, if the team they are up against is more efficient with the basketball Miami will be in trouble. Miami doesn't turn the ball over that much, but they haven't faced a defense like Syracuse. I think the shell shock of playing against the zone will make Miami force shots that are not good looks. I think CJ Fair, although he has been consistently scoring, will have a far more efficient day and not miss as many looks as he did against Eastern Michigan. I think CJ will have a crazy successful day, with Grant also breaking out a bit. Syracuse should have the advantage in the paint again and should cause some turnovers from the top of the zone and get transition buckets off of missed threes. I like the Orange to roll in the second half in their first ACC game. I'll take Syracuse by 23.
This game is available regionally on the ACC Network at 2:00pm today. You can see if a local affiliate covers the game here. You can also click that link to watch the game online, or watch the game at Watch ESPN, however Watch ESPN is subject to blackout so be sure to check the blackout map here. John will be in the Dome and I'll be in the home office. Let's have some fun during our first ACC game. Remember, Virginia Tech sucks, Miami swallows.